Microsoft: First Month Vista Sales Double XP

Responding to media reports that initial adoption of Windows Vista has been slow and news that certain government agencies are holding off on upgrading, Microsoft announced Monday that it sold more than 20 million copies of Vista in the first month - double the copies of Windows XP sold in its first month.

The figure includes Vista licenses sold to PC manufacturers, in addition to upgrades and full versions of the new operating system sold via retail outlets. Microsoft says the "strong sales" reflect positive consumer response, and put Vista on track to becoming the quickest-adopted version of Windows.

In January 2002, Microsoft announced that sales of Windows XP had reached 17 million within the first two months of that operating system's launch. In comparison, Vista sales from January 30 to February 28 of this year amounted to more than 20 million copies shipped.

Microsoft did not, however, break down where sales were specifically coming from. The number does include those customers who purchased a new computer late last year as part of the Windows Vista Express Upgrade program, although manufacturing delays have kept customers waiting until March to receive the upgrade.

Growth in the overall PC market has also contributed to the increase in sales. In 2001, total worldwide PC shipments were 137 million, according to research firm IDC. In 2006, the number of computers shipped topped 227 million. Still, Microsoft remains pleased with Vista's performance thus far.

"We are encouraged to see such a positive consumer response to Windows Vista right out of the gate," said Bill Veghte, corporate vice president of the Windows Business Group at Microsoft. "While it’s very early in the product lifecycle, we are setting a foundation for Windows Vista to become the fastest-adopted version of Windows ever."

According to Microsoft, consumers have been leaning towards the higher-end versions of Windows Vista, with sales of Ultimate Edition even surpassing estimates. But some computer manufacturers including Dell and HP say most interest has been in Vista Home Premium.

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