Microsoft has been rather quiet about its risky Windows 8 bet. The company passed 100 million license sales of Windows 8 after around six months, but a year on the market came and went without any real update on its progress. "We’ve surpassed 200 million licenses now on Windows 8, which is pretty stunning," says Microsoft’s Tami Reller, speaking at a Goldman Sachs technology conference today. After a year of Windows 7 sales Microsoft was celebrating more than 240 million licenses, so it’s clear Windows 8 is moving slower than its predecessor.

Microsoft's number one priority is apps

Part of the slowdown is related to the general PC market, but Microsoft’s tablets haven’t caught on as well as the company might have hoped. Tablet- and touch-optimized apps are few and far between, but Reller says it’s one of Microsoft’s top priorities. "The number one priority of our developer team is to really get those apps populated," explains Reller. "We’ve had some good success, but more to do."

Microsoft is also reacting to growing concerns over Windows 8 and its use on traditional desktop PCs. "We’re being very thoughtful about what’s going well, what’s not going well and how do we change that," says Reller. Microsoft isn’t ready to talk Windows 8.1 Update 1, but recent leaks have shown that the company is focusing on reducing the operating system’s disk usage, and adjusting its UI for mouse and keyboard users. "We will make material movement on just the footprint of the OS and what that can mean on how we can run on smaller devices," says Reller, referring to Microsoft’s future Windows plans. Microsoft is expected to ship its next Windows 8.1 update in April, as it continues to strike a balance for its millions of users.