Originally Posted by Andrew H.
Actually, statements like this from publicly held companies are pretty much the most reliable sources available, since lying about things like this leads to pretty stiff prison sentences as well as liability. Unlike a lot of white collar crimes, there are a lot of prosecutions, too.
So if MS says they've sold 40 million licenses, it is almost certainly true. Although the question of who they've sold the licenses to (consumers or OEMs) and of how many licenses were for upgrades as opposed to coming with a new laptop someone bought for christmas are relevant questions not answered by the PR. But you can count on the statement being literally true.
If they weren't true, that would count as "manipulating the stock price". Apparently the cheap upgrade did get results -- I read a lot of people did upgrade their systems. We upgraded two laptops, I am very pleased with the results.