OPERATING SYSTEM COBBLER Microsoft has revealed that sales of its flagship Windows 8 system are significantly slower than those of its predecessor Windows 7.
Speaking at a Goldman Sachs conference, Microsoft marketing executive Tami Reller told delegates that Windows 8 has shifted 200 million licences in its first 15 months, compared to the 240 million that Windows 7 managed to sell in just one year, Reuters reported.
A lot of the problem stems from the decline of the PC market, but Windows 8 is meant as a touchscreen operating system that works across different computing hardware, and Windows' adoption level in the tablet market it still very small.
The Surface tablet hybrid that runs a slimmed down version of Windows 8 known as Windows RT has proved particularly frustrating, given its limited capacity for multitasking and lack of many of the familiar features from older versions of the Windows operating system.
With many buyers, particularly at a corporate level, opting to buy new machines and then 'downgrade' them to Windows 7, the number of active users of Windows 8 falls even farther, while Windows 7 market share is bolstered.
This month's figures from Netmarketshare show Windows 7 commanding a 48 percent share of the market, with only 11 percent of punters buying Windows 8.x.
More worrying still for Microsoft is the twelve-year-old Windows XP, which reaches end of life in April and is being sent to its grave kicking and screaming as 29 percent of users are still clinging to it for a variety of reasons ranging from compatibility issues to sheer sentimentality.
Meanwhile as Microsoft continues to backpedal furiously, it's expected to release a major update to Windows 8.1 in April, which will bring many of the classic Windows motifs back in an attempt to lure back some customers. µ