In the face of mounting criticisms and sluggish PC sales, Microsoft continues to insist that its gamble on the radically redesigned Windows 8 operating system is paying off, if slowly.
Tami Reller, the Windows division’s chief marketing officer and chief financial officer, said in a blog post on Tuesday that Microsoft has sold 100 million licenses for Windows 8, up from 60 million sold by January. The new operating system launched in October.
The new operating system failed to provide the boost to PC sales many in the industry had hoped to see, causing critics to label Windows 8 a disappointment. In the blog post, Reller insisted that measuring the progress of Windows 8 by just looking at PC sales was a mistake since the new operating system was designed for both mobile and desktop computing.
“The PC is also part of a much broader device market of tablets and PCs,” Reller says. “Windows 8 was built to fully participate in this broader and increasingly mobile device market.”
Reller has said previously that the company expects Windows 8 sales to accelerate as more partners introduce more devices with touch screens aimed at desktops, laptops and tablets. Because Windows 8 is optimized for touch screens, its tile-based interface can be less appealing as an upgrade for people using older PCs and laptops.
Acknowledging some of the criticism, Reller confirmed that the company is working on an update called “Windows Blue.” While Reller doesn’t discuss details, there have been rumors that the update will allow users to boot directly to the classic version of the Windows desktop with the start button.
“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,” Reller says in the post.