CES 2013: Microsoft records 60 million in Windows 8 licence sales

Microsoft this week at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show announced that it has sold 60 million Windows 8 licences to date.

The number jumped from the 40 million sold by the end of November after just one month on the market.

Windows CFO Tami Reller revealed the number on Tuesday, 8 January, clarifying that cumulative sales of Windows 8 include both upgrades and sales to original equipment manufacturers for new devices — a similar sales trajectory to that of its predecessor, Windows 7.

Despite the Redmond-homed firm's rosy outlook, the company may not be making as much of an impact as it says. In late November, NPD claimed that the 40 million Windows 8 licences sold were doing little to boost laptop and tablet sales. Computer makers also reported relatively sluggish sales of Windows 8 products in the weeks following the operating system's October launch.

The company does have some things to boast about, though, including the more than 1,700 systems it has certified for Windows 8 and Windows RT. Also, its Windows Store application centre has quadrupled the number of available apps since opening early last year, according to Microsoft. The store also recently celebrated passing the 100 million app download mark.

Focused on more than showing off new hardware on the CES 2013 floor in Las Vegas, Microsoft also announced Tuesday improved sharing and new HTML5 features for SkyDrive.com.

With the new integrated view of sharing permissions, users can see a variety of ways to share an item, as well as change the kind of access people have to it.

Additionally, touch-based devices now offer a swiping action to select one or more items, similar to the interactions on a new Windows 8 PC. Microsoft also added the ability to move files to anywhere in the hierarchy of SkyDrive by using the bread crumb bar.

"Finally, we're also releasing a number of improvements under the hood which won't be visible to you, but are designed to make SkyDrive.com even faster and more reliable," Omar Shahine, SkyDrive.com group program manager, said.

"All of these features are releasing [Tuesday] and should be available in your SkyDrive soon."