Microsoft at its annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday said it has sold about 40 million licenses to Windows 8 in its first month on the market.
Though Windows 8 is off to a great start, but the Steve Ballmer-led company believes it’s going to take more than that to prove the revamped software will win over enough people to revive the slumping personal computer market.
“While the number may look impressive, it’s difficult to know what it means without more insights into how many Windows 8 devices have been sold in stores,” said technology industry analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy.
That’s because PC manufacturers pay for most Windows 8 machines , leaving it unclear how many have been purchased by consumers, companies and government agencies.
Microsoft didn’t provide further details beyond saying that Windows 8 is being embraced by a list of companies that include Johnson & Johnson, British Telecom and Bank of America Corp.
The initial reception to Windows 8 appears to be “good, but not great,” Moorhead said. “Is this going to be enough to turn around the PC market? No.”
Microsoft built Windows 8 to enable people to control their PCs by touching on the display screen, just like mobile devices.
A similar operating system called Windows RT is running on a tablet called Surface that Microsoft created to compete against Apple Inc’s popular iPad and similar devices designed by Google Inc and Amazon.com Inc.
Nomura Securities projects sales of traditional PCs in the fourth quarter to decline by 7 per cent from the same time last year. Another research firm, HIS iSuppli, already has predicted that this year will mark the first time annual sales of PCs will have fallen from the previous year since 2001.
Microsoft’s stock price gained 28 cents on Wednesday to close at $27.36, leaving them slightly below where they stood before Windows 8’s October 26 release.