Windows XP sales high despite slow market

Early sales of Windows XP have exceeded those of some previous Microsoft desktop operating systems, boosting PC-related...

Early sales of Windows XP have exceeded those of some previous Microsoft desktop operating systems, boosting PC-related industries.

Microsoft cited independent research figures to show that since the 25 October official release of Windows XP, more upgrades and copies of the software had been sold compared to the same period following the Windows 98 and Windows ME launches. The company said that the new operating system was "keeping pace" with Windows 98.

In the three days following the official launch of Windows XP, US retailers sold more than 300,000 copies of the new operating system, according to data from NPD Intelect, a sales tracking firm for the consumer electronics industry.

In the comparable period, Windows ME recorded more than 200,000 copies sold, and Windows 98 sold about 400,000 copies.

Along with retail sales of Windows XP, sales of new personal computers and compatible devices such as MP3 players and digital cameras have also increased, the research by NPD Intelect showed. Similarly, software sales rose more than 50% in the week following the launch of Windows XP.

Microsoft and its industry partners have not revealed exact figures for PC sales and other hardware since 25 October. Sales of Hewlett-Packard machines loaded with Windows XP have been "encouraging", said HP's worldwide business manager, Rob Wait, on 8 November.

But with market research showing PC sales declining to new lows, and a continued decline in corporate spending, some analysts have offered dismal expectations for Windows XP sales and income in the overall PC industry.

Research firm Gartner issued a report following the launch of Windows XP which predicted substantial corporate adoption of the new operating system in 2004. Home users are expected to upgrade to the new operating system next year. Even Microsoft has set a low bar for Windows XP, with company officials saying they did not expect sales to pick up until the PC market rebounds.

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