How many licenses sold would make Windows 8 a success?

So boys and girls, today I would like to ask a question. Commercially, how many licenses of Windows 8 would have to be sold to have Windows 8 be considered a commercial success?.

Based on the feedback so far, we can already say it hasn’t been a critical success.

The mixed (to be charitable) reviews of the Operating System’s UI have made it impossible to call it a critical hit.

So let’s go to numbers.

Windows Vista, sold 128 million licenses in 9 months, or 12 months, if we include the 3-month Express Upgrade cycle that enabled Microsoft to make the 2006/2007 holiday season (Vista was officially released to retail in January 2007, but was available through a coupon beginning in October 2006).

So, Vista sold just over 10 million units per month in the first year. Microsoft then announced 180 million units in August 2008 or 19/22 months after launch, which dropped the average to about 8 million units per month.

The best estimate I could find for Windows Vista had it pegged at selling 384 million licenses in (48 months * 8 million units) until it was discontinued in October of 2010.

That Operating System (Vista) was widely panned and considered a failure by most analysts and the public.

Windows 7 which is seen as wildly successful has sold about 700 million licenses by my estimates which is just below double what Vista did.

It just got me wondering what the criteria for success for Windows 8 will be.

Will it be the hard numbers? It’s not hard to see Windows 8 doing over 300 million licenses given enough time.

Will it be the exact mix of Consumer/OEM/Enterprise sales that determine whether this worked?

Quick refresher:

  • Consumer = Purchased by a consumer
  • OEM = Purchased by a hardware maker (Dell etc)
  • Enterprise = Purchased by an Organization or Business

I’m not sure what the answer to this one is – that’s where you come in.

How many licenses would Windows 8 have to sell to be considered a commercial success?

Use the comments below and tell me how many you think and why.

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