Windows 7 speeds up in 2011, 350 million licenses sold

After a year and a half on the market, more than 350 million Windows 7 licenses have been sold, and Microsoft on Friday has claimed Windows 7 to be the "fastest selling Operating System in history."

Windows 7 launched with power in October 2009 and appears to have actually picked up momentum this year. Market analysts at NPD estimated Windows 7 launch sales were 234% higher than Windows Vista; and by September 2010, just short of a year after launch, Microsoft said 175 million licenses had been sold.

In other words, it took 11 months (334 days) to sell the first 175 million licenses, and only 7 months (213 days) to sell the second 175 million. In terms of a per-day sales increase, that's approximately 297,600 more copies of Windows 7 being sold per day.

This increase in sales could mean Windows 7 has finally begun to hit the enterprise. It is just around the time when corporate migration starts to take root.

"We typically don't see mainstream enterprise adoption of a new desktop OS until 12 to 18 months after its initial release -- and Windows 7 won't be an exception," Benjamin Gray wrote in a 2010 Microsoft document called "Lessons Learned from Windows 7 early adopters." (.pdf here)

Forrester research recently indicated that 88% of businesses plan to migrate to Windows 7, and 46% plan a migration within the next 12 months. These plans have brought experts to the conclusion that there will also be a significant increase in Office 2010 migrations this year. Converter Technology estimated last week that 2011 will see a 7% increase in Office migrations alongside the move to Windows 7.

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