Not too long ago Microsoft was bragging that it had sold 100 million licenses for Windows 8. While the software giant was happy to say how many licenses that have sold, it's not offering any details on exactly how many of those licenses have been activated and how many copies of Windows 8 are in use. This is a question analytics firm Moor Insights & Strategy recently tackled.
Analyst Patrick Moorhead stated, "The challenge is figuring out what that 100m licenses sold actually means. It doesn't mean that there are that many devices out the door."
According to the analytics firm, copies of Windows 8 sold to OEMs make up the bulk of the 100 million licenses sold. However, the 100 million mark excludes copies of Windows 8 sold to the enterprises as part of the volume licensing agreement.
Moorhead estimates that only 59 million Windows 8 devices are actually in use. That means that a little less than half of all of those 100 million licenses sold that Microsoft likes to brag about our sitting in a warehouse somewhere unused.
"How many Windows 8 PCs have sold and are being used?" asked Moorhead, arguing that that was a more accurate representation. "No specific news from Microsoft [on that] is bad news, because if it was good news, Microsoft would be shouting it at the top of their lungs. Instead, Microsoft is thinking they don't want to be persecuted over the number, so they're not saying anything."
Since Microsoft won’t offer specific numbers on how many computers have been activated running Windows 8, the estimate was based on data collected from analytics firm Net Applications.
Windows 8 currently accounts for 4.2% of all Windows PCs according to data collected by the company. The entire Windows ecosystem consists of 1.4 billion machines meaning that 58.6 million are likely to use Windows 8.