In its first month, Windows 7 has outsold any previous Microsoft OS launch by at least two fold, CEO Steve Ballmer said during the company’s annual shareholder meeting. He declined to offer concrete numbers.
This sales statistic includes both boxed copies on store shelves and licenses sold to PC makers for them to install on new computers.
For more specific numbers, let's turn to the retail analysts at NPD.
"Windows 7 software unit sales in the U.S. were 234 percent higher than Vista’s first few days of sales," NPD reported earlier this month. "Revenue growth wasn’t as strong though. A combination of early discounts on pre-sales and a lack of promotional activity for the Ultimate version resulted in dollar sales that were 82 percent higher than Vista."
This is great news for a company dealing with massive layoffs. But comparisons to Vista aren't a great indicator of Window 7's overall success. Vista sold 59 percent fewer copies than Windows XP, when comparing each OS's first week, according to NPD.
So, it seems the big story here is that Windows 7 outsold XP by two times. Again, good sign. However eight years have passed since XP came out. In that time, global computer sales also doubled – from about 150 million shipments in 2001 to 287.3 million units in 200, according to iSuppli.
In this context, it seems Windows 7 is doing as well as XP in its opening month, not twice as well. Either away, Microsoft has no doubt washed away the stain left by Windows Vista.
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