Microsoft (MSFT) Sells 100 Million Windows 8 Licenses

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has sold 100 million Windows 8 licenses in the six months since launching on October 26th.  These sales numbers matches the numbers that Windows 7 had three years previously.

The user interface of Windows 8 is known for a focus on touch commands.  The user interface makes it possible for Microsoft’s manufacturing partners to build hybrid laptops that can be turned into tablets.  Unfortunately, Microsoft has not been able to seriously compete against Apple and Samsung in the tablet market.

“Is it perfect? No. Are there things we need to change? Absolutely. We are being very real about what needs to change and changing it as thoughtfully and quickly as we can,” stated Tami Reller, the co-head of Microsoft Windows during an event last week at the company’s headquarters.  She announced the Windows sales figure at the event, but it was made public on Monday.

Microsoft is going to roll out an update to Windows 8 by the end of this year, code-named “Windows Blue.”  The details of the update will be announced in the next few weeks.

Back in January, Windows 8 hit around 60 million licenses sold.  This means that around 40 million licenses of Windows 8 were sold in the last 4 months.  This is below the average sales rate of Windows 7.

One of the reasons why Windows 7 was so popular is because it replaced Windows Vista.  Windows 8 has a completely different design than Windows 7 by getting rid of their signature start button and replacing it with a tile-based start screen.  There are rumors that the “Blue” update will allow users to restore the start button due to popular demand.

There are rumors that Microsoft is building smaller tablets at around 7 or 8 inches.  This would allow the Surface to compete against tablets like the Apple iPad Mini, the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the Amazon Kindle Fire, and the Google Nexus 7.  According to IDC, Microsoft has sold around 900,000 Microsoft Surface tablets in the first quarter compared to 19.5 million iPads and 8.8 million Samsung tablets.

“I believe that touch will be mainstream in consumer laptops,” added Reller, as quoted by Reuters. “I think we’ll be pleased with the progress we’ve made by ‘back to school’ and by holiday (year end), we’ll be at this tipping point where we will say, ‘Now I see it.'”

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