About those 100 million Windows 8 sales

Gene Steinberg:

Microsoft earns most of its keep selling software licenses to OEMs, who bundle Windows with a new PC, any PC. So, yes, I suppose it’s possible that Microsoft has booked 100 million sales into its ledgers. But that doesn’t mean that 100 million copies of Windows 8, or anything close to that number, are in the hands of end users. It may also be true that there are tens of millions of unsold PCs in the channel. But that doesn’t matter to Microsoft, since a sale is a sale even if nobody is actually using the product.

That puts a whole different spin on things.

  • Gedachtnis

    When Vista first shipped Microsoft decided to count Windows XP sales (driven mostly by Netbooks) as “Vista downgrades” so they could artificially boost the Vista sales numbers.

    Microsoft selling licenses to OEMs means fuck all in terms of real world usage.

  • I don’t know all the intricacies of the Microsoft Windows & OEM deals, but PC OEMs should start to negotiate with Microsoft to only pay for OS licenses for devices that are sold through the consumers.

    It seems as though PC OEMs pay Microsoft for OS installs on machines that sit on store shelves that possibly never be sold through to consumers, but are then get returned to the OEM by the retailers.

    When OEM’s get returned products, does Microsoft not charge for the licensing fee of that device? I bet not.

    • Dennis Madrid

      It’s certainly a sucky situation for the PC OEMs, but unfortunately they don’t have a position from which to negotiate. Microsoft basically says “If you want to use Windows, here are the rules.” and the OEMs agree because there is no marketable alternative.

  • dtj

    Warehouses full of OEM Windows 8 install disks line M$’s pockets, but seriously damages the ecosystem surrounding system software. Think of the irreparable hard to ISV relations when they go and spend tons of resources updating their software products to use groovy Win8 stuff and nobody shows up to buy the new stuff.

  • Wall Street loves channel-stuffers.

  • Also: You could get a Windows 8 upgrade for 30€ in every computer store in Europe, much cheaper than the usual 80€ they were charging for the System Builder edition (that anyone can buy here, not just OEMs) – but which nobody of the regular crowd knows of.

    And: Hasn’t the total number of PCs increased since the release of Windows 7?

    Even if they had really sold the same number of Windows 8 copies, the percentage of people upgrading would be lower, because the total number of PCs is now higher than three years ago.

  • Vaibhav Patle

    A sale is a sale is a sale. Once Microsoft sells it, it’s in their ledger. Not difficult to understand, is it?

    • kibbles

      you missed the point, smartypants.

    • JDSoCal

      That’s not how Apple counts sales.

    • It’s not much of a sale if it ultimately has to be returned or destroyed to make room in a distributor’s warehouse. Stuffing the channel by forcing your partners to essentially store idle inventory for you is predatory.

    • CPA01

      Not really. First, OEM sales are often at 1/5 to 1/3 of the retail price. Second, if OEMs are sitting on millions of unsold computers with unsold licenses, that is hardly supportive of the claim that Windows 8 is being adopted.

      Sure it’s revenue to them, but it’s hardly what they are claiming.

      And if OEMs get burned badly, they’ll stop ordering as many licenses for future Windows releases. And that is very bad for MS.

  • Every laptop going thru our shop for a specific set of govt projects comes with a Windows 8 license that allows a “downgrade” to Windows 7. Not a single laptop leaves our shop to be used by a customer with Windows 8 actually installed.

  • JDSoCal

    I set up my sister’s Dell PC, a Christmas gift from my parents, last December. First thing I did was pull off Windows 8 at her request and put on 7. But it counts as a sale of 8.