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Microsoft started this week with some extremely happy news: just six months after its release, Microsoft had sold its 100 millionth copy of Windows 8.
But then some techies had to spoil Microsoft’s party with some bad news. That bringer of bad news was Moor Insights & Strategy and principal analyst Patrick Moorhead, who started looking into that 100 million sales number a little more thoroughly.
Here’s what Mr. Moorhead found out:
-Microsoft considers a ‘sale’ when it provides a customer with an upgrade, or when it sells a Windows 8 license to one of its OEM hardware manufacturing partners
-OEM licenses make up the bulk of that 100 million figure, which makes sense because aside from the Surface, Microsoft isn’t developing Windows 8 machines on its own
-The number of Windows 8 licenses sold excludes copies sold to enterprises (due to restrictions in volume licensing agreements)
-The confusion comes with the OEM partners – Microsoft says that a sale is made as soon as Windows 8 is installed on a piece of hardware made by that OEM partner. That means there are millions of PCs, laptops, tablets, and hybrids sitting in warehouses counting as ‘sales’ when really they haven’t come close to entering the hands of consumers.


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-Microsoft refuses to divulge “activation data” and instead relies on sales data
Moorhead concludes by stating that 41% of Windows 8 licenses labeled as ‘sold’ are not being currently used
Yikes. That’s a lot of PCs being reported as sold while actually sitting around doing nothing. Microsoft continues to say that Windows 8 shipments are growing, but it appears that the numbers are saying otherwise.

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