Windows CFO Tami Reller announced at the Credit Suisse 2012 Annual Technology Conference that Microsoft has sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses in the system’s first month of release. Sales of Windows 8 are on track to match sales of Windows 7, which was released in 2009 and has sold more than 670 million licenses. As a comparison, Microsoft reported at the time that Windows Vista sold 20 million licenses in its first month, while Windows XP saw sales of slightly more than 17 million over its initial two months. So far, Windows 8 is seeing more upgrades than was seen with Windows 7.
These sales will no doubt serve to bolster Microsoft’s confidence as it aims to compete in the tablet and mobile phone arenas. Microsoft’s answer to the iPad, the Surface tablet, will see a second version released in January running Windows 8 Pro. An update for Windows Phones to version 7.8 is expected to be released in early 2013, which, along with the recently released Windows Phone 8, is looking to carve out a space for itself in a market largely dominated by Apple and Android devices.
Microsoft is also working to expand its app store to match the competition. The number of Windows 8 apps has doubled since the October launch, though the exact number of apps available hasn’t been released. Windows Phone 7 and similar mobile devices have around 120,000 apps, but not all of these run on Windows 8. Apple and Android have about 500,000 apps each in their stores, leaving Microsoft with a considerable way to go before catching up. Still, with Reller reporting that some developers have sold over $25,000 worth of apps, opportunities seem bright.