Windows 8 sales are rubbish -

While Microsoft has claimed that it has sold more than 40 million Windows 8 licences in the month since launching, a new report suggests that figure is garbage.

Beancounters at research firm NPD say that this figure is not helping sales of actual Windows devices, which are down 21 percent from last year.

It said that desktop sales dropped nine percent over the last year and notebooks fell 24 percent.

Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD, said that after just four weeks on the market, it's still early to place blame on Windows 8 for the ongoing weakness in the PC market.

Things could get better during the holiday selling season but it is starting to look like Windows 8 did not prove to be the impetus for a sales turnaround some had hoped for.

More than 58 percent of Windows devices sold in the last month are running Windows 8. However Windows 7 had a figure of 83 percent of devices four weeks after launch.

Tablets running the operating system represent a mere one percent of sales to date, which means that Microsoft's hopes to do well in that market are also looking dashed.

To make matters worse, the average selling price of a Windows machine has also jumped "significantly" this year, in the firm's estimation, from $433 to $477.

This could be due in part to touch-screen laptops, which are more expensive. However, increased prices are never a good idea during a recession.

In the long term, Baker thought the move to touch-screens will pay off, particularly as that is the area where Windows 8 truly shines.

He said that these products accounted for six percent of Windows 8 notebook sales at an average price of $867, helping to re-establish a premium segment to the Windows consumer notebook market.