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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

November 29, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Windows 8 sales: Doing great or slow start?

Microsoft trumpeted earlier this week that 40 million Windows 8 licenses have been sold in the one month since the operating system launched on Oct. 26.

For comparison, Microsoft sold 60 million Windows 7 licenses in its first two months after launch in October 2009, Microsoft apparently sold 60 million licenses, according to ZDNet.

(License sales typically include: Copies of the OS that manufacturers put on new computers; upgrades; and volume/multi-year agreements with businesses.)

Ballmer touted the figure during Microsoft’s annual shareholders meeting Wednesday, saying that there are now 40 million reasons for developers to create apps for Windows 8.

But a report from NPD Group, a market research firm, paints a not-so-rosy picture — at least on the consumer/retail front.

Windows 8 is getting off to a slow start with consumers, according to NPD Group, which says that since the launch of Windows 8, sales of Windows devices have fallen 21 percent compared to the same time last year.

The firm also notes:

Since its launch, Windows 8 has captured just over half (58 percent) of Windows computing device unit sales, compared to the 83 percent Windows 7 accounted for four weeks after that launch. Windows 8 tablet sales have been almost non-existent, with unit sales representing less than 1 percent of all Windows 8 device sales to date.

(Note: The NPD research does not include sales of the Surface tablet.)

The traditional PC market overall declined this year, so “after just four weeks on the market, it’s still early to place blame on Windows 8 for the ongoing weakness in the PC market,” Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD, said in a news release. “We still have the whole holiday selling season ahead of us, but clearly Windows 8 did not prove to be the impetus for a sales turnaround some had hoped for.”

He did, however, note the “strong performance” of Windows 8 touchscreen notebooks, which accounted for 6 percent of Windows 8 notebook sales at an average price of $867, “helping to re-establish a premium segment to the Windows consumer notebook market.”

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