Windows 8 sells 100 million licenses, SkyDrive hits 250 million users, and more big Microsoft numbers

It’s been a little over six month since Windows 8 launched for consumers. How’s it doing right now? If you listened to the critics and pundits you’d be under the impression that Windows 8 was a flop – another Vista most of them joke. Because we all know Microsoft can’t make two good operating systems in a row, right? I disagree! Today we learn that Windows 8 is on pace to catch up with Windows 7 sales-wise, plus more interesting facts and figures.

How has Windows 8 performed in 2013? Back in early January we learned that Microsoft had sold 60 million Windows 8 licenses. Now remember, everyone is comparing Windows 8 against Windows 7. It took 183 days for Windows 7 to get to the 100 million mark for licenses sold. Windows 8 has finally hit 100 million as well. It took 192 days to get there, which isn't too far off from its predecessor.

Tami Reller, Chief Marketing and Chief Financial Officer at Microsoft, shared some more stats and nuggets of information on Windows 8 in a Q&A for the Windows Blog. She went on the record acknowledging the existence of Windows ‘Blue’. This is the second time (opens in new tab) we’ve heard some info on the future update to all of the services and products from Microsoft. Tami didn’t really add anything new to information surrounding Blue - just the usual PR talk about the update incorporating customer feedback and the blood of virgins. Well, maybe not so much blood.

Some bulletin points to ponder:

  • Windows Store has grown by a magnitude of six since launch
  • 250 million Windows Store downloads in first six months
  • Nearly 90 percent of the app catalog has been downloaded every month
  • 250 million active SkyDrive users
  • 400 million active accounts
  • Over 700 million Microsoft accounts

We’re still in the middle of Microsoft executing their vision of three screens and a cloud. We’ve got the next Xbox right around the corner to tackle the living room. And //BUILD/ should give insight into future plans for both Windows Phone and Windows 8. Exciting times!

Six months after Windows 8 launched, Microsoft looks to be in a fairly solid position. If this is what the “post-PC” era looks like, I like it.

Sound off with your thoughts and opinions in the comments below, armchair analysts.

Source: Windows Blog

Sam Sabri
  • Wait am I the only one that thinks 100 million is a small number in the PC world? I dunno.. Maybe I'm just too tired :D
  • Yup. If I remember correctly windows 8 has less than 5% of the current PC market. Also 250m have SkyDrive but only 100m have windows 8 where's the other 150m and why aren't they on windows 8?
  • You don't need Windows 8 to be able to use SkyDrive...
  • And you also dont need to have Skydrive while using Windows 8 :)
  • Very true but not the point. imo windows 8 is much better than 7 if Microsoft marketed windows 8 right that number should be at least on par with SkyDrive.
  • Skydrive exists since 2007 - thats 6 years ago.
  • Sorry to say but I'm not sure you understand this tech stuff.
  • More than you think
  • He wasn't talking to you. Maybe this tech stuff *is* harder than you think... ;)
  • You can also use Skydrive on IOS and Android so those user are not going to be on Windows 8.
    About the marketing MS has done a great job putting Windows 8 out there every chance they get even some of the Kentucky Derby coverage was brought to us by Windows 8. Microsoft need to fight all the negativity from the San Francisco base bloggers that live in Apple's World.
  • Even though Windows 8 is superior to 7 in terms of speed and performance, it falls behind in terms of usability.  If you are a casual user who surfs the web, uses email and likes to use mobile apps instead of full featured destop software, then Windows 8 is perfect for you.  If you have no use for mobile apps on a desktop, and use mostly desktop software then Windows 8 will most likely not appeal to you.  Microsoft is trying to push everyone in a direction that not everyone is ready to go.  Even though that strategy has worked in the past, it is not going to be as easy this time around.
  • that's what these tech sites keep saying, but it's crap. windows 8 is windows 7 with a new start menu andsome improvements. the start screen is just the start menu that is full screen and with active icons. think of the start screen as your favorites shortcuts and the full app list as your start menu. the desktop functions the same way it always has. the start menu was always a minor part of the experience. its there just as place to store the shortcut icon to apps and is is used just long enough to launch an app. the start screen is does the same thing. you're not supposed to site there staring at the start screen. you're supposed to launch apps and start doing whatever you need to do. the icon are large to make touch easier and some desktop users think it's a waste of space, but this doesn't make win8 any less usable.
  • But according to this losers on these other sites they're a flop! Hahahah that's funny!
  • The current installed base is the result of decades of sales. It's not 5% of market share, it's 5 % of the whole (active) installed base. It definitely could have been slightly better, but it's far from being bad.
  • Agree. Lets not forget that the business world was clamoring for Win7 and they flocked to it.
    Many, if not most enterprises have adopted it and can't justify the expense/effort to go to Win8. That's not to say Win8 doesn't offer value, it just doesn't offer enough to make Win7 feel outdated. So, that said, MS has actually done a tremendous job getting to 100m units in the same time frame since a significant amount of the units were for personal use - a market many felt MS was losing to Apple.
  • The other issue people are not taking into account is that business are not upgrading there pcs like the have done in the past because of the state of the economy. I work in IT and we sell less servers at the moment than we did 5 years ago because the money is not there at the moment. Also the Big names Dell, HP Ext all offer 5 year support on there hardware where it was 3 years 5 years ago. Once the economy picks up so will the business and they will start buying new equipment again. As for the general public side I think 100 million is not bad at all because when you look at any of the big name shops like pc world ect they don't have any windows 8 tablets and a select choice of windows 8 laptops. I think the end of this year we will see alto more windows 8 tablets and laptops appear in shops and if they manage to hit the £99 to £200 mark this will push sales even more.
  • Does dumb MS hatred know no bounds. Macs sell < 4 million per quarter, in 2 quarters MS has sold 100 million Win8 lics.
    PC sales are down, due to western market saturation and tablets being better suited for many peoples casual home needs. Considering that background MS have done remarkably well.
  • It takes time to generate market share...
    As stated in the article "It took 183 days for Windows 7 to get to the 100 million mark for licenses sold. Windows 8 has finally hit 100 million as well. It took 192 days to get there", so imo it's not so bad after all.
  • I disagree with your assessment. Throwing numbers around with no comparative figures is a useless attempt at analysis. What you need to do is compare it with previous sakes of windows 7 and expected sales. You also need to look at competing operating systems and the industry in which Microsoft operates. Is mac os increasing is sales by the same percentage in the same time period e.t.c. And by all the above accounts windows 8 is doing well.
  • The number is less because most of the users are using pirated windows OS.
  • This has always been the case.
  • Same with Windows Phone 8 lack of apps, the same with Window 8 lack aftermarket sells. Microsoft would sell more on both fronts of the aftermarket if these companies will make there software compatible with 8. They are making the exact mistakes Microsoft and Nokia made when smartphone and apps were introduced to the world. Oh, it's just a fad. Who wants to spend money on a app?
    One problem is these aftermarket companies are banking on more of the same. Apple and Android.
  • He did say it is close to where windows 7 was at this point after launch. Windows 7 is considered to be a success. So, despite the bad press it seems windows 8 is on the same path as window 7. However, Revenue wise it will probably earn Microsoft less since probably many of those license sales came from the promotion Microsoft was running at the beginning of the launch.
  • It takes time for everyone to buy a new computer.
  • I bought Windows 8 Pro last fall. I'm running it on 4-year-old hardware, and it uses fewer resources than Windows 7 Professional. I'll buy a new PC later this year, but it isn't necessary to buy a new PC to get Windows 8 goodness. I have no complaints.
  • You know I cant agree more man, but sadly, what swizz says is part true. At least in the real world anyways within my friends and families. People ACTUALLY wait to get a whole new machine to 'get the latest OS' I know, crazy lol but remember we are enthusiast here we love updates lol and unless OEM's pushed ads or sent out email's, most people 'think' they can only get the latest Windows OS by buying new machines. I don't think I've ever had a friend or family member ask me such thing as an OS upgrade for their windows PC -_- and im 'that guy' the electronic nerd as they call me lol Anywho, now they HAVE reasons to buy new machines, hello they see 'touch' and they want it, everyone wants touch lol so I expect this year to be the biggest jump for windows 8 (y)
  • When OEM's where pushing people to buy windows 7 they advertised their computers as windows 8 compatible. They get surprised when people don't buy new hardware but upgrade. Doh!!
  • OEM's are pissed because windows 7 machines are compatible with windows 8. Why buy a new computer when you can upgrade the OS for a fraction of the price. I have 3 computers at home all previously windows 7 now upgraded to 8 and the OEM's didn't get an extra penny. So to say its post pc era because no one is buying hardware is fool hardy. Bring on the BLUES. (see what did there?)
  • I got 5 licenses for $15 each before Jan 24th :)
  • 250 million apps downloaded with 100 million licences? So that's 2.5 apps per user on average. Hmmm....
  • So what about it? Not everyone wants to download apps. I know of people with iPhones, Androids and Windows Phones who never downloaded a single app.
  • Seriously? You know these people?
  • It's easy: most of people use only traditional win32 apps.
  • Hmm.. I know that sounds weird right? lol such a small number. but thinking about it, on my home pc and laptop I upgraded to windows 8, I have about 3 apps downloaded (besides the pre-installed ones like maps, music etc., which im assuming Microsoft isn't counting those) I see myself going to IE so often for tasks that maybe theres an app for get me? but I guess that thought that I know im on a pc, I can just use IE, weird but makes sense to see that number so low...
  • Keep in mind that's licenses sold, not actual installs.  Licenses sold applies to the computer sitting on the shelf at Best Buy or Wal-Mart.  Not sure what the actual user base is.  Still, 100m licenses is a good thing because it means OEMs are buying them and producing machines for retail. :)
  • That's exactly why this is an apples to apples comparison. They're comparing how long it took win8 to get to 100m, as opposed to win7, both were looking at licenses sold. This is a very good indicator of sales.
  • Not bad.
    Let's hope that encourages them to deploy a little more effort in developing better products. Candy-coated Windows 7 repackaged as Windows 8. Watered-down Windows Phone feature set. An Office update pack as an Office 2013...
    Start with Windows Phone: Office on Windows Phone is a ridiculous set of file readers Come on!
  • Win8 is not repackaged W7. They had to build an app store, system apps, the whole metro UI... Its anything but W7. Also, WP has a great feature set. There's no way I would get rid of WP because of the lack of tiles. Seeing an icon makes me feel sick...
  • There is a reason why, all W8 ads show Metro. Take that away and you're left with W7 (mostly). I'm in front of my screens a least 10 hours a day.
    WP is a much better UI than and its competition. My gripes: it's built-in apps (Office in particular) feel under-powered. Ex: No Undo in Word, no way to assign font size, you can only choose 3 colors for font, etc. I had 60% more features on my old Windows Mobile 6.5 Touch Pro2. :-)
    I'm still keeping my Lumia, but I wonder if MS knows it will take more features to attract new users. Not less.
  • Rono, you clearly are in over your head with this stuff. Have you ever used Windows 8?
  • Been using it Windows 8 for 5 months now.
    I tested Office 2013's preview about a week or two.
    Been using the Lumia 810 for the past 4 months.
  • Sorry buddy, but by your logic, every windows has been a candy coated version of the previous one. If you're not going to delve into what they've done under the hood, why even bother? And the reason they concentrate on metro in the commercials is because ms is pushing everything metro, why would they promote the desktop when they're trying to move away from it? I don't doubt that you've been using win8, but I think you're just looking at the superficial aspects of the OS (I guess most people do that, but I've never heard anyone complain about it before). I will agree with you about office on WP though. But the rest of the stuff I can't agree. I think MS has been doing an extreme amount to make great products. IMO they're in a great place and headed to an even better one.
  • By magnitude if six, they mean 0x0x0x0x0x0, correct?
  • 60 000
  • Windows 8 (and Server 2012) is so amazingly fast! Love it!
  • I upgraded to W8 sometime soon after launch with the £15 deal for legit W7 owners. Not once regretted it. So what if its a disco ball containing W7, we all love W7 right?
  • Great i want windows 8 to be a success and this is good news!
  • So in 6 months there are 100 million potential customers for app developers on the Windows 8 side of the fence.. growing with 20 million a month...
    Lets se what did the iPad make... 130 million in three years...
    Looks like smart app developers will have to put some more attention to the Windows Store or get passed by some new upstarts getting into that spot. This looks really well for us WP users of course as porting the apps to WP8 should be easy after the Windows 8 version is done
  • +90000
  • That's not all the data. You have to look at apps consumed per user. If people buy windows 8 and don't buy apps, it's no good for the developer.
    If MS can get a 7 inch RT device down to $200-$250 we might see mass adoption and then an ecosystem that will really foster app growth.
  • Thats right.
    but these two bulletpoints from the article indicates that at least people are trying out the apps:
    * 250 million Windows Store downloads in first six months
    * Nearly 90 percent of the app catalog has been downloaded every month
    So it seems like there is a living marketplace in Windows 8. Now if they could only make the Store app be more useful...
  • + me
  • That's correct. :)
    EDIT: but don't forget that the real installed base of iOS products is 500 million... (with iPhone). I hope that MS will merge its WP8 and W8 Stores sooner than later!
  • It's all good :) 
  • What now haters??
  • Got a surface pro yesterday
  • They will just release it in Germany this month and already rumour about the new version - bad marketing. Also a Tablet without Mobile internet (no no wifi) is pretty useless anywhere else than at home
  • Hotspot? USB-Dongle?
  • Yes - I get a slim PC to put a dongle on it. Why can a mobile computer not have mobile internet just like proper notebooks have? - workarounds are not a proper solution
  • I hear ya,
    But looking at the numbers, only 3 percent of tablet users make use of a cellular connection.  That's not to say we won't ever see a cellular option in the future tho.
  • Releasing new products is not bad marketeing. Everytime you buy something you do that with the knowledge that something new will come in the future.  If you haven't figured that out about technology yet, it's your own problem.  
  • Sorry - I think you are missing the whole point of my post and the terms globalsation. Releasing products is one thing - offering them to a market half a year after release the other - right?
  • The new surface is the 7 inch surface.... So it won't affect the current users.
  • If there is a new version, it probably won't hit the German market for a while. When you buy an apple product, you know there will be a new version after a year. The key is to buy early in the cycle or by late but at a discount.  Most people don't buy the mobile internet version of tablets. They don't want to pay an additional monthly fee just for the tablet. Most carriers in the US allow the phone to act as mobile hotspots. So you really don't need a separate plan just for a tablet. If you do want a separate plan, mobile hotspot devices are available that can be used with multiple tablet, laptops, and any other devices that need a wifi connection. Makes more sense to get that than to pay for a plan for just one tablet.
  • I'm going to attribute the lower than wanted sales figures due to haters.  Oddly enough everyone I know who actually made the change over the 8 love it.  
  • With good reason.
  • I agree. Haters gonna hate. But the numbers don't lie.
  • So many mixed feelings
  • Darra da DA daaaaa, im loving it.
  • Should go viral.
  • not great that there are only 2.5 apps downloaded per license sold.  people that i know dont seem to get apps for w8 yet even though they have been downloading them forever on their phones.  truthfully, other than games, i dont use my w8 apps yet much.  i love win 8 and think charms, start screen are all good, but just not using that much.
  • Apps on Windows 8 (on the Metro start screen) are probably besides the point;  I gather that most pretty quickly click on the 'Desktop' box, and open Firefox or Chrome or iTunes or what have you. An option to boot right to the desktop without the PC having to load the all the Metro stuff, and save time and resource power, would be nice.
  • How much time and resources do you really thing the metro start screen take up? The computers boot way faster than with windows 7. When you get to the desktop you still need to launch an app to do anything, right? So, guess what, your favorite apps should be on the start screen and the rest are in the app list. Click the app you need and voila, your doing something useful. Or do you boot a computer and then stare at the wallpaper on your desktop?
  • im one in 100 million :) windows 8 is cool
  • I use Win 8 on a former Win 7 PC. Like the OS very much, but, the lack of touch support in my screen obviously makes the tablet part of Win 8 something to be desired.
  • This seems like a solid start. I don't think people are taking into account the ripple effect of the potential Win8 synergy. My situation I think is an example of what is to come for the whole Win8 eco system. I purchased a Win8 upgrade for my desktop, I purchased a Win8/RT surface tablet. My Verizon upgrade is waiting for the release of the Nokia 928 this month. This Fall I'm planning on purchasing the new XBox (have never owned an XBox before) and will purchase a replacement laptop with touch screen. 
    I think in the next year we will see scenarios like mine increase the interest in the Win8 eco system exponentially. 
  • ditto...I started out last year looking for a replacement for an aging Blackberry and started hearing about the then new Windows Phone and ended up purchasing a Nokia 920. I was so impressed by that "synergy" I later upgraded to Win8 on my year old desktop and purchased a Surface RT. I've had an Xbox 360 for years and this was just icing on the cake. SkyDrive, Outlook, One all works well for me.
  • I am in the exact same boat - 3 year old Windows XP laptop upgraded to Windows 8 - gave it new life - XP was crashing, and stopped working - I installed Windows 8, and its like a new computer, runs faster, boots faster, etc - I will be in the market for a new PC in the next year or so, holding out until the next generation windows 8 PCs are available - that new Acer with the cool flipping screen has my attention!!!
    I bought Surface RT, LOVE IT!!!  By far the best thin client mobile PC out there, with remote desktop, everything on my work computer, and home computer are just a tap, or a click away depending on what i need to do.  Only thing i wish it had were Tiem Warner Cable TV app (stupid that they didnt build in silverlight support to the RT), and more games - EA sports games, and a legit racing game would push it over the edge.
    My Verizon phone is due for upgrade, ive been on Android for the past 3.5 years, and and sick of the Galaxy Nexus crashes 1-2 times a day, and lags like crazy.  Ive tried rooting, overclocking, custom roms, etc.  I am done with Android.  If this new Lumia 928 is great, consider me switched.  I have an Ipad, and truely hate the Apple ecosystem, so no Iphone is not even a consideration.
    I am watching for the new Xbox - have to see what its going to offer me that my tablet, phone, and PC do not.  I am not a huge gamer at home, mostly play them on tablet when traveling.  That being said, I own a PS3, and it is used primarlily as Blueray player, Netflix, Hulu, and to play downloaded movies from my external Hard Drive.  If the new Xbox is marginally better, and allows more features to the so called "ecosystem" consider me all in.
  • Microsoft Prepares U-Turn on Windows 8 soft would make to Windows 8. However, the clamor from reviewers has become overwhelming for a return to a more familiar PC interface. Ms Reller said PC users had faced difficulties adapting to the new software. Edit: Don't post whole articles as comments. Just an excerpt and link to the article will do. - WPCentral staff
  • What's the laptop in the photo? Which model Asus? 
    I already have a current gen Mac mini with cinema display, but I also own an old Vista notebook that I'm looking to replace, maybe with one running Windows 8.  Looking for a really good one in the $800-$1000 range.
  • Well these are good numbers, not great but good. Let the haters hate! Microsoft is on a steady roll here and they will continue the momentum with the upcoming release of the new Xbox, which I'm totally hyped about... I have a W7 laptop which I installed W8 pro with no regrets. Now my company is issuing me a Dell XPS 12 convertible Ultrabook for work (and play) which is going to be really awesome!! :)
  • 100 million disappointed customers
  • I agree that windows 8 usage has been increasing in larger number, I wonder what that number means?  As forbes stated in May 14th, does that count mentioning the number of usage or number of license sold and sent to the customers ?
    Windows 8 Mobile Application Development