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Microsoft: 90 million Windows 7 copies sold since launch

updated 08:20 am EST, Thu March 4, 2010

MS reveals Win 7 fastest selling OS to date

Microsoft CFO Peter Klein late yesterday revealed that it has sold 90 million copies of Windows 7 in various forms since the OS was released in late October. The figure, given at Morgan Stanley's technology conference, is an all-time high for Windows sales and represents far stronger sales than Vista achieved in a similar timeframe. The older OS managed just 40 million units in slightly over three months and declined rapidly over time.

Klein didn't provide a specific reason for the sales hike, although the increase is likely to be a combination of market size and public reaction. Despite the economic slump, the overall computer market was larger in October 2009 than in January 2007 and gave Microsoft a larger potential audience. The delay in releasing Vista as well as its poor uptake also left many still running Windows XP and thus more people ready to upgrade than usual, either through the OS alone or through a new PC.

The contrast between the critical reception of Vista and Windows 7 has also likely played a strong role. The previous OS had relatively little pre-release enthusiasm and quickly developed a negative reputation as early customers discovered poor hardware and software compatibility as well as sluggish performance on some systems and intrusive security measures like User Account Control. Despite tackling most of the issues, customers avoided the OS in large enough numbers that PC builders like Dell have continued offering Windows XP on some systems to this day.

Windows 7 by contrast has an extensive amount of support and runs faster than its predecessor, especially on low-end hardware. Much of the user interface is also now more visibly improved and reduces the presence of frequently cited annoyances like UAC.

by MacNN Staff



  1. waawaa

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I hope Apple can keep up in the OS market, a lot of focus is going to various iGadgets an such.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    keepup -- I doubt Apple can do that.

    I've come to the realization that Apple will never grow any significant desktop OS share. The way Apple does things is just not going to help grow market share. The claims that Apple products are too expensive for the masses and corporations to ever give OSX a chance of competing against Windows are likely true. Apple is going to have to try to expand usage of OSX with iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads. Windows 7 sales are likely to kick in to high gear once the economy gets going and then it will be far out of OSX's reach.

    I'm using Windows 7 on a couple of Macs and it seems a pretty solid product. However, Windows XP is just as good for me and takes less resources.

  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not possible

    Impossible for Apple to keep up against a monopoly.

  1. ff11

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Actually the Mac has grown in market share

    They went from 9% of the US and >5% of the world market share. Not huge, but definitely significant and definitely in the right direction. Still, Windows 7 could reverse some of those gains. We will just have to wait for Apple's next move.

  1. DiabloConQueso

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple's goal

    The faulty assumption here is that one of Apple's goals is to grow their installed userbase such that they have a commanding position in the desktop OS market.

    Apple has stated that this is not one of their goals. Apple does not need to overtake or even compete with Microsoft in the sheer number of desktops running OS X (i.e., OS marketshare) in order to remain profitable, forward-thinking and successful.

    That point has been proven time and time again. Apple is profitable and growing every day, and that is related only to the fact that Macs and OS X are seeing wider adoption -- but wider adoption does not mean that they hold a higher marketshare of the OS market... Microsoft is also growing, so while the number of desktops running OS X is increasing, the percentage of those desktops is not growing as fast.

    This is normal and expected. Apple will continue to succeed and be profitable and successful even if OS X never cracks 5 or 10%. Don't confuse success or viability with OS marketshare.

    My use of OS X doesn't depend at all on how many other people are using OS X as well. OS X is OS X and Mac is Mac -- regardless of how many, how few, or what percentage of desktops/laptops run OS X.

  1. tpmchugh

    Joined: Dec 1969


    MIsleading stats

    So what if they sell millions and millions of units to enterprise. They are just used as "dumb terminals" anyway. Let them have this. They never seem to state how many units they sell to individuals. I think this number is shrinking. They are slowly, but steadily, losing the battle for the home user.

  1. waawaa

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I didnt meen keepup in market share, but in OS quality and performance.

    Be realistic, W7 and Osx aren't a world apart in quality and features, which isn't a bad thing, I rather have 2 good OS's to choise from then one depending on the job.

    Around me ( graphics production studio ) I see alot of Mac's beeing replaced with PCs, eps for the heavy duty 3D and AfterEffects machines, the frontdesk uses macs tho, a few years ago that was quite the opposite!

  1. thebiggfrogg

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Megaopolis! Zoinks!

    Gargantua Tuckus!

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Apple's goal

    Apple has stated that this is not one of their goals. Apple does not need to overtake or even compete with Microsoft in the sheer number of desktops running OS X (i.e., OS marketshare) in order to remain profitable, forward-thinking and successful.

    The problem with that thinking is that it isn't about whether you're making money. They need to keep the marketshare up in order to keep developers interested in developing for the computer.

    The big Mac crash of the 90s was caused by the cyclical "Market share drops, developers start bailing on niche apps, which causes more mac owners to go to PC, which drops the market share, which causes more developers to drop apps, etc, etc, etc". Developers are not in business to throw money down a sink hole of supporting any and all platforms because some guy in Poughkeepsie is running an OS/2 box.

    The real question is whether Apple is committed to desktop computing for the long-term, or are we going to have some special event one September where Steve Jobs comes out and tells us desktop computing is dead, thus Macs as we know them are dead. Everything Apple is switching to the iPad model!

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Ever heard of Valve, did you realize they are coming to Mac osx?

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