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Microsoft’s Windows 8 pushes past 200 million sales milestone

Microsoft’s latest operating system – which witnessed a bold move to attempt to tie phones, tablets and desktop PCs more closely together – has just exceeded 200 million licenses sold.

The software giant has been keeping progress reports on its brave new OS rather close to its chest, though it did declare 100 million sales after six months.

But now, The Verge reports that the 200 million mark has been passed, according to Microsoft’s executive VP of marketing Tami Reller, who was talking at a Goldman Sachs technology conference. She said: “We’ve surpassed 200 million licenses now on Windows 8, which is pretty stunning.”

That is, of course, slower than Windows 7 managed to spread itself, as the previous OS hit 240 million licenses in its first year – and Windows 8 has now had 15 months (just over) on the market. In fairness, the PC market has taken a considerable downturn since the days of Windows 7 – but Microsoft has caught plenty of flak over Windows 8 and its insistence on pushing towards touchscreens.

There have been some fervent complaints from entrenched traditional mouse-and-keyboard desktop users, and what they see as a messy meshing of Desktop and Metro (new-style) interfaces.

That’s something Microsoft has looked to remedy with Windows 8.1, though, reintroducing elements such as the Start button and the ability to boot straight to the Desktop without having to see the Metro start screen.

Further moves to mollify complainers are likely to come with the update to Windows 8.1, which could make booting to the Desktop the default option.

From our perspective, the moaning does seem rather overblown. Having used Windows 8 for some time now, we’re happy living on the Desktop, and the only niggle is the occasional jarring instance of being thrown out to a Metro app suddenly.

Microsoft is at least reacting to feedback, and Windows could gain more momentum as Redmond looks towards pushing Windows 9 out in relatively short order.