Sales of boxed Vista copies down over XP

First-week sales of the new OS by itself trail those of its predecessor, though sales of new PCs with Vista have been stronger, NPD says.

Sales of boxed copies of Windows Vista at retail stores significantly trailed those of Windows XP in each product's first week on shelves, according to new figures from NPD.

The market research firm's data showed the number of copies of Vista purchased was nearly 59 percent less than the number for its predecessor XP, looking at the first week of sales. Revenue was also down, but less dramatically, with the dollar value of first-week Vista sales off 32 percent from that seen with XP.

Vista went on sale both on retail shelves and on new PCs on January 30. Businesses with volume license contracts have been able to get the new operating system since November .

Although boxed-copy sales were weaker, PC sales during the launch week were up 67 percent over computer sales in the same week a year earlier, NPD analyst Chris Swenson noted.

"Thus, the preliminary data suggests that consumers are getting the message that they need a more robust system to take advantage of some of the new features in

Vista, and thus a relatively smaller number are opting to upgrade older machines with the new OS themselves," Swenson wrote in an e-mail.

NPD's report includes sales data from retailers such as Amazon.com, Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA, Kmart, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples and Target. The research covers the seven days beginning January 28, 2007, for Vista and the seven days beginning October 21, 2001, for Windows XP.

While sales of Vista were not as strong as with XP, weekly unit sales of Windows were five times higher than those of a year ago--meaning there was some bump for Vista, Swenson said. Also, he noted that the new high-end Ultimate Edition represented 30 percent of shipments. That helped boost the average selling price of Vista to $207, a rise of more than 65 percent from the average selling price of XP during its first week.

"So, although total dollars were down compared to XP, I think the preliminary data shows that Microsoft's gamble on a new high-end Vista (edition) will help keep dollar volumes from declining as rapidly as unit volumes in the near term," Swenson wrote.

An earlier NPD report showed stronger-than-expected sales to businesses for Vista since its November business launch, although the amount of study data was limited.

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    During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried has changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley. These days, most of her attention is focused on Microsoft. E-mail Ina.

     

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