Software // Enterprise Applications
02:26 PM

Vista Launch Week Sales Less Than Windows XP

An NPD Group report suggests Microsoft's gamble on its new operating system will help keep dollar volumes from dipping faster than the number of shrink-wrapped boxes sold.

Retailers sold less than half as many shrink-wrapped packages of Vista than Windows XP, and reaped almost a third less revenue, in comparing the launch weeks of both Microsoft operating systems, a research firm said Thursday.

The drop in revenue came despite a 65.5 % increase in the average selling price of Vista compared with XP, The NPD Group said. The avarage selling price for Vista was $207.13.

During Vista's launch week at the end of January, retailers sold nearly 59 % fewer units than XP in 2001, and took in 32 % fewer dollars, the research firm said. More than 30 % of the unit sales, however, were for the Ultimate version of Vista.

"Although total dollars were down compared to XP, I think the preliminary data shows that Microsoft's gamble on a new high-end Vista SKU will help keep dollar volumes from declining as rapidly as unit volumes in the near term," NPD analyst Chris Swenson said in an e-mail.

A spokesperson for Microsoft was not immediately available to validate NPD's sales figures.

Sales of Vista-sporting PCs fared much better during the launch week, NPD reported. Sales were up 67 % over the same period in 2006. Although a portion of those sales could be attributed to people who would have bought computers sooner, but decided to wait for Vista, the increase still reflected a fair amount of growth, Swenson said.

"The preliminary data suggests that consumers are getting the message that they need a more robust system to take advantage of some of the new features in Vista, and thus a relatively smaller number are opting to upgrade older machines with the new OS themselves," Swenson said.

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