Shortly after Windows Vista was launched Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that sales of the Vista operating system was doing “fantastic”. Now he is saying the same again for Windows 7.
Microsoft said in early 2007 that Windows Vista sold 20 million copies in its first month, which would mean the company has sold about 40 million copies of Windows 7 since the Oct. 22 retail release.
It’s “a fantastic start,” Ballmer told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting on Friday. Microsoft floated the same claim about Windows Vista when it was released — saying it “made a splash” with more than twice the sales of Windows XP in its first month. Ultimately, of course, Windows Vista didn’t exactly set the market on fire.
Seattle based Tech Flash Tech said that a closer look at the current situation suggests that Ballmer’s positive outlook about Windows 7 might actually be justified.
For starters, the difficult economy and Windows 7’s shorter development cycle mean that the new operating system doesn’t benefit from as much underlying PC market growth as its predecessor did.
Windows Vista was released in January 2007, coming off a year when worldwide PC shipments were about 230 million — making the market 70 percent bigger than when Windows XP was released. (There were 133.5 million PC shipments in 2001 according to IDC). In contrast, between Windows Vista’s release and Windows 7’s debut, the PC market has grown by only 30 percent, with current projections for 2009 somewhere in the realm of 300 million shipments.
That smaller market growth makes it notable that Windows 7 is still selling at twice the rate of Windows Vista.
That’s not the only hurdle Windows 7 has needed to overcome in the comparison to Windows Vista. As noted previously by the Wall Street Journal, consumer PC sales are typically stronger in January than in October, which gave Windows Vista an additional edge.