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Noted Windows blogger Paul Thurrott recently claimed that initial Windows 8 sales were well below Microsoft’s internal projections, prompting many to write obituaries for the operating system. Despite there being every chance of the report being accurate, there is nothing to suggest that Microsoft won’t be able to sell hundreds of millions of Windows 8 copies, like it has done on so many occasions in the past with previous iterations of the OS. So in that spirit, let’s forget the poor critical response or the tepid popular reaction to Windows 8 for a moment and focus on the numbers.
Last we heard, Microsoft had sold 4 million Windows 8 upgrades in the first three days of availability. A month on, the Redmond-based tech giant claims to have sold as many as 40 million Windows 8 licenses. Further, Windows 8 is said to be outpacing its predecessor in terms of upgrades.
“The journey is just beginning, but I am pleased to announce today that we have sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses so far,” announced Tami Reller, the new head of Microsoft's Windows Division, at the Credit Suisse 2012 Annual Technology Conference Tuesday.
But Net Applications’ data tells a different story. According to the web metrics firm’s desktop operating system market share data, Windows 8 only accounts for around 1.20% of all desktop-based web traffic. In stark contrast, its predecessor had managed to touch 4% percent in just three weeks of availability.