Running The Numbers On Windows Vista

Sales of boxed copies of Windows Vista continue to significantly trail those of Windows XP during its early days, according to a soon-to-be-released report. Standalone unit sales of Vista at U.S. retail stores were down 59.7 percent compared with Windows XP, during each product's first six months on store shelves, according to NPD Group. In […]

Sales of boxed copies of Windows Vista continue to significantly trail those of Windows XP during its early days, according to a soon-to-be-released report. Standalone unit sales of Vista at U.S. retail stores were down 59.7 percent compared with Windows XP, during each product's first six months on store shelves, according to NPD Group.

In terms of revenue, sales are also down, but the drop has been less steep, at 41.5 percent. The findings largely mirror the sales pattern NPD saw for Vista during its first week on the market in January. "It's just not doing well," NPD analyst Chris Swenson said of Vista's performance at retail stores, though he added that most people get their operating system on new PCs, with only a minority of customers purchasing boxed copies.

Microsoft also agreed that an analysis of boxed copy sales is not representative of Vista's momentum, noting the trend of people getting a new operating system with a new PC has further accelerated with Vista. "While we can't comment on the findings of a report we haven't seen, we continue to be on track in all segments we follow," the company said in a statement to CNET News.com. "As of this summer, more than 60 million licenses have been sold."

Microsoft noted in a regulatory filing that more than 80 percent of its Windows revenue comes from computer makers that install the operating system on new machines, with boxed copies accounting for only a fraction of total sales. And the PC market is far larger than it was five years ago. According to research firm Gartner, roughly 239 million PCs were sold worldwide last year, compared with 128 million in 2001.

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Microsoft, Windows Vista