Initial sales (week of October 18 – 24, 2009 and include Windows 7 pre-sales) of Microsoft’s Windows 7 boxed software surpassed those of Vista’s first few days on the U.S. market, according to NPD Group, a leading market research company. While the success is obvious, the actual popularity of Windows 7 could be accelerated by relatively wide negative attitude towards Windows Vista.
“Microsoft’s program of early low-cost pre-sales, high visibility marketing, and aggressive deals helped make the Windows 7 software launch successful. In a slow environment for packaged software Windows 7 brought a large number of customers into the software aisles,” said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD.
According to NPD’s weekly tracking service, Windows 7 software unit sales in the U.S. were 234%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.
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 was not as strong as growth during the Vista launch, according to NPD.
Total Windows PCs, however, were up 49% in units year-over-year and were up 95% over the week prior to launch. But, PC sales growth during the Vista launch was stronger, soaring 68% over the prior year’s sales and 170% over the week preceding the launch. Windows PC sales were down 6% 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. 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% of sales during the Windows 7 launch, compared to just 6% of older operating sales during Vista’s launch week,” explained Mr. Baker.
Top-Selling Windows 7 SKUs (based on units week ending 10/24) are the following:
- Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade with $76 ASP
- Windows 7 Pro Upgrade with $147 ASP
- Windows 7 Home Premium Family Pack 3 User Upgrade with $149 ASP