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Microsoft CEO Ballmer

Windows 8 upgrades selling millions worldwide – or so we are told

“Preliminary demand” for Windows 8 seems to be higher than for Windows 7 when it was launched, according to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who announced at the company’s Build conference that more than 4-million Windows 8 upgrades have been sold since its launch on Friday. He also said “tens of millions of copies” had been shipped to its partners.

Stephan Lourens
Born 20 years too early. Curses sometimes. Thinks too much. Believes plug-and-play is the best invention ever. If asked what he wants for his birthday he will... More

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Singling out upgrades only is also complicated and confusing, as customers have been registering and qualifying for reduced-price copies of Windows 8 since June. The tens of millions copies to partners is no surprise, as retailers and PC makers are relying on the novelty of Windows to sell new products with Windows 8, like touch-enabled PCs and tablets. Acer and Lenovo would order copies by the millions as anyone would expect.

Many see Ballmer’s comments as just a way to satisfy the appetites of shareholders and developers, as comparing it to the sales for Windows 7 would give a very good indication if Microsoft’s “gamble” on redesigning Windows will pay off.

Many see this Windows 8 strategy as a bold, and mostly essential, move from Microsoft to get in line to compete with Google and Apple for the future of mobile and desktop computing. The Redmond-based company has been seen as lagging behind and losing against the two main rivals.