Windows 8 has taken a lot of criticism since its release last fall, but a Microsoft executive insists that the new operating system is off to "a solid start."
Tami Reller, Microsoft's head of business and marketing for Windows, said that Windows 8 had a bit of a disadvantage in the sales area because many tablet and convertible devices running the new OS weren't available at launch.
“It’s built for a generation of new devices," said Reller. "They didn’t all come for holiday.
"We are really only just getting started. It’s a solid start.”
Last month, Microsoft bragged that it had sold 60 million Windows 8 licenses. This was great news, considering it took Windows 7 a little over three months to achieve that sales figure.
However, actual usage figures for Windows 8 are below that of Windows 7 at the same point in its release cycle and is even lower than that of Windows Vista (meaning, 60 million licenses sold doesn't equal 60 million Windows 8 devices out there).
But Reller insists that Windows 8 was made for touch devices, not just desktops -- and when more touch devices are released, Windows 8 should see a jump in sales.
Microsoft's first homemade tablet, Surface RT, hasn't seen amazing sales either. Just last week, market research firm iSuppli said Microsoft's Surface RT shipments into the channel for the fourth quarter were about 1.25 million, but sales out of the channel were only about 55-60 percent of that. This equals about 680,000-750,000 unit shipments, which is well below the 1 million mark.
Also, even though the Surface RT was released in the fourth quarter, Microsoft just missed IDC's list of top five vendors in the U.S. tablet market. Apple topped that list for the first time with its iPad.
Microsoft is releasing the Surface with Windows 8 Pro on February 9, which will feature the full version of Windows 8 instead of the Windows RT operating system (a version of Windows 8 for ARM-based tablets only).