Microsoft has sold 100 million Windows 8 licenses in the six months since launch and hopes that the Windows Blue will further fire up interest in Windows machines in all forms.
According to Tami Reller, Microsoft Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer, Microsoft recently surpassed the 100 million licenses sold mark for Windows 8. This number includes Windows licenses that ship on a new tablet or PC, as well as upgrades to Windows 8. This is up from the 60 million license number Microsoft had provided in January. The company has also seen the number of certified devices for Windows 8 and Window RT grow to 2,400 devices, and is seeing more and more touch devices in the mix.
Commenting on the low sales of PCs in generall, Reller said that the PC was very much alive and increasingly mobile. She added that the PC was part of a much broader device market of tablets and PCs, including new convertible devices and new touch laptops, and all-in-ones.
Microsoft will be rolling out an update to Windows 8, provisionally code-named 'Windows Blue', by the end of this year, Reller said. Details of the update will be released in the next few weeks.
"Windows Blue is a codename for an update that will be available later this year, building on the bold vision set forward with Windows 8 to deliver the next generation of tablets and PCs. It will deliver the latest new innovations across an increasingly broad array of form factors of all sizes, display, battery life and performance, while creating new opportunities for our ecosystem. It will provide more options for businesses, and give consumers more options for work and play. The Windows Blue update is also an opportunity for us to respond to the customer feedback that we've been closely listening to since the launch of Windows 8 and Windows RT. From a company-wide perspective, Windows Blue is part of a broader effort to advance our devices and services for Microsoft," Reller said.
Reller did not say whether the 'Blue' update would restore the start button, but she said Microsoft would pay more attention to helping customers adapt.
"We've considered a lot of different scenarios to help traditional PC users move forward as well as making usability that much better on all devices," she said.
Reller declined to comment on whether Microsoft would make a smaller version of its own Surface tablet.