While we occasionally hear tidbits like “the PC is dying” or “in the future, most people will be using iPads,” once in a while we see a bit of news that shows that the old x86-64 is still alive and well. According to CNET, Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer has stated that Microsoft has sold 4 million copies of Windows 8 as of today, though there’s no word yet if that includes consumer and enterprise updates, software sold to OEMSs or figures from Windows 8’s ARM based counter-part Windows RT.
On the other hand, while 4 million in 4 days may seem like a lot of downloads, Apple’s OS X 10.8 had similar sales figures of 3 million in four days during July. OS X has a comparatively smaller user-base than Windows, currently less than a sixth of Windows’ active users by Wikimedia’s estimates. The upgrades for the two operating systems are similarly priced: OS X sold for $19.99, while Windows 8 Pro sold between $14.99 and $39.99–cheaper than any previous version of Windows. So why isn’t the difference proportional? We will have a clearer picture of Windows 8’s role in the PC landscape in the coming days, as Microsoft releases more information.
Personally, I’m not surprised that the Windows 8 launch wasn’t bigger that it was. For most people, Windows seems to be a necessity, which is why older versions stick around for a bit (Windows XP is still 2nd place on most OS market share web rankings); it’s the platform on which most of our software runs. Only a select group of enthusiasts jump on the chance to get the latest version.
Did you upgrade to Windows 8, or are you waiting on the upgrade? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.