Yesterday Microsoft announced keenly-awaited news of Windows 8 sales, saying it sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses in the first month after launch.

This is good news, given that there has been doubt expressed as to the readiness of businesses to embrace Windows 8 so soon after the very capable Windows 7 was released.

Tami Reller, Microsoft’s Chief Financial Officer and the new co-head of the Windows unit, made the announcement at an analysts’ meeting and Microsoft confirmed this later on its Windows blog.

“Windows 8 is outpacing Windows 7 in terms of upgrades,” the blog post said. “We built Windows 8 to work great on existing Windows 7 PCs. And we also set out to make upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 8 super easy.”

Microsoft had a worldwide launch of Windows 8 on October 26 with the goal of gaining market share on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Using Live Tiles, Windows 8 presents a very different user interface from the prevailing kings of the mobile marketplace, Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.

Sales numbers for of Microsoft’s new Surface tablet computer, which uses Windows 8, have still not been released.  As you might remember, it was launched at the same time as Windows 8, but has suffered from some supply chain issues and limited availability.

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