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Windows 7 Shows Strong Initial Sales


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[source: Wall Street Journal]

Windows 7 Is Strong, But PC Lift Unclear


Consumers snapped up copies of Microsoft Corp.'s new Windows 7 operating system during its first week on store shelves, though it's too soon to tell to what extent the software will ignite sales of new personal computers.

Sales of Windows 7 have been "fantastic" since the launch, Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said at a press event in Tokyo Thursday, without providing details.

The first glimpse into demand for Windows 7 came from NPD Group, a research firm that tracks retail sales. NPD said unit sales of boxed copies of Windows 7 in U.S. stores were 234% higher during the software's first few days than they were for Windows Vista, the prior version that debuted in 2007. NPD didn't provide underlying sales figures.

NPD's figures don't reflect Windows 7 sales to businesses, an important audience for the Microsoft software. Michael Van Cleave, a technical analyst at CDW Corp., a technology reseller that caters to business, education and government customers, said the company has seen a "strong uptick" in demand for PCs and Windows 7 since the product became available for those markets.

The success of Windows 7 will ultimately be measured by the impact it has on sales of new PCs that come with the operating system already installed on it, which is how most people will come to use it. On that count, Windows 7 performed well, though less so than Vista.

Between Oct. 18 and 24—a period that included sales immediately before and after the launch of Windows 7 on Oct. 22—unit sales of Windows PCs were up 49% over the same period a year ago and 95% compared with the preceding week, NPD said.

Windows Vista initially gave a bigger lift to the broader PC industry in early 2007, helping PC sales jump 68% during Vista's first week compared with the previous year and 170% over the week prior to the launch.

Windows PC sales, however, were 6% lower during Windows 7's first week compared with PC sales during Vista's first week, NPD said. "I think it's mixed," said Stephen Baker, an analyst at NPD. "We would have liked to see a stronger jump on the hardware side."

The data were too preliminary to indicate how well Windows 7 will ultimately do. October is one of the weakest months of the year for consumer PC sales, coming too late to capture back-to-school shoppers and too early to tap into holiday demand. Windows Vista had the advantage of coming out in January, during which PC sales are typically stronger than in October, Mr. Baker said.

A Microsoft spokeswoman said the company is still waiting to get sales data from its partners in the hardware and retail businesses, but she said the NPD figures are "in line with the anecdotal stories we've heard about excitement people have for Windows 7."

Sales of new PCs will likely see an uptick in November, when some retailers begin aggressive holiday promotions. One upcoming deal generating buzz among bloggers is a Wal-Mart Stores Inc. offer for a $298 Hewlett-Packard Co. laptop with a 15.6-inch screen running Windows 7 Home Premium, a version that normally comes with more expensive PCs. Advertisements promoting the laptop say it'll be available Saturday in Wal-Mart stores.

A Wal-Mart spokeswoman said the retailer has been "very pleased" with the interest from its customers in Windows 7. "Our expectations were already pretty great, but it exceeded our expectations," she said of Windows 7 sales.

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I have 5 licenses

I've already got 3 for Microsoft to count, but they all got reformatted, so I put no faith in Ballmer's PR... he would say the same thing if only 2 got sold, just like the ex-Iraqi Minister of (Dis)Information.

I really like the two new Mac vs PC commericals talking about the 7 upgrade... hilarious.

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Just got my upgrade disc from Tigerdirect, ordered it Tuesday the 3rd and received it yesterday the 5th. Did the install upgrading from Vista, took about 2 hours and so far I'm loving it. Overall system performance is up and and pinning my icons to my taskbar and the new customizing of themes etc is very well done. I just bought the standard Home Premium which suits my needs just fine and I'm happy with my purchase. Next on the to do list is updating my graphics card.

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Got my copy today. I'm going to load it in a VM on my MacBook first, then come up with a plan for getting it on my HP laptop.

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Windows 7 runs 64bit edition VERY well if you've got the ram.

I ran it (W7 Ultimate 64bit RC) for a few months earlier this year and I did like it, however the random incompatibilities and some annoying UI changes got me to switch back, for the time being.

I noticed slightly better performance in some situations, but nothing to write home about. My XP is also streamlined and generally reinstalled every 1-1.5 years. Hard to tell how well W7 will last as it ages, and if it will experience the general build-up of crap that XP experiences (hopefully not).

I know vLite can work with Windows 7, so there is hope for trimming it down and improving performance further. I haven't tried it yet.

Edited by siegen
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i preordered it, pro. got it the...22nd i think. i was gonna wait a month or 2 get a fresh hard drive so i can switch stuff over easily. and then this week my asus mobo just wouldn't post anymore. working on getting that RMA'd, slowly.

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I installed 7 in 3 computers that had Vista and the difference in noticable. The laptop especially benefited from it as fars as speed goes. It no longer crashes when I play music off my computer in the bedroom. Mine still locks up once in the while and you cant use a screensaver on mine or it will lock up in minutes. I think thats something to do with the video setup though. I may just get a video card and bypass the video setup it has. Moms bedroom one works better with 7 too. It stats up faster. I also like the way thingas are layed out better. I have wondered about putting it on my basement one. That has XP home but originally came with Millenium Edition. I dont know that it would run 7.

It isnt too bad but I lost the XP disk when we moved. So do I get another XP disk, put Millenium back in?( I dont want to do that). Or try 7?

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