Windows 8 OS: One Month On

You will have no doubt have seen the refreshing Windows 8 OS (operating system) displayed on a string of recent new devices; the Nokia Lumia or the Microsoft Surface for example; but the ‘live tile’ format has now made its way to the bigger screen: the desktop or laptop computer. The newest Windows operating system 8, named ‘General Availability’ (or GA), entered into the market on October 26th but there were concerns surrounding the functionality (and desirability) of a system that worked so elegantly on small devices – so the question was, would the shift to the big screen be a popular move amongst laptop and computer owners?

The Response to Windows 8

Well, first reports suggest that the answer is ‘yes’! Speaking during a technology conference in Arizona on 27th November, Microsoft’s new Windows chief Tami Reller announced that the company had sold 40 million Windows 8 licences to date. This was surprising as Microsoft’s last OS, Windows 7, was the fastest selling operating system in history after the company sold 60 million licences  by the end of the product’s second month on the market.

In comparison, Windows 7 sold 60 million units in two months, equating to over 857, 142 licences sold each day, whereas Windows 8 sold 40 million in 32 days, resulting in a total of 1.25m licences sold per day since its launch.

Interestingly, Windows 8’s second month is the most the profitable segment of the year for many companies – the Christmas period. So surely common sense dictates that the initial popularity of Windows 8 in its first month should be easily surpassed in its second month?

Windows 8 was released at an introductory price of £24.99 ($40) as an upgrade for those currently running Windows operating systems. This historically low upgrade cost is available until February 2013 when the price is expected to raise to over £100 – a much more familiar price for those seeking the new Windows OS.

Statistics from the US

Crossing the Atlantic, over in the US, unit sales for Windows PCs and tablets are down 21% since the launch of Windows 8 over a month ago. The figures from leading North American market research company NPD (National Purchase Diary) are in comparison to the same period last year. NPD states that Windows 8 tablet sales “have been almost non-existent, with unit sales representing less than 1% of all Windows 8 device sales to date”.

So this isn’t great news from the American market for Microsoft, but the new operating system is still in its early stages and will no doubt endure some much-needed updates and changes to many common user criticisms, like the lack of apps currently available as well as the removal of the ‘Start’ button on the desktop of Windows 8.

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