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The software giant Microsoft Corp. has revealed that the company has sold 40 million copies of Microsoft Windows Vista operating system throughout the world. While the number seems large, it represents just about one third of the whole market of personal computers in the two most recent quarters. Nevertheless, the penetration of Windows Vista seems to be significant.

“What has happened in the last 100 days has been beyond our expectations. As of last week, we’ve had nearly 40 million copies sold, and so that’s twice as fast as the adoption of Windows XP, the last major release that we’ve had,” said Bill Gates, chairman and co-founder of Microsoft Corp., at the annual WinHEC conference.

Microsoft officially launched Windows Vista operating systems for business customers in late November, 2006, which essentially means that some copies of the operating systems (OSs) were sold for revenue earlier than that. The new OS was released for general public in late January, generating the bulk of revenue for Microsoft in Q1 and Q2 2007.

According to IDC market research agency, there were about 65.5 million computers sold in the Q4 2006 and approximately 58.9 million supplied in Q1 2007. Meanwhile, according to Gartner market tracker, there were about 32.7 million personal computers shipped in Q1 2002, which indicates that in five years time shipments of computers during seasonally weak first quarter increased by 80%. Meanwhile, according to Mr. Gates, shipments of Windows Vista, the bulk of which commenced in weak Q1, compared to Windows XP, which started to ship in seasonally strong Q4, grew 100%. Nevertheless, it should be kept in mind that large business customers are unlikely to migrate to Windows Vista operating system until service pack 1 emerges amid having, just like customers among 40 million Windows Vista install base, free upgrade coupons.

“If you think about that, that says that in our first five weeks we’ve matched the entire installed base of any other provider of similar software. So just in five weeks we’ve gotten out to those levels. And the reaction has been very strong,” added Mr. Gates, who was referring to the first 100 of days passed since the start of Microsoft Windows Vista sales to the retail customer.

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