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40M Vista Licenses in 100 Days 579

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the allright-who-did-it dept.
Gary writes "In the first 100 days since its launch in Jan 30 Windows Vista has sold an astounding 40 million licenses. Bill Gates gives the credit to accelerating consumer shift to digital lifestyles which has made it the fastest selling operating system in history. Surprisingly the more expensive premium editions accounted for 78 percent of Vista sales. With around 400,000 licenses a day new Vista users will take 8 weeks to beat Mac users, 4 days to exceed Mac sales and 3 days to exceed Linux desktop users."
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40M Vista Licenses in 100 Days

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  • Hmm.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mockylock (1087585) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @11:19AM (#19145783) Homepage
    In other news... China sells 40 million of it's OWN copies.
    • by Gary W. Longsine (124661) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @11:32AM (#19146059) Homepage Journal
      Possible replies are gushing forth...
      • Beat them at what? Solitaire?
      • Beat them with what? A stick!?
      • ... beat Mac users at number of hosted spambots in 8 seconds.
    • Re:Hmm.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Idbar (1034346) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @11:33AM (#19146089)
      Can't RTFA (since appear to be /.'d), but I just wonder, how many of these licenses were sold to Dell, Toshiba, HP, etc...
      And since there are no more XP, well...
      • Re:Hmm.. (Score:5, Funny)

        by dna_(c)(tm)(r) (618003) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @11:46AM (#19146305)
        Can't RTFA (since appear to be /.'d), but I just wonder, how many of these licenses were sold to Dell, Toshiba, HP, etc... And since there are no more XP, well...

        Apparently, they sell even more licenses than Debian, Gentoo and Ubuntu together. Wohoo! Amazing.

        Maybe it's just the longest overdue OS release ever. "...4 days to exceed Mac sales and 3 days to exceed Linux desktop users", more like 6 years and 4 or 3 days.

      • by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @02:01PM (#19148405)
        Microsoft doesn't reveal consumer and retail sales of Windows licenses, only license sales to OEMs. They did the same for Windows XP. Microsoft doesn't want people to know that retail sales are down 60% from Windows XP and that Vista demand is so low, Dell has reinstated XP as an option on its machines.

        As for "beating" Mac numbers, Britney Spears also sells more CDs in a year than Mozart concerts do. If that's the kind of victory that Microsoft fanboys want to trumpet, go ahead. Meanwhile, Vista is a flop.
        • by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @02:03PM (#19148445)
          I forgot to mention this. Microsoft refuses to give out the figures for Vista's WGA activation. That would give a good estimate of the actual number of users running Vista. I know Microsoft enthusiasts are absolutely desperate to spin any positive press for the Vista debacle, but it just doesn't fly with people anymore.
        • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @05:47PM (#19152037) Journal
          How many of those licenses are due to people buying a new Dell and deciding to go with Vista, rather than purchasing XP retail?

          I mean, yes, they are forcing it on us as best they can, and there are still enough people who don't like it that Dell is giving us XP again. I really don't see a better time for Dell to ship Ubuntu, either. My recommendation to many people is: "Vista is likely to piss you off at least as much as Ubuntu is while you're learning it, and while people are rushing to release Vista-compatible versions of everything. If you're so determined to put yourself through the pain of a new OS, you may as well install Ubuntu (or Kubuntu), so that at least the next time around, you won't be paying for an upgrade."
    • by abscondment (672321) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @11:34AM (#19146097) Homepage
      ... 95% of the world's lemmings have jumped off a cliff.
    • Re:Hmm.. (Score:5, Funny)

      by Pharmboy (216950) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @12:38PM (#19147163) Journal
      In other news... China sells 40 million of it's OWN copies.

      Correction:

      In other news... China sells 40 million of it's OWN copy.
  • hmm (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pak9rabid (1011935) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @11:20AM (#19145793)
    Ah, looks like another game of 'defer the revenues from a more successful quarter to a less successful quarter'. Didn't yall get in trouble w/the SEC for doing that?
  • by danbert8 (1024253) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @11:20AM (#19145797)
    I'm betting they included "free upgrade to vista" offers for copies of XP sold for the year prior to vista. But how many of these people have actually claimed their free upgrade copy?
    • by EvilGrin666 (457869) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @11:22AM (#19145835) Homepage
      I know a couple that have. However most of them have subsequently given up on Vista and reinstalled XP.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by grub (11606)

        I know a couple that have. However most of them have subsequently given up on Vista and reinstalled XP.

        Most of a couple?
        Anyhow, I love Gates' insinuation of "if you aren't using Vista, you're trapped in some pre-digital lifestyle limbo."

    • That's what I'm asking.

      It's important to remember that most of Microsoft's Windows sales are to OEM and corporate customers, not directly to end-users via retail or online sales.
    • by Red Flayer (890720) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @11:31AM (#19146039) Journal

      I'm betting they included "free upgrade to vista" offers for copies of XP sold for the year prior to vista.
      Nope. They cannot state those as current-period sales, and for Gates to publically announce that they were would be grounds for FTC action. I'm sure he cleared the statement through Legal, so I'd be willing to bet those aren't included.

      If he had said that 40 million licenses were issued, that would be a different story... but he said sold.
      • A Clarification (Score:5, Informative)

        by Red Flayer (890720) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @11:48AM (#19146351) Journal
        Hey,
        The "free" upgrades cannot be stated as sales. The discount coupons sold can be stated as sales this year -- and they were. Total deferred licensing (Vista + Office 2007) was around 1.64 Bn for Qtr 1 2007.
      • by value_added (719364) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @11:56AM (#19146501)
        Nope. They cannot state those as current-period sales, and for Gates to publically announce that they were would be grounds for FTC action. I'm sure he cleared the statement through Legal, so I'd be willing to bet those aren't included.

        I strongly doubt whether Gates needs to check with the folks in Legal when the folks in Accounting will do just fine.

        And since neither you nor I works in that area, we'll have to defer to someone more qualified or at least informed to comment as to how the sales were booked and the rationale used. In the interim, lets enjoy the wild speculation, trusting in the notion that there's a grain of truth to all rumours.
    • by Skrynesaver (994435) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @11:37AM (#19146169) Homepage
      AS there were 238 Million PCs sold last year, we could take a rough calculation of 20M PCs sold per month, thus in the first ~= 4 months Vista shipped -20M copies, including pre-existing vouchers !!
      • Indeed (Score:5, Insightful)

        by DrYak (748999) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @12:15PM (#19146805) Homepage
        If you read the TFA carefully, you notice that they speak about "Vista license sold".
        Not "Vista License currently used to run the OS" or "machine currently running Vista in the wild".

        Almost any of my non-Linux-using friends that I know to have recently changed their computer, got it with Vista pre-installed by default and had to either go through the "can I swap it for a Windows XP if I send you the media ?" procedure with the machine manufacturer or dig out one of their one "Win XP Pirate edition".

        They are counted as "sold License". They don't run Vista any more.
        So my interpretation of the data is :

        40 * 10^6: Number of time Microsoft *sold Vista* (pre-installed on some machine at a time when the manufacturer didn't propose alternate OS)
        4 : Number of users currently running Vista (and still waiting for their legal WinXP install media that they claimed from the manufacturer to come in their mailboxes).

    • by goombah99 (560566) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @11:57AM (#19146519)
      something like 150 million computers are sold every year. (it was 130million in 2004). And so 100 days is 27% of a year. 27% of 150 million is 41 million computers. Presumably 95% of these are Windows and sold with vista either pre-installed or a coupon for vista (which MS would count in their sold total).



      So not only are the stats utterly unsuprising, but when you consider that the biggest surges in computer sales happen in the vicinity of christmass then 40 million copies of vista is severley lagging what one would have expected just from new computer sales alone.

      It's interesting to note that the large fraction of pro-edition sales. This suggests IT department purchases or pro-user purchases. These are the early adopter crowd. Logically, this early adopter crowd is a one time surge.

      Thus the the 40 million is under-following the general trend in New PC sales. Infact there's negative growth since something is offsetting the expected plus up in the early purchase rate one expected from early adopters and christmass sales. The logical conlcusions is twofold
      1) corporate fleets are not adopting it or are otherwise delaying new computer purchases.
      2) essentially NO ONE besides the early adopters experts is buying this to replace XP on existing machines.

      Since Vista is supposedly harder to pirate than XP it wold seem that this can't be blamed on piracy either.

      in short 40M/100 days is absysmal.

  • Still doesn't say (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zappepcs (820751) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @11:20AM (#19145805) Journal
    who these licenses are being sold to. If half of them were sold to only two OEMs, its not saying much really. If even half of them were bought off the shelf at Best Buy or other stores, that would say something. So, exactly who is buying these licenses?
    • Re:Still doesn't say (Score:4, Interesting)

      by justkarl (775856) * on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @11:23AM (#19145863) Homepage
      There's another catch. Since Vista's inception, my company has bought several hundred Dell boxes(with Vista preloaded). However, we don't use Vista, we still use XP because we don't trust Vista with our network...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jellomizer (103300) *
      There are many ways to inflate those values.
      First the fact that Vista Is on most new PCs sold today. So what are the sales of PC's Sold starting Jan 31, 2007.
      Next are these sales considered sales to stores So Best Buy Buys 100 copies at its store and they sit on the shelf for weeks. The Free Vista Upgrade from XP deal. Corprate Licenenses, they buy the new versions but takes years for them to install them. Sales doesn't always equate to user base. But still what do you expect. 95% of the market sells comp
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @11:21AM (#19145821)

    40M Vista Licenses in 100 Days
    Hmmm, my Roman Numerals are a bit rusty but 40 * 1000 = 40,000 licenses!

    That's way more than I'd ever expect! Congratulations, Gates! You must be proud that your employees each own a copy!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by eln (21727)
      Actually, that would mean only about 56% of his employees own a copy of Vista (they had 71,172 employees as of June 30, 2006). Poor Microsoft: First, Steve Ballmer can't even GIVE a Zune to his 80 year old uncle, and now they can't even get all of their employees to pony up for Vista.
  • Waiting for it... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by M-Saunders (706738) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @11:21AM (#19145825)
    I hate Microsoft as much as the next man, but I'll be entertained to see how some Slashdotters twist this into being "bad for Microsoft" or something. Every other day I see some comment like "The end is here for Microsoft" or "It's all over for MS" or some such nonsense. Let's see:

    1) Record profits in the last year
    2) Fastest-selling OS in history

    It's only getting better for them, isn't it? We need another way to fight them...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by danbert8 (1024253)

      I'll be entertained to see how some Slashdotters twist this into being "bad for Microsoft" or something.

      Be entertained and enjoy these options:
      (1) I think MS was counting copies of XP in this count. People just ASSUMED OSs sold equalled Vista.
      (2) Microsoft was actually hacked to change the number.
      (3) This was actually the sales dollars, not the number of licenses sold!
      (4) That's horse crap, my grandmother could sell a billion copies of Vista with her eyes closed, and she runs LINUX!!! OMG I PWNED YOU!!11!

    • by Richard Steiner (1585) <rsteiner@visi.com> on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @11:35AM (#19146119) Homepage Journal
      Record-setting profits are easy when the profit margin is 80%+, and selling quickly is easy when each new PC sold has a copy of your product bundled with it.

      That removes things like production costs and consumer choice from the equation. :-)

      We already fought them in court, and won. It's hard to gain much ground, however, when some elements of the government seems to be in bed with the company which is violating anti-trust laws...
  • how many of those numbers just came on the pre-built PC, and how many were from people who actively went out and purchased vista?
  • i'd like to see if they guess-timated / inflated the enterprise licenses number....

    A: "let's see here....2000 companies with an enterprise license....let's count them at 10,000 individual ones"
    B: "brilliant"
  • Greetings (Score:2, Funny)

    by Rovastar (822365)
    I, for one, welcome our new OS overlords. ... ... Oh its Microsoft.
  • ... but you do have to remember MS gave away Vista upgrade vouchers to folk buying XP through Q4 last year. I wonder how many of these 40M licenses are really XP purchasers claiming their Vista disks?

    Anyway, if the claim is true MS must be breathing a sigh of relief, given all the "no one wants to upgrade to Vista" talk on the internet. (Of course, we heard the same during the 9x/2k->XP and NT->2k transition as well). Still, if you're a user with existing hardware and files, hold off upgrading! It's t
    • by Kythe (4779)
      I wonder how many of these 40M licenses are really XP purchasers claiming their Vista disks?

      ...or PC's coming with Vista pre-installed (some of which were subsequently upgraded to XP, etc., etc.).

      The figure I'm really interested in is the one I haven't seen: How many standalone copies of Vista have been sold since the official release date? A lesser figure would be the actual installed number of Vista copies in use right now (admittedly, a little tough to get ahold of).

      Frankly, if they haven't published t
  • Article (Score:5, Informative)

    by loconet (415875) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @11:24AM (#19145883) Homepage
    Since the original link seems to have been /.'ed, here is the Reuters story [reuters.com] on it.
  • "With around 400,000 licenses a day new Vista users will take 8 weeks to beat Mac users, 4 days to exceed Mac sales and 3 days to exceed Linux desktop users.." .. and a lifetime to remove the scar from those 40M users.. there are somethings that money cant buy, for everything else, there is MS
  • by MillionthMonkey (240664) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @11:24AM (#19145895)
    There are 170212.766 Vista users for each Microsoft patent being violated by free software.
  • Fastest? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Applekid (993327) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @11:25AM (#19145911)
    "Fastest-selling OS in history"

    That wouldn't have anything to do with having more computers in the world NOW versus, you know, any other point in history?

    In other news, the world's human population is the highest it's ever been in history.
  • "Bill Gates gives the credit to accelerating consumer shift"

    Yeah, because when my neighbor down the street calls Dell to order a new desktop, the first thing on his mind other than "how the hell do I plug it in" is a demand for Vista and his digital shift. Let's see how many systems we're sold where people actually demanded Vista over XP and clearly understood the selection. The bank down the street from me still has windows 98 desktops on their desks! Digital shift my ass...
  • by Red Flayer (890720) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @11:26AM (#19145949) Journal

    With around 400,000 licenses a day new Vista users will take 8 weeks to beat Mac users, 4 days to exceed Mac sales and 3 days to exceed Linux desktop users."
    Sorry, sales/day is not a constant. MS sold 20 million Vista licenses in the first 30 days (according to MS). 70 days to sell another 20 million...

    Two data points are not enough to extrapolate a curve, but I'd guess that sales as a function of time is a logarithmic curve (based on early adopters) plus a near-constant (based on replacement cycles).
  • by simm1701 (835424) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @11:28AM (#19145979)
    How many of these were bulk licensing deals with companies that basically let them run whatever OS was the latest?
    How many of these businesses actually have moved their production systems onto vista?

    How many of these were OEMs?
    How many of those which were OEM have been reinstalled with XP (pirate or otherwise)

    How many were free upgrade with XP systems?
    How many of those used the upgrade and are still running vista now?
  • by supersnail (106701) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @11:29AM (#19145995)
    For all practical purposes you must buy a Wondows OS when you by a PC.
    (Geeks can manage it but try getting a cool VIAO or ACER which isnt preloaded with Vista!)

    The interesting statistics would be how may PCs sold with Vista have been back-graded to XP?

    Judging by the various blogs etc. this would seem to be the only way to get your shiny
    new box to run as fast as the old one.
    Google "Vista The long goodbye" Results 1 - 10 of about 907,000

    So thats 5% of Vista users hacked off about just one of the Vista bugs enough to blog or cry for help.

  • I'm not suprised. I know a pretty large amount of people that have upgraded to Vista, and many others who plan to. As many problems as it has it's actually a pretty solid OS, and if you don't plan on gaming, then it's got some really nice features.
  • by Bullfish (858648) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @11:31AM (#19146029)
    The true tale of Vista will be in about 18 months (from release). I know for myself, I wouldn't touch Vista until the early adopters suffer the bugs inherent in any new MS release and MS fixes them, Ditto for all the missing drivers for hardware. After this time next year Vista will have ripened and be ready for prime time and we'll get an idea of what it can really do that makes a it worthwhile upgrade over XP. If it doesn't have any advantages by then, penetration will be largely limited to newly bought PC's and MS will have to do a rethink. If it does improve and become useful, then MS will continue on as it always has, and while some may not like that, remember that no one changes a successful behaviour. For them, it has been successful, like it or not.
  • 40 million sold according to Microsoft.

    In other news, my "jump off a cliff onto a rusty spike" (JOACOARS) extreme sport has taken off - now enjoyed by tens of thousands! So many people think it's great that you're bound to enjoy it too - roll up, roll up!
  • by Kythe (4779) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @11:40AM (#19146221)
    ...just how many copies of AOL are in circulation. Surely, the fact that it's included with just about every new PC proves AOL is a stellar success.
  • Pulling an Epstein? (Score:3, Informative)

    by soft_guy (534437) * on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @11:41AM (#19146231)
    When the beatles first record was released, their manager reportedly bought 10,000 copies so that it would make it into the charts. I wonder how many copies of Vista were purchased by Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer.
  • by QuietLagoon (813062) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @11:43AM (#19146267)
    Trying to make a failed product launch look like a success.

    Fortunately, there are articles [theinquirer.net] that take a more rational view of how many copies of Vista are actually being sold.

    The headline is simple, 40 million copies sold. Wow, we rox0rz! This is twice as fast as the XP adoption rate. What he didn't mention is that sales of PCs have more than doubled since XP came out. Silly Vole, no statistical cookie. The problem? Well, PCs sell at about 60 million units a quarter, and everyone we talk to expects sales of around 240-245 million units in 2007. Vista went on sale at the end of November for corporate customers, and one would expect a fair chunk of sales there from pent-up demand.

  • by thestudio_bob (894258) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @12:09PM (#19146727)

    Vista has sold an astounding 40 million licenses...

    Accept or Deny?

  • by geoff lane (93738) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @12:57PM (#19147495)
    Someone elsewhere pointed out that since Vista was released there have been approximately 50 million PCs sold. So, selling 40 million Vista licenses isn't that great.
  • by GuyverDH (232921) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @01:54PM (#19148327)
    Remember, every PC sold by most of the major vendors include a license (regardless of the OS eventually used on it)... What would be more important is the numbers of unique activations.... Where's that number? 4,000? 40,000? 400,000? Let's see that number (with the info to back it up)... Otherwise this is just optimistic marketing drivel.
  • Our little story (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ducomputergeek (595742) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @02:16PM (#19148615)
    Two months ago I was working as a consultant with a Durable Medical Equipement company. It's a small business, 7 employees and about a 800k in sales a year. Their computer system and software was still running on DOS. (at least server end) and as they were going for new accredidation they realized the old software just wasn't going to make the requirements. The software company was still in business and we chatted with their support team a couple times and they expressly told us "THIS SOFTWARE WILL NOT WORK WITH VISTA". This was back in January. They liked dealing with Dell. I'm a Mac guy myself, but in these kind of situations, one is stuck with the option of windows...or windows. They were a small business and about half their sales is through public aid. Anyone dealing with the government knows that you'll get your money....eventually. They were waiting for a payment to come in before they had the extra cash to purchase the server, two new workstations, and software. In total it was about $15,000. ($10,000 of that being the software). They didn't get their check until March. By then Dell wasn't selling anything but Vista on their machines and the software vendor hated dealing with HP (so much so that they simply don't.) I don't do service contracts. I simply provide advice acting more like a CTO to small businesses helping them sort through the FUD and answer any questions...and tell them when the sales people are full of *#$&#. Personally I told them to go with DELL because they were the only ones I knew would still be around in five years to offer support. But what was the install options on the new workstations? Well Vista and um....vista. So we ended up buying the entire system through Gateway. Not my first choice for several reasons, but they still offered PC's with XP pre-installed. Install went without a hitch and we sent the old box out to the company's lab to recover all 20 years worth of records and it was the first time I have ever done a major system port without loosing a single record. Frankly that was one of the smoothest transitions on that end. But still Dell was doing their same old game of "Only the latest Operating system from MS." and that cost them a sale. I got a lot of calls from businesses asking, "Do I need Vista?" With the chances that some of their software won't run, my answer was (and still is) no. Stick with XP at least for another year. You don't buy an MS OS until Service Pack 1 is released. It's just like my true mac head friends that want to preorder the iPhone today or purchased an AppleTV. There is no way in hell I'm buying the first generation of anything Apple. (That being said, I've been using a Mac Mini with LCD TV since it has a DVI plug in for almost a year now). I've been cut enough times, that I stay behind the bleeding edge these days.
  • by vinn01 (178295) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @04:15PM (#19150603)

    I bet a lot of those licenses went to corporate OEM purchases.

    We brought a shit load of Dell computers that came with Vista licenses. Microsoft got their money from Dell. All those purchases are on the Microsoft accounting books.

    Then we imaged the new PCs with the the corporate XP license.

    Number of Vista purchases: lots
    Number of computers running Vista: 0
    Ability to buy a Dell system for corporate use without any OS license: pipe dream

  • by Arimus (198136) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @06:11PM (#19152379)
    Okay,

    Of the 40m licences how many are licences which came with a new PC?

    Of the ones supplied with a new PC to firms how many firms left Vista on rather than reverting to XP?

    Of the remainder how many still have an MS OS on them (we recently had about 10 PC's for a client supplied with vista, they left with Linux on them - I know we could have got them barebones pc's but they wanted a named (not dell) brand)?

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.

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