You know who we haven’t talked about in a long time? Microsoft. They don’t really have a major search engine or a smartphone that everybody’s buying so they must be irrele…Oh, wait, no, they’ve sold 4 million units of Windows 8. Since Friday.
It’s easy to forget that the vast majority of PCs sold and still in operation run on some form of Windows, but Microsoft dropped a big fat reminder right in everybody’s face yesterday at the BUILD Conference that they run every year that, yeah, they’re still kind of a big deal, even if pricing did have to reflect the new tech reality a little bit:
Ballmer said yesterday that Windows 8 is selling faster than Windows 7. Of course, this is based on just a few days, and Microsoft is offering better-than-usual upgrade pricing this time around. Upgrades from previous versions of Windows to Windows 8 Pro cost only $39.99 for a downloadable copy (or $69.99 for a boxed DVD) until January 31, 2013. Additionally, people who bought Windows 7 PCs since June 2 can upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for only $14.99. By contrast, Windows 7 promotional pricing in 2009 was $49 for an upgrade to Home Premium and $99 for an upgrade to Professional.
If that weren’t quite enough, Ballmer also pointed out that on the corporate IT side, the company had sold tens of millions of units. That’s not really a big shock or anything, but it does kind of highlight that the big plans Google and Apple have to take over our lives are going to be dealing with Redmond at some point.
Probably helping is the soft sell: Microsoft isn’t dropping support for Windows 7 any time soon and so far hasn’t been leaning on its customers to upgrade to the new shiny bits. This is a rather sharp contrast to previous updates, which have generally been marketed as absolutely crucial lest your computer snap its chains and start eating your pets.
In short, at the very least your parents have bought Windows 8. Hey, at least you know what you’ll be installing come Thanksgiving.