Why Windows 8's 100 million license milestone is not the same as Windows 7's

Martin Brinkmann
May 7, 2013
Updated • May 7, 2013
Windows, Windows 8

When it comes to Windows 8, Microsoft has only made two announcements so far in regards to how many licenses the company's most recent operating system has sold. Back in January 2013 it reported that 60 million licenses had been sold to end users and manufacturers who create devices that are powered by the operating system.

Microsoft today revealed that sales have recently surpassed the 100 million license mark which includes standalone licenses and licenses that shipped with new PCs and tablets. The figure puts it in the same ballpark sales-wise as its predecessor Windows 7 which reached the 100 million licenses goal by April 2010 after being released in October 2009.

The overall sales figures are nearly identical but that does not necessarily mean that the ratio of Windows 8 systems that end users make use of is identical as well.Microsoft did not disclose volume-sales figures, that is licenses that it sold to enterprises, and did not disclose if Windows RT licenses were included in the sales figure or not.

Usage statistics suggest that the end user adoption rate of Windows 7 was higher than the adoption rate of Windows 8 is right now.

operating system usage share


  • Windows 7 January 2010 - 8.37%
  • Windows 7 April 2010 - 13.47%
  • Windows 8 January 2013 - 2.53%
  • Windows 8 April 2013 - 4.74%

OS Statistics:

  • Windows 7 January 2010 - 11.3%
  • Windows 7 April 2010 - 16.7%
  • Windows 8 January 2013 - 4.8%
  • Windows 8 April 2013 - 7.3%

The statistics suggest that Windows 7's adoption rate was twice as high as the one of Windows 8, and if true, it can only mean that manufacturers did not sell as many of the copies of Windows 8 they ordered from Microsoft than they did when Windows 7 was released.

One could say that Microsoft does not really have to care to whom they sell the licenses. But that is shortsighted as manufacturers who do not sell as many Windows 8 devices as hoped will certainly reduce future orders based on that. It all comes down to the end user adoption rate and all indicators suggest that it is lower than that of Windows 7.

It would be too easy to blame this solely on Windows 8 and the changes that Microsoft made to the operating system. While they most likely play a role, other factors do too. This includes the limited availability of Windows 8 tablet PCs as well as a declining PC market.

There could be another explanation for the difference in usage share between Windows 7 and Windows 8. In the past three years, more devices came to the market and overall use of computer systems has grown as well as a consequence. It is plausible that the same amount of devices would have been reflected in a larger usage share percentage in 2010 than today. It is however unlikely that all of the difference can be explained by that.

Another factor may play a role here: system downgrades count towards the number of licenses sold, even though Windows 8 is not used on downgraded systems at all.

It needs to be noted that only Microsoft could release 100% accurate figures, and that third party statistics do not necessarily reflect the real market situation.

The interview confirms that Windows Blue will be released in 2013, and that it is a codename for an update for Windows 8. It is interesting to note that Microsoft specifically mentions that Windows 8 gives the company the opportunity to respond to customer feedback. If that is a hint that requested features such as a start menu button or a skip start screen option will be integrated remains to be seen.


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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):


  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

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