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It’s been about half a year since Microsoft released Windows 8, and while the OS has received mixed reviews Microsoft has sold quite a few copies. Microsoft’s Tami Reller says that more than 100 million Windows 8 licenses have been sold to date.

That doesn’t mean 100 million people pulled out their wallets and bought a boxed copy of the operating system. The figure includes new PCs that ship with Windows 8 preloaded, whether anyone buys those PCs or not. But there are still an awful lot of Windows 8 computers in the wild, even if adoption hasn’t been quite as rapid as for some earlier Windows updates.

Microsoft is also working on the first major update to Windows 8, code-named Windows Blue.

Windows 8

While Reller hasn’t provided many details about Blue, she does confirm a few things in interviews with the Windows Blog, The Verge, ZDNet, and other news organizations.

We know that Blue will be designed to work on computers with a wide range of screen sizes — including devices with screens smaller than 10 inches. We also know that the Blue update will be available for devices with ARM and X86 chips, so it’s not just an update to Windows 8, but also to Windows RT.

Reller also says that Microsoft has been listening to user feedback, and Windows Blue has been designed to take some of that into consideration.

For instance, while a key feature of Windows 8 is a new touchscreen-friendly Start Screen, many folks using the operating system on desktop or laptop computers have lamented that some of the features which make Windows 8 easier to operate with your fingertips can actually make it tougher to navigate when using a keyboard and mouse. In other words, they want the Start Button and old-school Start Menu back.

While it’s not clear if the Start Menu will return, there have been some leaks suggesting that Microsoft would at least put a Start Button back in the taskbar. Reller has neither confirmed or denied that rumor.

Personally I don’t mind the Start Screen in Windows 8. I just pin shortcuts for the apps I use more often to the taskbar and spend most of my time in desktop mode. From time to time when I need to open a different app, I hit the Windows key, start typing the name of the app, and hit return. Microsoft did a pretty good job of making the Start Screen a nearly instantaneous keyboard app launcher.

On the other hand, I have almost no need for the customizable live tiles on that screen, and I haven’t found many full-screen apps in the Windows Store that appeal to me, which is probably why I spend most of my time in desktop mode on my Windows 8 laptop.

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9 replies on “Microsoft:100 million Windows 8 licenses sold, upcoming Windows Blue designed with user feedback in mind”

  1. Pinning to the taskbar has been my workflow since Windows 7, especially with jump lists. If you can still hit a key, start typing, and find the program you’re looking for, I don’t see why people still want the Start Menu back. Almost feels like people who want the Start Button and Start Menu back are doing it wrong.

    1. The complaints about this are similar to those who use Ubuntu’s Unity launcher. When they install a new app or look for an existing one that they haven’t used before, it’s difficult to know what to type for the search.

      I’d like the Start icon in the desktop to go to the All apps screen instead of the Start screen. That’s more similar to the original Start menu function. That way I can either look for the app I want or search for it.

    2. Right. Not doing it my way is wrong. WRONG!

      After all, people don’t have different ways of doing things or different strengths or weaknesses. There’s no room for personal preference in the computer world, which is why I think everyone should have my desktop wallpaper (it’s Hello Kitty).

      There’s nothing I hate more than an idea that’s not mine. I take that back: i hate people who don’t agree with my way of doing things more than anything in the world.

      Did you know that there are no differences to how an 80 year old and an 8 year old approach things? It’s a proven fact; I asked my grandma and my granddaughter.

      Conform (to me)!

        1. Perhaps it was the guy who told him that he was using Windows wrong? Just a guess.

  2. I have Windows 8 on an Asus laptop. While the start screen is neat, I don’t find much use for it. I rather have the Windows 7 start button with menu. If I had a tablet with Windows 8 on it, it would be really cool.
    Fortunately with IBM compatible computers, one does not have to stay with Windows. One could chose alternative operating systems. Some computers come without an operating system so one can add it. Others come with Windows and one has to pay for it even though one might not ever use it. I want to try ReactOS https://www.reactos.org (it is still in developement but still worth watching). I also want to try eComStation https://www.ecomstation.com It is an updated version of IBM’s OS/2 Warp. There are others too like Linux and its varieties.

    1. ReactOS has been in development since 1998… and not even a beta release to speak of, it’s still Alpha and even the latest version of that was released over a year ago!… The developers will probably die from old age before they get to final release ;-p

    2. I always have the same feeling with Windows 8 and tablets. Try Windows 8 on a tablet and it just feels right, like this is what tablets should have done all along. It’s really cool on a tablet, but just a neat gimmick on the desktop.


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