Ballmer touts early Windows 8 adoption

The pundits may be harping on the allegedly lukewarm response to Windows 8, but Microsoft doesn't sound unhappy. As PC World reports, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took to the stage at the BUILD conference today to boast about Windows 8 adoption since the October 26 launch:

"In just the last three days, we have sold 4 million Windows 8 upgrades," Ballmer said Tuesday at the conference in Redmond, Wash. "The level of embrace from enthusiasts is very, very high."

Ballmer noted that Microsoft has also sold "tens of millions" of corporate licenses for Windows 8 as well. Organizations "can upgrade when they want to but have no time pressure to do that anytime soon," he said.

Ballmer also characterized enthusiasm for Windows 8 PCs as "remarkable," and he went on to predict that "hundreds of millions of Windows systems [will be] sold in the next year." (Presumably, each of those systems will have a Windows 8 or Windows RT license.)

To be fair, however, four million licenses in three days might not be that impressive for a Windows OS launch. Back in July, Apple announced that downloads of OS X Mountain Lion had "exceeded three million" within just four days of release, which isn't too far off—but we all know Apple has a much smaller share of the PC market than Microsoft.

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