Report: Windows 8 Off to a Slower Start than Windows 7

With so many conflicting reports on the state of Windows 8, it's difficult to get a grip on exactly where it stands in the grand scheme of things at this early stage. For example, Microsoft just the other day proudly proclaimed that it's sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses during its first month of availability. Not too shabby, but now StatCounter is saying that Windows 8 is off to a slower start than Windows 7 when examining Internet usage share.

According to StatCounter, Windows 8 took 1.77 percent Internet usage in the U.S. one month after launch, compared to 5.21 percent for Windows 7 when it first debuted.

Windows 7 Desktop

"Microsoft has reported license sales of 40 million for Windows 8, however this has not yet translated into significant usage figures. This may be due to sales to manufacturers rather than to end users so Windows 8 may well get a boost over the December holiday buying season," commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter.

In yet another report, The NPD Group said earlier this week that the Windows 8 launch has done little to boost PC sales. In fact, Windows sales have actually fallen 21 percent year-over-year since the new OS debuted on October 26.

What does it all mean? Not a whole lot of anything, at this point. Early metrics are interesting, but not enough time has elapsed to truly gauge the impact of Windows 8. It's especially difficult at this point because we're caught in a transition period where more and more users are jumping on the tablet bandwagon, where iOS (iPad) and Android (Nexus 7, Kindle Fire) are the top options.