Adoption of Windows 8 by business users has been slow across Western Europe, analyst figures have shown, with the consumer-friendly operating system lacking wider appeal.

In the month following its launch, figures released by analysts Context show that sales of hardware using Windows 8 made up 52 percent of all Windows OS sales across the region. This meant that sales of devices to retailers and resellers were six points lower than Windows 7 during the same period following its launch in the autumn of 2009.

However, the figures highlight that the difference is even more marked when comparing the sales directly to business users.

Following the launch of the well received Windows 7, the operating system quickly accounted for almost a third of all sales to businesses, accounting for 31 percent during November 2009. In comparison, Windows 8 sales to businesses in the month after its release amounted to just 8 percent.

"We know that PC sales overall declined over the last few months and it looks like Windows 8 has so far not had the boosting effect that many in the business had been hoping for," commented Jeremy Davies, CEO and co-founder at CONTEXT.

The good news for Microsoft is that its overtly consumer focused Windows 8 'Metro' interface appears to have had more success away from business users. During November sales of Windows 8 to consumers accounted for 68 percent of purchases, compared to 65 percent for Windows 7 during the same period.

Reports on the initial success of Windows new operating system have so far been conflicting. Microsoft itself has claimed that it had sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses shortly after the release of the software, with top staff heralding the most important launch since Windows 95.

However, hardware vendors have indicated that sales of Windows 8 devices are lower than were expected on the launch, while analysts have not been optimistic of the outlook for the platform.