Windows 7 Sales Outperform Vista Launch

    November 6, 2009

Initial sales of Microsoft’s Windows 7 software outperformed those of Vista’s first few days on the U.S. market, according to the latest analysis from The NPD Group.

Windows 7 software unit sales in the U.S. were 234 percent higher than Vista’s first few days of sales. A combination of early discounts on pre-sales and a lack of promotional activity for the Ultimate version resulted in dollar sales that were 82 percent higher than Vista.

"Microsoft’s program of early low-cost pre-sales, high visibility marketing, and aggressive deals helped make the Windows 7 software launch successful," said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD.

"In a slow environment for packaged software Windows 7 brought a large number of customers into the software aisles."


While boxed software sales were up compared to the Vista launch, PC hardware sales ran into more of a challenge. PC sales growth was higher than any week during the high volume back-to-school third quarter, but wasn’t as strong as growth during the Vista launch.

PC sales growth during the Vista launch was stronger, increasing 68 percent over the prior year’s sales and 170 percent over the week preceding the launch. Windows PC sales were down 6 percent compared to PC sales during the Vista launch week.

"A combination of factors impacted Windows 7 PC sales at the outset, but the trajectory of overall PC sales is very strong leading into the holiday season," said Baker. 

"Vista had a slight advantage at launch, as January traditionally has a bigger sales footprint than October.  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."


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