Windows 7 sales top Vista by 234 per cent

Windows 7 Boxes

Sales of boxed copies of Microsoft's new operating system Windows 7 have topped those of its predecessor Vista, but hardware sales slid, according to analyst firm NPD Group.

While the success of the well-reviewed Windows 7 over the much-maligned Vista is hardly a surprise, the difference between the first few days of sales for the two operating systems is stark. Windows 7 outsold Vista by 234 per cent in the US alone, the analyst firm said.

The sales success will be a happy boost to Microsoft's bottom line, which just cut 800 more jobs, but NPD stressed the revenue jump isn't quite on par with the number of copies sold.

Because of sharp discounts on pre-orders and a failure to push the higher-end Ultimate version, Windows 7 made 82 per cent more cash for Microsoft than Vista did in the first days after launch.

"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 statement. "In a slow environment for packaged software, Windows 7 brought a large number of customers into the software aisles."

Hardware sales

While copies of the software were up significantly from Vista's launch, NPD noted hardware sales were "more of an uphill battle."

The week that Windows 7 launched had the strongest sales growth of any week in the third quarter, but the growth didn't manage to top the Vista.

The number of Windows PCs sold during Windows 7 launch week jumped 49 per cent year-on-year and leaped 95 per cent from the week before. When Vista launched, PC sales were up 68 per cent year-on-year, and 170 per cent from the week before.

"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 per cent of sales during the Windows 7 launch, compared to just six per cent of older operating sales during Vista's launch week," he added.

Read on to find out how Windows 7 stacks up against Vista.