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Windows 7 retail sales 234% higher than for Vista

updated 06:45 pm EST, Thu November 5, 2009

NPD says Win 7 units soar, cash modest

The NPD Group today revealed that initial Windows 7 sales were more than twice as strong as for Vista. Although declining to provide the number of copies estimated sold, the researchers note that boxed, retail unit sales of the new OS were 234 percent higher in the first few days than the 2007 release. The jump is credited to both to steep pre-order discounts, strong marketing and similar approaches that helped ship a large number of initial copies.

Simultaneously, though, that same discounting is also understood to have hurt Microsoft's revenue potential. The spike in units didn't translate into as sharp a revenue boost and led to a comparatively modest 82 percent increase in revenue versus what Vista achieved three years prior. Pre-order discounts dropped the average selling price of a Windows 7 Home Premium upgrade from its official $120 price down to $76. Windows 7 Professional's average asking price dropped from $200 to $147, while only the Home Premium Family Pack was left virtually unchanged at $149.

The distinct lack of heavy promotion for Windows 7 Ultimate compared to Vista Ultimate has also damaged Microsoft's maximum growth, NPD says. Compared to the older release, 7 Ultimate has fewer added features and is meant primarily as an equivalent to the Enterprise edition for the home.

Analysts at the group back estimates of a PC sales spike the week of Windows 7's release and say that sales were up 49 percent compared to late October 2008 as well as up 95 percent versus the previous week. However, they caution that Vista's influence was proportionately much higher and saw sales surge 68 percent and 170 percent respectively; absolute PC numbers during launch week actually decreased 6 percent compared to Vista.

The system units also aren't wholly representative of Windows 7 sales as a full fifth of Windows PCs came with XP or Vista during the launch where only 6 percent of PCs during the Vista launch came with a previous version. Netbooks, many of which still come preloaded with Windows XP, are likely to be the cause of the gap.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Roehlstation

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Microsoft Strategy

    Release mediocre c*** every other OS release to make the more usable OSes seem so much better.

  1. mytdave

    Joined: Dec 1969


    well, yea

    Well of course. Sales are way up because Win 7 sucks less. It's certainly not perfect, but it's much better than what typical Wintel customers have seen in nearly a decade. Of course they're going to be buying.

    And again Apple underestimates Microsoft. Apple is years ahead is a number of things including design and many software and hardware technologies, but as usual they're years behind in taking the market seriously. The time to intensely, aggressively, market the Mac platform with today's hard hitting ads was 3-4 years ago when the Windows platform was a complete mess. It's not so messy now, and the opportunity has passed.

    Like it or not Win 7 will be successful, and it will probably be "good enough" to stem the tide of 'defections' from Windows.

  1. nowwhatareyoulookingat

    Joined: Dec 1969



    how high would they be if you could still buy Windows XP at retail? This is just a case of people who purchased a system pre-loaded with Vista (because Microsoft artificially prevented people from buying computers from retailers with XP since Vista was released). And Vista was a crappy OS compared with XP. Win7 is essentially Vista SP3, only Microsoft decided to charge for it to up their revenue numbers.

  1. mytdave

    Joined: Dec 1969


    sure, yet...

    I know many individuals who are current XP users, who skipped Vista, but are now going to buy Win7. This is more than just new PC purchasers who get Win7 included. While I agree that some sales would be lost to XP if it was still available at retail, I don't think it would be much. Win7 is not terrible like other past Windows releases. So far, other than the demanding hardware requirements, it is proving to be better, albeit quite different, than XP. I do think that one thing contributing to the high sales numbers are people now wiling to buy that new PC (which will include Win7) as opposed to before when Vista was the standard install.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: but

    how high would they be if you could still buy Windows XP at retail?

    Just as high, since it wouldn't be like people would be lining up any particular day to buy XP.

    But the only reason people would even be able of using XP is what you all decry as the cause of MS's crappy OS: backward compatibility. XP would run on a PC you buy today because it isn't designed to break on newer hardware, nor are the newer PCs designed to not work with older OSes, just because they're older.

    Apple has it so much easier. They just release new computers that must run the new OS. Sorry, no support for Leopard on the new iMac.

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