SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Microsoft believes the latest version of its Windows operating system is off to a great start, but it's going to take more than that to prove the revamped software will win over enough people to revive the slumping personal computer market.
About 40 million licenses to Windows 8 were sold in its first month on the market, according to figures that Microsoft released in conjunction with the company's annual shareholder meeting held near its Redmond, Wash., headquarters.
While that number may look impressive, it's difficult to know what it means without more insights into how many Windows 8 devices have been sold in stores, said technology industry analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy. That's because PC manufacturers pay for most Windows 8 machines, leaving it unclear how many have been purchased by consumers, companies and government agencies.
Microsoft didn't provide further details beyond saying that Windows 8 is being embraced by a list of companies that include Johnson & Johnson, British Telecom and Bank of America Corp.
The initial reception to Windows 8 appears to be "good, but not great," Moorhead said. "Is this going to be enough to turn around the PC market? No."
Another analyst, Rick Sherlund of Nomura Securities, said he thinks it's going to take longer than he initially expected for Windows 8 to make a significant difference in a computing market that is moving away from desktop and laptop PCs and tilting toward smartphones and tablet computers.
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