updated 02:45 pm EST, Thu February 15, 2007
Windows Sales Plummet
Microsoft's intensive promo campaign for Windows Vista may have inadvertently backfired in terms of motivating upgrades, according to the latest NPD report. First-week sales of retail copies of the OS fell a staggering 59 percent compared to the Windows XP launch of 2001, suggesting a distinct lack of interest in updating existing systems to the new software. NPD's Chris Swenson said on Thursday that the drop was due to the steeper requirements of Vista, which encouraged a 67 percent boost in PC sales but likely cannibalized boxed sales as a result.
"Consumers are getting the message that they need a more robust system to take advantage of some of the new features," the analyst said.
Moreover, about 30 percent of retail copies were for Vista Ultimate. This kept Microsoft's effective income higher despite the slowdown, Swenson wrote, though it remained to be seen whether or not the higher price of the deluxe version would help stem the losses in sales over the long term.