From The Emperor Has No Clothes File: Microsoft’s Vista sales claims don’t add up

Apple Store“Microsoft’s claim of 20 million Vista licenses sold simply doesn’t add up when trying to assess who realistically bought them in the time frame—’in the opening month’—stated in today’s press release,” Joe Wilcox reports for eWeek’s Microsoft Watch.

“Further, the press release claims that ‘Windows Vista made a splash in its debut,'” Wilcox reports.

Wilcox asks, “What kind of Kool-Aid are they drinking up there in Redmond? Who spiked the Windows Vista-logo soda cans?”

“‘Clearly there haven’t been 20 million PCs sold worldwide since Jan. 30, and we’re really only talking about February,’ said Stephen Baker, NPD’s vice president of industry analysis,” Wilcox reports. “License sales are good public relations fodder, but they’re real world merits stop there. By every reasonable measure—PCs and retail boxed sales—Microsoft’s numbers don’t add up with the 20 million figure in one month.”

“The company used the 20 million in-one-month figure compared to 17 million Windows XP licenses in two-and-a-half months to bolster its Vista gangbusters sales claim,” Wilcox reports. “Just like vulnerability alerts aren’t a good measure of Vista security, number of licenses sold is no way to reckon the operating system’s sales success.”

The number’s meaning collapses for three simple reasons:
• Microsoft’s sales period for the license sales is significantly longer than 30 days—more like four months.
• License sales into the channel do not correspond to actual Vista PC sales out of the channel.
• The numbers don’t match up with real world PC sales volumes.

Wilcox reports, “By my accounting, Vista is actually off to a slower start than Windows XP, using real world comparisons.”

Wilcox looks at the numbers in depth in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: In years past, Microsoft would have been lauded for terrific sales, no questions asked. Stock those mutual funds with MSFT, boys, and keep furtively wiping those drives and reinstalling those OSes every six months, wink wink! Not so today, as more and more people are seeing what’s always been blatantly obvious to so many of us Mac users: The Emperor Has No Clothes. No wonder Gates and Ballmer are so unhinged in interviews lately: even places called “Microsoft Watch” can see it now.

Related articles:
Gartner analyst: Microsoft’s Windows Vista sales ‘aren’t all that great’ – March 26, 2007
Wired: Distinct sea change in people’s perceptions of Apple: Macs will save you money – March 20, 2007
$399 for Windows Vista Ultimate?! (Hint: Get a Mac) – August 29, 2006


  1. I am with you, razor. I have been reading this blog fervently, especially the articles that discuss why Apple is building an Exchange competitor.

    Read how CALs make Windows servers cost companies XXX times the amount of an OS X server. Employees on Exchange need one for Windows Active Directory, and one for Exchange server. Apple servers come with unlimited licensing, so no Client Access Licenses.

    Read more at peeps. You’ve drank the kool-aid. Now eat the facts.


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