REDMOND, CALIF. – Microsoft broke down its self-imposed wall of silence on Windows 8 penetration, stating that about 40 million licenses have been sold, but the new OS has not given a boost to PC sales as originally expected.
The NPD Group reported last week that Windows device sales fell 21 percent during the first four weeks that Windows 8 has been on the market, compared with the same period last year.
The 40 million mark was tallied as Windows 8 marked its first month on the market. Microsoft had previously announced it had sold 4 million upgrades during the operating system’s first weekend of availability, but that was the last time the company made a note of sales until last week.
The licenses include upgrades and sales to OEMs.
Steve Baker, NPD’s industry analysis VP, said it’s still too early to place the full blame for weak PC sales on Windows 8 because sales have been weak all year.
“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 said.
NPD said Windows 8 has captured 58 percent of Windows computing device sales. This is down dramatically from the 83 percent that Windows 7 garnered during its first month on the market.
Windows 8 tablet sales, not including the Surface, are almost nonexistent at this point, with less than a 1 percent market share.
Baker also blamed a bloated inventory from the back-to-school selling season for the lackluster Windows 8 sales.
One of the bright spots has been the strong performance so far of touchscreen-equipped Windows 8 notebooks. Baker noted that these accounted for 6 percent of Win8 notebook sales, with an average selling price of $867, a premium price point.