I’m back from several days of vacation. Here’s some of what happened while I was away:
- Microsoft said it’s sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses so far since it launched on Oct. 26. The announcement was made by Tami Reller, CVP and CFO of Windows, at the Credit Suisse – 2012 Annual Technology Conference in Arizona. The company also said, in an official blog post, that Windows 8 is outpacing Windows 7 in upgrades.
Upgrades are one part of licenses; license sales also include the copies on new computers and multi-year sales to corporations, says Bloomberg, which also cites IDC analyst Bob O’Donnell as saying that “it’s difficult to gauge demand with the number by itself” but that “the pace of growth should please shareholders.”
(Microsoft’s annual shareholders meeting, by the way, takes place this morning starting at 8 a.m. I’ll be liveblogging the event starting at 8 a.m.)
- Microsoft says it’s identified the cause of a glitch that’s been causing some Windows Phone 8 handsets to randomly reboot. The company is working to get an over-the-air update out in December, reports All Things D.
- Microsoft announced that it now has 25 million Outlook.com users and that about a third of them are active Gmail users trying Outlook.com. The company launched the preview version of Outlook.com, a free, Web-based personal e-mail service, in July.
- The company said it sold more than 750,000 Xbox 360 consoles in the U.S. during the week of Black Friday, exceeding internal forecasts. (Microsoft did not say what its internal forecast was.) It also said sales of “Halo 4” exceeded forecasts but did not provide a number.
That would jibe with some findings published in CNN Money/Fortune in which an analyst’s team found that, at the Mall of America on Black Friday, most of the people they saw purchasing items at the Microsoft Store bought Xbox games. Unfortunately for Microsoft, people bought more per hour at the Apple Store and during the two hours the team monitored the Microsoft Store, no Surface tablets were sold.
- Bing released its annual list of most-searched terms. The most-searched person was Kim Kardashian, who was also No. 1 in 2010. My colleague, Brier Dudley, has more.
Speaking of Bing, the Bing Translator app is now available for Windows Phone 8. The app allows you to point your Windows phone camera at text and get translations on the screen. The app supports Chinese, French, German, Italian, Spanish and English.
- My colleague, Kyung M. Song, looked at how MIcrosoft’s proposal for worker visas is raising some concerns.