updated 08:20 am EST, Thu March 4, 2010
MS reveals Win 7 fastest selling OS to date
Microsoft CFO Peter Klein late yesterday revealed that it has sold 90 million copies of Windows 7 in various forms since the OS was released in late October. The figure, given at Morgan Stanley's technology conference, is an all-time high for Windows sales and represents far stronger sales than Vista achieved in a similar timeframe. The older OS managed just 40 million units in slightly over three months and declined rapidly over time.
Klein didn't provide a specific reason for the sales hike, although the increase is likely to be a combination of market size and public reaction. Despite the economic slump, the overall computer market was larger in October 2009 than in January 2007 and gave Microsoft a larger potential audience. The delay in releasing Vista as well as its poor uptake also left many still running Windows XP and thus more people ready to upgrade than usual, either through the OS alone or through a new PC.
The contrast between the critical reception of Vista and Windows 7 has also likely played a strong role. The previous OS had relatively little pre-release enthusiasm and quickly developed a negative reputation as early customers discovered poor hardware and software compatibility as well as sluggish performance on some systems and intrusive security measures like User Account Control. Despite tackling most of the issues, customers avoided the OS in large enough numbers that PC builders like Dell have continued offering Windows XP on some systems to this day.
Windows 7 by contrast has an extensive amount of support and runs faster than its predecessor, especially on low-end hardware. Much of the user interface is also now more visibly improved and reduces the presence of frequently cited annoyances like UAC.