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Windows 7 Boxed Software Sales Surpass Vista Launch, According to NPD

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Total Windows PCs Up 49 Percent Year-over Year

PORT WASHINGTON, NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 5, 2009 - Initial sales* of Microsoft’s Windows 7 boxed software surpassed those of Vista’s first few days on the U.S. market, according to leading market research company, The NPD Group. 

According to NPD’s weekly tracking service**, Windows 7 software unit sales in the U.S. were 234 percent higher than Vista’s first few days of sales. Revenue growth wasn’t as strong though.  A combination of early discounts on pre-sales and a lack of promotional activity for the Ultimate version resulted in dollar sales that were 82 percent higher than Vista.

“Microsoft’s program of early low-cost pre-sales, high visibility marketing, and aggressive deals helped make the Windows 7 software launch successful,” said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD. “In a slow environment for packaged software Windows 7 brought a large number of customers into the software aisles.”

  Top-Selling Windows 7 SKUs
(based on units week ending 10/24)
Average Selling Price
1 Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade $76
2 Windows 7 Pro Upgrade $147
3 Windows 7 Home Premium Family Pack 3 User Upgrade $149

While boxed software sales were up compared to the Vista launch, PC hardware sales had more of an uphill battle. PC sales growth was higher than any week during the high volume back-to-school third quarter, but wasn’t as strong as growth during the Vista launch.  Total Windows PCs, however, were up 49 percent in units year-over-year and were up 95 percent over the week prior to launch.  But, PC sales growth during the Vista launch was stronger, soaring 68 percent over the prior year’s sales and 170 percent over the week preceding the launch. Windows PC sales were down 6 percent compared to PC sales during the Vista launch week.

“A combination of factors impacted Windows 7 PC sales at the outset, but the trajectory of overall PC sales is very strong leading into the holiday season,” said Baker.  “Vista had a slight advantage at launch, as January traditionally has a bigger sales footprint than October.  The other hurdle Windows 7 faced was sales of PCs with older operating systems (XP and Vista) were high, making up 20 percent of sales during the Windows 7 launch, compared to just 6 percent of older operating sales during Vista’s launch week.”

For more insight about the marketing, merchandising, and retail prep behind the Windows 7 launch read Stephen’s blog post: Windows 7 Launch Starts Here http://www.npdgroupblog.com/2009/10/windows-7-launch-starts-here/.

For more insight about how all-in-one PCs are moving to capitalize on Windows 7 read DisplaySearch’s research:

*Sales are for the week of October 18 – 24, 2009 and include Windows 7 pre-sales
**NPD’s weekly tracking service point-of-sale (POS) information is derived from a subset panel of retailers that also contribute to NPD’s projected monthly POS panel.


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