Microsoft Says Vista Sales Strong

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2007-03-26 Print this article Print

Updated: More than 20 million copies of Windows Vista were sold globally in February 2007, the first month of sales since its widespread consumer release.

More than 20 million copies of Windows Vista were sold globally in February 2007, the first month of sales since its widespread consumer release. That is significantly more than the 17 million copies of Windows XP that were sold in the first two months following its release in October 2001, Kevin Kutz, a director in Microsofts Windows client group, told eWEEK in an interview on March 26.
"These sales figures reflect global sales from retail, PC manufacturers and the Express Upgrade program, and indicate that we are on track to more than double the initial pace of sales for Windows XP, and for Vista to become the fastest adopted version of Windows ever," he said.
Read more of eWEEKs recent interview with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer here. While Kutz declined to break down the numbers by region or even for each of the six Vista editions, he did say that sales were strong across the globe and that many of Vistas sales came through people buying new PCs. "Sales of the premium editions were also strong," he added. These sales figures were compiled by Microsoft based on sales reports from its retail and PC manufacturers over the period, as well as from the Express Upgrade program. But Microsoft-Watch is reporting that the numbers just do not add up. "By every reasonable measure — PCs and retail boxed sales — Microsofts numbers simply do not add up to the 20 million figure in one month," it says. However, some Microsoft hardware partners, such as Dell, are seeing strong interest in the premium versions of Vista. "Since the launch of Windows Vista, Dell consumer customers have overwhelmingly chosen premium versions of the operating system that enable them to have a richer experience with music, video, photography and other computing applications they choose," Neil Hand, the vice president of Dells Consumer Product Group, said in a statement. Microsoft is expected to disclose more regional and version sales details when it releases its quarterly financial figures in late April. Some analysts have said that the new anti-piracy and validation tools that Microsoft is shipping with Vista and Longhorn Server will help ensure there will be little corporate uptake of these operating systems in 2007. Kutz did acknowledge that, historically, there tended to be a rush of sales immediately after a products launch, which varied according to the time of year. Click here to read more about how there has been no enterprise rush to Microsofts newest products. "Its worth noting that with XP, which we launched in late October in advance of the holiday season, those figures captured some of the holiday rush, so you really have to go back to Windows 95, launched in August, to make a like-for-like comparison in terms of scale," he said. "But generally, you do see a concentration of sales right after release and then things return to normal and you tend to track more with overall forecasting for PC sales, generally speaking," Kutz said. Research firm Gartner said recently that it expects worldwide PC shipments to grow 10.5 percent to a total of 255.7 million units this year, with revenue slated to grow 4.6 percent to $213.7 billion. Gartner expects Vista to have little effect on PC sales in 2007. Click here to read more. While Microsoft had no details to share on what adoption had been like in the first month following the business launch of Vista to volume license customers on Nov. 30, Kutz said there has been "really good enthusiasm from major customers and we feel pretty good about current sales as far as business adoption is concerned." Microsoft decided to make these figures available in response to robust interest in what consumer demand has been like for Vista and to give a fresh comparison to XP, he said. Asked if early strong sales momentum has continued into March, Kutz would only say that Microsoft still remained pleased with the way sales were going. Click here to read more about why half of the average business PCs in North America are unable to meet the minimum requirements for Vista. With regard to sales of Office 2007 over the same period, Kutz said Microsoft was not disclosing any sales figures, adding that "the folk at Office are pleased right now with the initial response." Editors Note: This story was updated to include information from Microsoft-Watch. Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.
Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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