“How well has Windows 8 performed?” is what Microsoft followers have been waiting to learn from the company’s quarterly earnings report. But, much to their disappointment, the statistics speak about the overall Windows division, and there’s hardly anything specific to Windows 8. The main highlight of the report is that the Windows division “outperformed the overall x86 PC market”, generating around $5.9 billion revenue.
As regards Windows 8, Microsoft said that 60 million units were sold in Q4 2012, a statement that we’ve already heard weeks ago. Well, 60 million is rather big number, especially in the light of the fact that PC sales fell by 6.4 percent in Q4 2012 relative to Q4 2011, as per an IDC report. And, no other tech product has generated such a huge sales volume. Apple’s iPhone sales – about 48 million units – during the same quarter didn’t seem that big either.
The bulk of the revenue upswing can be attributed to retail upgrades, sales of Surface RT and the higher volume of enterprise license sales. These three together accounted for 40 percent revenue growth compared to last year. The price of Surface RT tablet is much higher than that of a PC. And, sales of Enterprise editions account for at least 10 percent of the revenue boost. The $5.9 billion revenue from the Windows division was said to represent a 24 percent increase compared to Q4 2011, but it’s only 11 percent after tweaking for results of early sales of Windows 8 and upgrade offers.
Most analysts observe that the Windows 8 OS has not sparked the sensation that new editions have typically generated in the past. For example, Windows 7, when launched in 2009, brought in a 28 percent increase in revenue compared to the previous year. So, there’s little information to assess whether Windows 8 is really a success.