At an event to launch Windows Phone 8 last Monday, Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer stated there was strong initial demand for the just-released Windows 8 operating system.

Ballmer said the new Windows 8 was met with enthusiasm at its Friday launch. He compared Windows 8 sales numbers favorably with those of Windows 7 following its launch.

We’re seeing preliminary demand well above where we were with Windows 7, which is gratifying,” he said. “We’re seeing retailers here in the United States and hardware manufacturers enthusiastic about the response.

Ballmer refused to be specific about actual sales numbers, but cited as evidence long lines at Microsoft stores When Windows 8 went on sale the prior Friday.

The demand for touch on all-in-ones and laptops, in addition to tablets, has been really quite astounding, and certainly the lines we’ve seen at the Microsoft Stores have been heartening,” Ballmer said.

That is probably not the best measure however, as the new tablet PC – the Microsoft Surface was released at the same time.

Many waiting in line were clearly waiting to buy the Surface. Does this mean that Windows 8 is not selling robustly? No, especially given Windows 8 low purchase prices. Windows 8 Pro is going fo: as low as $14.99 in you bought Windows 7 between June 2012 and January 2103, otherwise $39.99 by online download.

$40 is an attractive price point for XP, Vista and even some Windows 7 users who want all the new features of Windows 8.

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