Microsoft can officially put the disaster that was Vista to bed after official figures confirmed sales of the latest operating system have eclipsed its predecessor.
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Distributors Westcoast and Computer 2000 told MicroScope in the first week Windows 7 was launched that demand for boxed copies outstripped supply, indeed it appears the software giant had learned the lessons of past mistakes.
Figures released by Context reveal that in the 19 October launch week, 36% of PCs shipped by distributors to retailers, dealers and online resellers in Europe top economies were loaded with Windows 7 compared 23% for Vista.
“So far indicators show that the initial ramp-up in sales has been faster, with a great proportion of PCs equipped with Windows 7 having been sold during this launch period compared to the Vista launch,” said Context senior partner Jeremy Davies.
In the week following the launch, Windows 7 represented 39% of all units sold by distributors compared to 33% for Vista.
One contributing factor to the delta, said Context, was the penetration of notebook PCs over the past three years.
In January 2007 when Vista was released to market, 57% of PCs sold by wholesalers in Europe’s major markets were portable but this rose to 75% for Windows 7.
At the same time, 74% of mobiles PCs were loaded with Vista but the latest OS accounted for 90% of notebook unit sales.
“These early results are encouraging for Microsoft, as the take-up on Vista was slow and the acceptance especially by enterprise and SMB customers was disappointing,” said Davies.
“Providing we don’t start hearing Windows 7 horror stories in the next few months, I expect these initial sales to maintain momentum,” he added.
In the first week of the launch, Alice Smitheman, marketing director at Computer 2000, also commented that demand had outstripped supply on Full Packaged Product.
Alex Tatham, sales and marketing director at Westcoast, told MicroScope that demand “had exceeded expectations” among consumers and prosumers, leading to strong forecasts for business products.
Corporate enterprises are likely to be the most conservative adopters, a point not lost on Redmond, with SMEs more likely to dip a toe in earlier.