Far from tanking – or failing to live up to expectations – as many had speculated, Microsoft has sold some 40 million licences for its new operating system, Windows 8.
The claims were made by Tami Reller, finance and marketing head of the Windows business, speaking at investment bank Credit Suisse's annual technology conference on Tuesday.
Reller was named as one of two executives to take over responsibility of the Windows business following the abrupt departure of Steven Sinofsky, who had been credited with leading the development of both Windows 8 and the Microsoft Surface tablet computer.
Windows 8 sales will have been boosted by the release of the Surface, which even if sales prove disappointing will have sold a couple of million units in its first month, and the fact that Windows 8 was launched so close to the Christmas sales period at a time of economic recovery.
"Black Friday" sales in both the US and UK have also been ahead of expectations, boosting sales of a range of consumer gadgets.
Windows 7, in contrast, while released around the same time of year, appeared in the immediate afetrmath of the global financial crisis in 2009, a year in which global trade declined suddenly and sharply.
The figure, though, means that Windows 8 has sold more copies at this stage in its release than Windows 7, which is widely regarded as a successful launch. According to Microsoft, Windows 7 sold some 60 million copies in its first two months and Windows 8 is on course to exceed that figure.
Windows 8 also has a much lower price – around $40 for the basic upgrade version and $60 for the full retail version.
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