If Windows 8 upgrades sales are in the comparative range of Mac Lion upgrades then Microsoft has a problem. Put simply, the number of PCs is a large multiple of the number of Macs. So when Ballmer tells attendees at Build that there have been 4 million copies of Windows 8 sold in the three days since launch you need to understand that it’s not a good figure. By comparison, Apple reported that in the 4 days following availability of Mountain Lion it sold 3m upgrades. Ok so it’s an extra day and there are extra sales so presuming that the next day of sales was in line with initial sales you’re still at around 5m sales in 4 days relative to Apples 3m sales in 4 days. They shouldn’t be on the same page based on the number of PC users. Also, Microsoft spent a lot on marketing. The one place the marketing falls pathetically short is in saying that you can download it for $40 right now. I don’t see that on any of their ads and for me, that’s a huge selling point.
I also want to be clear that Mountain Lion is $20 relative to Windows 8’s $40 online/$70 in store but still, the number of computers capable of receiving the respective upgrades are not on the same page so sales shouldn’t be either.
Bottom line is that they have work to do. I’d expect sales to be strong as more people use and see the OS in action and the ads for PCs that show the OS in action are generally great. If this were a sprint, I’d say they lost. They need to run this like a marathon and keep demand high through the holidays.