Good luck finding such physical evidence in this debate.

Windows 8’s sales are worse than Windows 7’s were at the same time in its lifecycle—unless they’re higher. They’re also apparently worse than internal Microsoft estimates. But what those estimates are is anyone’s guess. Truth is, we don’t really know and we won’t for some time. But combine the new operating system with the continuing conjecture over former Windows Division president Steven Sinofsky’s departure, and you’ve got some great headlines.

The first mutterings about poor sales came in the aftermath of Sinofsky’s demise, with incredulity that he’d be let go so soon after Windows 8’s launch unless sales were catastrophic. Bad sales are plausible, too, after reviews of Windows 8 were decidedly mixed. The operating system, at best, seemed deeply polarizing.

Surprisingly, the first talk of sales numbers was positive: the Register reported the results in Europe were, according to channel analyst Context, actually quite good. Sales in the two weeks up to and including the October 26 launch of Windows 8 were up 7.8 percent year-on-year, and about a quarter of these machines shipped with Windows 8. Windows 7 was only installed on 17.1 percent of machines sold in the equivalent time period around its launch. Context also noted that in spite of fears to the contrary, there wasn’t a glut of unsold Windows 7 inventory clogging the channel. In a sluggish European computer market still suffering the effects of the global downturn, that’s a pretty healthy performance.

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via Ars Technica » Technology Lab