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February 8, 2007

First Vista sales stats

Posted by David Hunter at 7:21 PM ET.

Elizabeth Montalbano at InfoWorld has the first Vista sales numbers from Current Analysis (US retail sales at Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA, Staples and Radio Shack):

Microsoft’s wish that consumers purchase the premium versions of Windows Vista rather than the most basic version of the OS may be coming true, according to the findings of a research report released Thursday.

Research from Current Analysis for the week ending Feb. 3, which covers the first five days Vista was available to U.S. retail customers, shows that sales of PCs with Vista Home Premium preinstalled comprised 70 percent of PC unit sales in the U.S. retail market, while sales of PCs with Vista Home Basic accounted for 22 percent. Windows Vista was released to consumers on Jan. 30.

However, sales of PCs with the most full-featured and expensive consumer version of Vista, Windows Vista Ultimate, were lackluster in the first week, accounting for a mere 1.2 percent of PC sales.

Actually, in the last quarter all premium versions of Windows XP came in at 67% of total sales, so if 70% is a surprise it is because it is low given that Vista Home Basic is relatively much weaker than XP Home and Vista Premium is mostly what retailers are offering preloaded. More interesting:

The release of Vista boosted overall PC sales, giving the PC market the best week it’s had in four years, Bhavnani said. PC unit retail sales increased 173 percent for the week ending Feb. 3 compared to the previous week, and were up 67 percent year over year, according to the report.

And the increase occurred at a time when retailers weren’t even promoting Vista to customers as much as they were promoting another consumer product, he said.

“Most of the retailers last week were focused on selling HDTVs because of the Super Bowl,” he said. This week, Vista has been more top of mind with retailers, so he said the strength of PC sales during Vista’s first week should be sustained over its second week of release.

Of course an early bump is pretty predictable too, but it will be interesting to see how long it lasts.

Update 2/9: Joe Wilcox digs into the Vista first week sales spike and suggests it may have been mostly pent up demand as retailers had emptied their shelves prior to the arrival of Vista machines. Todd Bishop has more.

Filed under Financial, General Business, Microsoft, OS - Client, Windows Vista

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