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How are new users interacting with Windows 8 and using its new features? It’s a key question given all the changes in the operating system, and today Microsoft provided the first detailed glimpse of the early usage patterns.

The data was released as Microsoft disclosed Windows 8 sales figures for the first month since the operating system’s debut, announcing that 40 million licenses had been sold to businesses and consumers.

Speaking at a Credit Suisse technology conference, Windows executive Tami Reller also shared some of the telemetry data that Microsoft has collected from Windows 8 users who opt-in to share information about their usage with the company.

Here are some of the stats provided by the company.

  • More than 90 percent of customers use the charms like Search and Share on the first day of use.
  • More than 85 percent launch the desktop, and half visit the Windows Store on the first day.
  • On average, customers add 19 tiles in week one, with more than 25% of customers adding 30 or more within days.

The numbers do suggest some level of comfort with the new Windows 8 interface among early adopters, which is notable given the red flags raised by people such as me about the degree of change brought on by Windows 8.

Of course, those are all the favorable data, and we’re not seeing a full-blown statistical report here. Also, early adopters as a rule would tend to be more comfortable with the new operating system than many of the people who will be getting it on new computers from here on out, like it or not.

However, given all the changes, the fact that a large portion of people are even finding the “charms” and adding tiles is a good sign for Windows 8.

By the way, the same type of telemetry data contributed to the company’s decision to axe the Start button, after Microsoft found that many people were using the desktop taskbar to launch apps, rather than finding them through the Start button.

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