Vista sales numbers don't add up (to much!)

Microsoft are boasting that Vista is selling twice as fast as XP did when it shipped originally.

From the Microsoft release:

Initial sales figures from Microsoft show its new operating system Windows Vista made a splash in its debut. In the first month of Windows Vista’s general availability, sales exceeded 20 million licenses, more than doubling the initial pace of sales for its predecessor, Windows XP. These initial figures reflect the broad interest in the security and usability enhancements in Windows Vista…. Windows Vista license sales after one month of availability have already exceeded the total of Windows XP license sales in the earlier product’s first two months of availability. In January 2002, the company announced sales of Windows XP licenses had exceeded 17 million after two months on the market.

The more than 20 million copies shipped represent Windows Vista licenses sold to PC manufacturers, copies of upgrades and the full packaged product sold to retailers and upgrades ordered through the Windows Vista Express Upgrade program from January 30 to February 28.

It all sounds very impressive until you analyse the numbers as Paul Kedrosky has done – from Paul’s more realistic take on it:

Back in 2002 PCs were shipping at the rate of 10.8m a month into a worldwide installed base of 680m. Today, in early 2007, Vista is shipping into a market where PCs are selling at 21.4m a month, and into a worldwide installed base of more than 1-billion PCs. (All figures from IDC.)

So with more than twice as many PCs selling worldwide now, the Vista sales numbers are struggling to be on a par with XP, as opposed to being twice as good. I’d love to see numbers for how many of these 20m Vista sales were to people who went into stores saying “Can I have a copy of Vista, please?” as opposed to the number who got it because it was the default option on the new Dell they bought online!