updated 11:25 am EDT, Fri April 25, 2008
MS Results and Vista
Microsoft's latest quarterly report might couch a more substantial problem with the sales performance of Windows Vista, the Wall Street Journal finds in a closer examination of the results. The Windows developer fared better in absolute terms after discounting a European fine in the past quarter but has yet to explain the relatively sluggish performance of the Client division that produces Windows and Office, which grew by only four percent from 2007 to 2008 after factoring out revenue set aside last year for advance sales.
Microsoft's growth in its Windows division is also disproportionately low compared to the market as a result. Estimates by Gartner analysts have the PC hardware business growing by 12 percent, or three times Microsoft's Windows sales growth rate. The difference in expansion still leaves Microsoft in clear control but also suggests to the Journal's investigator Ben Worthen that Microsoft has been unable to foster sales of the new Windows version at the same pace as the industry.
Businesses are more likely than any to turn down Vista and newer Office updates in favor of running earlier software on newer computers, according to the report.
Microsoft initially promoted its Vista sales as evidence of a faster adoption rate, with short-term sales initially twice as quick as for XP, but has ceased making the claims aside from a revelation at the start of 2008 that it had sold 100 million copies. The latter figure accounts for just slightly over 40 percent of all PC sales in 2007 and reveals that almost 60 percent of all PCs sold last year came without Vista despite the newer platform being on sale for all but the first month of the year.
Alternative operating systems such as Linux and Mac OS X are commonly understood to have made slight inroads but are still largely eclipsed by Windows XP.