The report is in: Microsoft is saying today that the company has just passed the 100 million Windows 8 license sold. The number reflects the amount of licenses sold in the first 6 months period of the life of the operating system since its release back in October, 2012. And the software giant is also finally talking about Windows 8.1 (a.k.a Windows Blue).
If we set the clock back to April, 2010, the numbers we’re seeing today are inline to how Windows 7 performed back in the day, in the same time period, which means that Microsoft’s OS isn’t doing so bad. And the figures only includes OEM (pre-installs and upgrades) and retail (boxed) licenses, no value license sales.
Also in a new interview from Brandon LeBlanc, Sr. Marketing Communications Manager, to Tami Reller, Windows CFO, she acknowledged that touch-enabled devices (Windows 8 and Windows RT) aren’t in a really good situation and they are expecting to see improvements in July, during the back-to-school selling season.
Up until now the company has been close-mouthed on the numbers (we only knew that Microsoft sold 40 million copies of Windows 8 in the first month) and about the next Windows update, codenamed “Windows Blue”, also known as “Windows 8.1”. But now it seems that Microsoft is finally ending the silence and saying officially that Blue is an update that will be out “later this year”, just in time for the 2013 holiday, when we’ll also be seeing the new smaller (7- to 9-inch) form factor Windows 8 devices. And the company will be unveiling pricing, packaging and other details pretty soon.
As for the Surface sale numbers, Reller told to The Verge that Microsoft is still not revealing figures to the public. But according to a report from IDC, Redmond has sold about 900k Surface devices, and Surface Pro making up that majority of the sales. In part, this is because the Pro version of Surface is capable of running the full version of Windows 8, which enables users to install all the legacy applications. Something you cannot do with Surface RT, which runs on an ARM-based chip and you’re limited to only Windows 8-style apps.
In another interview Tami Reller revealed to Mary Jo Foley that the Windows team has already pushed over 739 updates for Windows RT and Windows 8 in the first six months. Updates that included several fixes, drivers, and battery life improvements.
Also Tami talked about the Windows Store and while she didn’t mentioned exact numbers, she said that the Store already has more than 60K Windows 8-style apps, and that it surpassed the 250 million apps download mark in the first six months.
Update: Microsoft has also confirmed today that a Windows 8.1 Public Preview for developers will be available by the end of June during the BUILD developer conference.
Also Windows chief Julie Larson-Green said at the Wired Business Conference that some elements will be changed in the next Windows 8 update. One of these elements is the return of the Start button to the desktop’s taskbar — “the button might be helpful to have on the screen for some people”, Julie Larson-Green said, confirming the rumor.