Microsoft has issued new figures for Windows 8 sales, claiming 100 million licenses have been sold in the six months since its launch. The firm also confirmed plans to release an update to the platform, codenamed Windows Blue.
In a posting to Microsoft's official Windows blog, chief marketing officer Tami Reller disclosed the 100 million figure, a rise from 60 million announced in January. However, she conceded that this includes sales to device makers for pre-loading the platform on new systems, as well as retail purchases and upgrades.
Reller also confirmed that an update called Windows Blue is due for release this year as part of a wider refresh of Microsoft's products and services. While Windows Blue has been alluded to by Microsoft in recent months, few concrete details have been disclosed so far.
Windows Blue will, "deliver the latest 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," Reller said.
However, she also stressed that Windows Blue is currently just a codename, and gave few details of what it will actually comprise. It will include changes in response to customer feedback, but Microsoft remains tight-lipped on whether this will include the ability to bypass the Start screen and boot straight to the legacy Desktop environment.
Some leaks of updated Windows 8 builds have already reached the web, showing changes such as resizable tiles, the ability to snap up to four open apps on screen at once. The update is also expected to provide greater access to settings from the Metro user interface, so that users have less need to dive into the legacy Desktop.
Reller also referred to reports of shrinking PC sales, claiming that the platform is still very much alive as part of a broader range of tablets and other devices.
"The PC part of the market is rapidly evolving to include new convertible devices and amazing new touch laptops, and all-in-ones. These new PCs are hitting the market now and into the back-to-school season, and they are more affordable than ever," she said.
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