A report from NPD Group indicates that sales of Windows 7 boxed software exceeded those of Windows Vista during the respective operating systems' first days of release, although the research company suggests that low-cost presales may have lowered Microsoft's gross revenue from Windows 7 immediately following the launch. A separate report from Net Applications indicates that Windows 7 is being rapidly adopted by the overall PC market, although its gross market share remains low.
can take heart from a new report, issued on Nov. 5 by research company NPD
Group, suggesting that U.S.
sales of Windows 7 boxed software have exceeded those of Windows Vista in the
corresponding time period.
Specifically, NPD Group cites 234 percent higher sales for Windows 7 during
the two operating systems' respective first days of release.
"Microsoft's program of early low-cost presales, high-visibility marketing
and aggressive deals helped make the Windows 7 software launch
successful," Stephen Baker, an analyst at NPD Group, said in a statement
accompanying the figures. "In a slow environment for packaged software,
Windows 7 brought a large number of customers into the software aisles."
But those low-cost presales, paired with steep discounts to certain market
segments, may have weighed down Microsoft's gross revenue from the Windows 7
release, which was 82 percent higher than for Vista.
During the week ending on Oct. 24, the top-selling version of Windows 7 was the
Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade, with an average retail price of $76.
The Windows 7 rollout also sparked a short-term rise in PC sales, which were
up 95 percent over the week prior to the release. However, that was weaker than
the 170-percent bump in PC sales that accompanied the Vista
"Vista had a slight advantage at launch, as
January traditionally has a bigger sales footprint than October," Baker
said in his statement. "The other hurdle Windows 7 faced was sales of PCs
with older operating systems (XP and Vista) were high, making up 20 percent of
sales during the Windows 7 launch, compared to just 6 percent of older
operating sales during Vista's launch week."
As reported in the Wall Street
Journal on Nov. 5, Microsoft CEO Steve
Ballmer told a press event in Tokyo
that sales of Windows 7, which launched in New York
on Oct. 22, had been "fantastic."
A recent report by statistics company Net Applications suggested that Windows
7's share of the overall PC market was on the rise, surpassing 3 percent by
Nov. 1-a gain of 84 percent since the release date. According to Net
Applications, Microsoft's various operating systems hold about 92.52 percent of
the market, with that number representing a slight decline from 93.06 percent
In order to counter its declining revenue trend throughout 2009, Microsoft
has been pulling out all stops to promote Windows 7. In addition to online and
traditional advertising, Redmond
has been pushing discounts for the operating system, frequently in conjunction
with its PC manufacturing partners.
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.