updated 01:35 pm EST, Tue January 8, 2008
XP on More PCs than Vista
Microsoft's now six-year-old Windows XP came with many more computers in 2007 than its Vista replacement, according to Microsoft's own statistics at its CES keynote. Though outgoing company chief executive Bill Gates touted that Vista had crossed the 100 million-unit sales mark before the end of 2007, InformationWeek notes a Gartner assessment which claims that about 255.7 million PCs will have been sold over the course of the year, leaving Vista with just 39 percent of the new PC market despite going on sale early in the year, at the end of January. With most remaining systems shipping using a variant of Windows, the statistic points to almost 60 percent of all PCs shipping with the older XP variant -- or a more than 50 percent larger number than its newer counterpart, according to Electronista calculations.
The statistic also represents further evidence of a continued slowdown for the new Microsoft OS. The company's claim represents an average of 8.3 million copies per month sold in 2007, which is lower than the 9.3 million per month recorded during the summer quarter. However, 60 million of these sales have been attributed to the common early spike in demand in the first few months and 28 million in the summer. This leaves 12 million copies sold in the last three months of the year, or just 4 million per month despite the potential for increased holiday sales, Electronista finds.
The growth rate has actually slowed versus XP, which sold 89 million copies in its first year on store shelves despite an overall PC market half as large as in 2007.
Much of the downturn in results is widely credited to a hesitance by business and home buyers to either buy an upgrade copy of the OS or replace their PC with Vista as the only choice. Notably, PC makers such as Dell were pressured by demand as early as April to restore XP as an option for their computers by customers worried about compatibility or performance. Dell and several other larger system builders continue to offer XP as an option for some systems, particularly models for the more cautious business market.