to have gotten off to a tepid start. Technology reviews have panned the software as too confusing and cumbersome to navigate, and none of the hundreds of devices running on Windows 8 emerged as a breakout hit during the holiday season.
A big chunk of Microsoft's Windows revenue in the holiday-season quarter came from sales that were made before the new operating system's release. Excluding revenue that had been deferred from previous quarter, Windows revenue increased 11 percent from the same period in 2011.
The Surface also hasn't been able to mount a significant challenge to Apple Inc.'s trend-setting iPad, Amazon.com Inc.'s Kindle Fire, Samsung Electronics Co.'s Galaxy or Google Inc.'s Nexus devices.
Reiterating information released earlier this month, Microsoft said it has licensed more than 60 million copies of Windows 8. That puts the redesigned system on the same early sales trajectory as its predecessor, Windows 7, after it came out in 2009. It's unclear how many of the devices that have licensed Windows 8 are still sitting on store shelves.
Gillis said Windows 8 is Microsoft's attempt to solve a disruption in the market that's taking place because of tablets.
“It's too early to declare it a success or a failure,'' he said.
“The sentiment on the PC market is just too negative,'' Gillis added, referring to the death knells that have been ringing through much of the technology industry during the past year. “Yes, there are disruptions going on but we still sell close to a million PCs a day.''