Microsoft Windows Vista: 40 million sold?

Apple StoreBill Gates yesterday told the WinHEC audience that Microsoft had sold close to 40 million copies of Vista.

“The sales number, for the operating system’s first 100 days of broad availability, represents license sales into the channel. However, the number of Vista PCs sold is probably much less,” Joe Wilcox reports for Microsoft Watch.

“The 40 million number has a much more credible ring than Microsoft’s April proclamation of 20 million licenses sold in 30 days. The 20 million figure included coupons Microsoft offered for Vista PCs sold during the holidays,” Wilcox reports.

“The second 20 million is the first real indication of how well Windows Vista is selling. Because of the coupon program, the time period associated with the first 20 million license sales was longer than 30 days; more like four months. In addition, Microsoft offered two separate licenses—for Windows XP and Vista—for each PC sold during the coupon period,” Wilcox reports.

Wilcox reports, “Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis for NPD, said that the 40 million figure ‘certainly seems plausible.’ Doing some quick shipment calculations, based on one-third of year sales, he figured Vista sales to be in the ’35 to 37 million range with 3 to 5 million in the channel.'”

“”Sold’ does not equal ‘deployed,” said Al Gillen, IDC’s research vice president of system software. ‘If you went out and tried to find the portion of that 40 million that went into businesses, you will find a lot of the machines have been downgraded to Windows XP, which is perfectly legit,'” Wilcox reports.

“The sales figure is through last week, which means about 20 million Vista licenses sold in about two months—from March 1 to early May,” Wilcox reports.

Wilcox reports, “Analyst projections for the current quarter are encouraging, but the real crunch will come in June. If OEMs and retailers start heavy discounting or quarterly PC shipments come up short, there will be a sign of much unsold Vista inventory.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Again, mix up some communal reinforcement, a heaping helping of the bandwagon effect, and some nice warm groupthink and what do you get? Microsoft Windows’ market share.


  1. I dislike M$ and Doze, but articles like this don’t mean much. OK, M$’s sales are, for now, slow. So what? Because of the tremendous business penetration of Doze, all it means is that it’ll take 6 months longer for Doze to out sell more than 5 years worth of OS X.

    It’d be great if we were talking a complete implosion for Vista, but all the Apple boosterism in the world doesn’t change the fact that Vista will be on probably 500,000,000 more computers than OS X three years from now.

    The important thing is for OS X to continue the great run it’s having now. Maybe in a few years the ratio will be reversed, but anybody that thinks a POS Vista means the end of M$’s domination is kidding themselves.

  2. No matter how bad Vista is, because MS has a lock on the PC market, they are going to sell(?) a ton of product. The only way OSX will make a dent in Vista sales is for Apple to license OSX to PC manufacturers. I know Apple fanboys would explode if this happened, but the idea of business is to make money. I do not believe this would negatively impact Mac hardware sales, in fact, I think it would probably be a big boost for Mac sales.

  3. So how many of these were licences people with corporate programs got automatically, ie if 20 million corporate seats were under a valid upgrade program then they all count as sold, even if Microsoft did not get any money for them.

    I think activations is a good way to count this

  4. C1: “Could the good Mr. Gates tell us how many copies have been ACTIVATED? Should be easy to get that number and brag about it.

    If it’s anything to brag about.”

    Since this was at a shareholder meeting, and I’m pretty sure there was a question and answer section as there pretty much always is at shareholder meetings..


    Don’t people who have money invested in Microsoft want to know this kind of stuff?

    What the hell is wrong with these people?


    More important than whatever other boneheaded junk they asked instead.

    Well I guess it doesn’t take a lot of IQ to invest in Microsoft since the stock has been going NOWHERE for like.. what.. 5? 6 years?

  5. Oh all the people i know, about 2 are running vista, other bought systems with XP and got a coupon but have yet to switch. Many say Not till a major service pack. Well that is understandable, i mean it is M$, so you expect it. I have Vista, purchase to train on since I am in the IT field. But loaded it once with bootcamp, and never again, i didnt even activate it. 30 days passed and i deleted it from the HD. But what does this really mean for M$ nothing much, just that XP is selling as it was before and they still are making money.

  6. Chant from MS headquarters:
    “We’re number one!”
    “We’re number one!”
    “We’re number one!”
    —- wait, what do you mean that this is not the line for the best and most popular operating system????

    “Actually you are number one, in the line for ——-“
    —- Insert your own words here.

    — “Line for companies going straight to He-l.”
    —” Line for the worst product sold to the most people ever!”


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