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Microsoft: 40 Million Windows 8 Licenses

If developers are looking for a reason to create apps for Windows 8, Microsoft gave them another one today, when the company announced that it's sold 40 million licenses for its newest operating system.

Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc spread the word on the Windows blog, stating that Tami Reller detailed the numbers at the Credit Suisse 2012 Annual Technology Conference.

That 40 million number, of course, doesn't represent the number of users using Windows 8; it typically includes the licenses bought by Microsoft's army of OEM partners, who are loading it onto their hardware. Still, it's a big, big number, especially for an OS that still has the new-car smell. That translates into a user base, which translates into potential customers for Windows 8 applications. That would naturally spur the developer community to create those apps.

LeBlanc also stated that the number of apps in the Windows Store has doubled since its launch. He added that the Store had more apps in its store at launch "than any other app store at their launch", which sounds great until you notice that he didn't give any hard numbers on how many apps.

Estimates are available, however. The site WinAppUpdate, which tracks apps in the Windows store, said there were just over 9,000 apps in the store at launch, with about 500 being added daily. Those are the latest figures I've seen.

I reported last month that a Microsoft executive listed a goal of 100,000 Windows Store apps by Jan. 26, 90 days after Windows 8's launch. We're now about a month out, and if WinAppUpdate's numbers have remained consistent, that would mean there are approximately 25,000 apps in the store now, with two months to go. That would mean Microsoft's target is unlikely to be hit, especially since the upcoming holidays may slow down developers.

Still, if there were 50,000-plus apps in Windows Store by late January, that's an impressive number. It's also a strong ecosystem, another key factor in wooing developers.

I'll be interested in seeing when Microsoft releases Windows Store app figures; in the meantime, the combination of Windows 8 licenses and growing Windows 8 app ecosystem are good signs for developers considering the new platform.

Posted by Keith Ward on 11/28/2012 at 1:15 PM


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