Microsoft Sells Four Million Windows 8 Upgrades in First Three Days of Availability

Only Four Million Windows 8 Upgrades Sold Over the First Weekend

by Anton Shilov
10/31/2012 | 01:35 PM

The launch of Microsoft Corp.’s Windows 8 operating system was probably most hyped IT event this year. But customers do not seem to be as enthusiastic as the software developer itself. Apparently, only four million Windows 8 upgrades were sold in the first three days of availability.


“In just the last three days, we have sold four million Windows 8 upgrades. Four million Windows 8 upgrades,” said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft, during his keynote at Build conference on Tuesday.

Microsoft did a lot to popularize transition to Windows 8 from various operating systems, including those as old as Windows XP. Customers, who bought a qualified Windows 7-based PC can upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for as little as $14.99; end-users with older operating systems can upgrade to Windows 8 Pro online via using the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant for just $39.99 from October 26, 2012, to January 31, 2013; finally, users with older OS can get a Windows 8 Pro upgrade DVD for just $69.99 in retail or online stores.

Unfortunately for the software giant, from hundreds of millions of Windows users on the planet, only four million were enthusiasts enough to upgrade to the new Windows 8 in the first three days after the launch. By contrast, Apple, which has dramatically smaller customer base compared to Microsoft, managed to sell three million Mac OS X “Mountain Lion” upgrades (which only work on Macs released in 2008 or later) in four days.

The world’s largest developer of software claims that those, who buy Windows 8 upgrades today are mostly enthusiasts. Nonetheless, the company has already sold tens of millions of copies to corporate customers, who plan to eventually upgrade to Windows 8.

“The level of embrace from enthusiasts, from people who want to get out there is very, very high. And those are all individual users buying a copy or stores stocking shelves for what they see is the demand. We have sold, additionally, tens of millions of units to our corporate customers who can upgrade when they want to, but have no time pressure to do that anytime soon.