Ten months after its launch, Windows 8 now counts 60 million licences shipped out so far, Microsoft said on Tuesday, the whole bunch covering OEMs delivered to new PCs and multitudes of upgrades.
Battered by tech reviewers for its confusing features despite Microsoft claims that the new operating system delivers all the necessary computing and online services in a single package, Windows merely followed on the same path that was set by its predecessor, the Windows 7.
Reuters described the Windows 8 milestone, more than two months into circulation, as "solid but unspectacular start."
The numbers, apparently, fell short of expectations that were set by Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer, who harped about the software's game-changing effect in the overall tech landscape.
Mr Ballmer even forecasted that the overhauled Microsoft computing system will power some 500 million devices in due time. Critics said signs of that prediction happening appear remote at the moment.
The only bright horizon to emerge for Windows 8 shortly after its global market debut was the warn reception generated by the Nokia Lumia 920 is selected key markets. But was seen as a likely surge both for Microsoft and Nokia whittled down even before the holiday season was over.
Nokia failed to plug the problems on its supply chain, which prevented the Lumia 920 from racking up higher sales number and better Windows 8 figures for Microsoft going into 2013. Note that the Lumia 920 runs on Windows Phone 8, another variation of the OS that is designed to power devices on cross-platform.
Industry analysts tipped that PC sales will continue to weaken this year, signalling that Windows 8 remains unable to provide the necessary muscle for an industry reeling from the rise of mobile computing devices.
Microsoft had intended to tackle that concern by tweaking its core product to behave smoothly in smartphones, tablets and conventional PCs, hoping that the fusion would instigate large-scale migration to its underpowered ecosystem.
That vision remains far from fruition. As PC sales continue to decline, Microsoft's take on the hardware business, the Windows RT-powered Surface tablet, seemed unsuccessful in gaining the traction that it aimed for.
To date, Apple and Google reign supreme in the mobile computing game and the two seem intent to keep the situation that way. Consumers remain attuned to iPad, iPhone, Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note 2 (both from Samsung) and even embraced Google's signature devices in Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10.
Microsoft, however, appears unfazed by the slow rise of its pet product. Its ecosystem is growing in a consistent pace, the tech titan claimed, reporting too that the Windows Stores has so far clocked more than 100 million app downloads. But the competitions now count by the billon.
Regardless, Microsoft is issuing more hardwares in 2013 to further attract more users into the Windows system. Three Surface tablets, with three different screen sizes, are set for release this year. It is likely too that a Surface smartphone will join the company's product lines, serving as its determined efforts to make the mobile device playing field more exciting.
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