Apparently that includes all the licenses 'sold' to PC manufacturers as well, which believe me, will be an awful lot. Now, whether those PC's have actually sold to consumers is another matter (I think not). The key information, is how many copies of Windows 8 desktop are actually in use, and how many are using the 'downgrade' option to go back to Windows 7 once they realize it's a turkey. If you buy a new PC now, you're likely to get 8 by default, but can easily scrub it and install 7 instead,
Based on the internal MS sales reports, actual sales are not good at all, so if MS can shout loudly about shipping 40m licenses, claiming it's selling better than 7 did in the same timeframe, then you bet they will. They need to tell people something after all, as keeping quiet is not a good sign.
I've just read a scathing report by a UI specialist, who pretty much says that 8 (specifically the 'modern UI') fails in most respects to provide a consistent, easy to use UI. It wouldn't surprise me if MS are frantically working on a mid-term upgrade release to try and get some credibility back. 8 SP1 (or whatever it's called) may be more than just a bug-fix release!