Microsoft tops 100 million Windows 8 licenses sold, promises Windows Blue update in 2013

Steve Ballmer holding a Surface

For many observers, the real story for Windows 8 was never going to be the 60 million licenses sold during the holiday rush -- it was always about the long term. The first indications of its post-launch impact are here, and show mixed results. In an interview on the company blog, Microsoft CMO/CFO Tami Reller says that it "recently" sold its 100 millionth Windows 8 license since the OS launched in October. That's a healthy figure, but sales of about 10 million units a month between its January stat update and today show adoption hasn't picked up again since the initial dropoff. The usual post-holiday lull no doubt played a part, although estimates of a much steeper drop in PC sales than usual suggest more was afoot. Microsoft doesn't see an immediate problem however, touting both brisk Windows Store adoption -- downloads of both free and paid apps surged from 100 million in January to 250 million -- and the pending arrival of more affordable convertible notebooks, touchscreen laptops and all-in-ones later this year.

Oh, and about that Windows Blue update everyone's been talking about? It's at last official. Microsoft isn't mentioning details beyond the Windows Blue codename, but it does promise that the upgrade should be available before 2013 is over. We're looking forward to that extra level of personalization already.