It may have its detractors in both the PC and Mac world, but Windows 8 certainly has its good points. It seems that we’re not the only ones to think that either, with the news coming out of Microsoft today that the controversial Windows 8 can now boast 200 million licenses sold.
The news comes after Windows 8 took just six months to reach the 100 million license milestone, and its one-year anniversary saw no mention of sales numbers at all. Now though, with the PC market in general experiencing something of a slump, Microsoft is pleased to tell anyone who will listen that Windows 8 has sold 200 million licenses. For perspective, it’s worth noting that Windows 7 took just 12 months to sell 240 million licenses. Quite the difference indeed.
Of course, that slowing PC market is undoubtedly partly to blame for such a shift in numbers, but Windows 8 itself has to accept at least part of the blame. With Microsoft’s own hardware partners offering customers a way to opt for Windows 7 instead of the latest and greatest that Redmond has to offer, it’s clear that at least some Windows users would rather opt for the relative safety that its predecessor has to offer. Whether that policy is a sound one remains to be seen, but Microsoft’s Tami Reller told a Goldman Sachs technology conference just today that the company is working on making Windows 8 more friendly for those using ‘normal’ computers rather than tablets.
Where Microsoft takes Windows moving forward is anyone’s guess, but at this point there’s little doubt that the experiment of shoehorning a touch-based interface into Windows-proper simply hasn’t worked out as Microsoft had hoped. The call for the Desktop and a return for the Start button should surely show Microsoft that things aren’t as they should be in the world of Windows, but at least the firm seems to understand that now. It’s what it chooses to do about it that will prove important from here on out though.
Having said all that, what alternative do users have at this point in time? Switch to a Mac or install some flavor of Linux? Maybe, but with the specter of Windows 7 hanging over its head, Windows 8’s biggest competitor may well come from within.