Microsoft has revealed it has sold 60 million licences of its Windows 8 operating system, matching the adoption rate of Windows 7, in a move to counter critics who have been predicting low demand for the new platform.
The figure was disclosed by Tami Reller, Microsoft's Windows chief financial officer, speaking at the JP Morgan Tech Forum at the CES show in Las Vegas, and also published on Microsoft's Windows Blog.
Previously, Microsoft announced figures of 40 million licences by the end of November, just a month after the new operating system went on sale.
The current total of 60 million licences includes cumulative sales of Windows 8 to date, including both upgrades and sales to hardware vendors for deploying on new PCs, laptops and tablets, Microsoft said. It claimed this represents a similar sales trajectory to that seen with Windows 7.
However, this total is not the number of Windows 8 systems that have been deployed, merely the number of licences that have been purchased.
Many of these will be owned by vendors who need to ship them with new kit, much of which was on show at CES this week.
Towards the end of 2012, some analysts and market research firms issued reports stating that Windows 8 had not significantly boosted sales of PCs, but this could have been due to a lack of models specifically designed for Windows 8 being available for sale.
Microsoft claimed it has seen a "significant increase in the number of Windows 8 certified systems since general availability at the end of October", so it is possibly too early to judge whether Windows 8 is lagging or beating previous releases.