November 6, 2009

NPD Calls Windows 7 Debut A Success

NPD Group said that Microsoft's new-generation Windows 7 operating system hit the ground running, with U.S. sales in its opening days blasting past those of its Vista predecessor, AFP reported.

The market research firm said on Thursday that sales of Windows 7 in the days following its October 22 release were 234 percent higher than those posted by Vista when it was released into the market.

NPD vice president of analysis Stephen Baker said Microsoft's program of early low-cost pre-sales, high visibility marketing, and aggressive deals helped make the Windows 7 software launch successful.

"In a slow environment for packaged software Windows 7 brought a large number of customers into the software aisles," he added.

NPD said Windows 7 sales revenue during its initial days in the market only surpassed Vista by 83 percent due to price discounts and a lack of promotion for an Ultimate version of the new operating system.

The firm said that the Windows 7 launch also gave a bump to PC sales, which nearly doubled from the previous week and were 49 percent higher than the same period a year earlier.

However, Vista's launch gave PC sales a bigger boost.

Baker said that a combination of factors impacted Windows 7 PC sales at the outset, but he noted that the trajectory of overall PC sales is very strong leading into the holiday season.

Windows 7, Microsoft's hotly anticipated operating system, went on sale around the world in October, after disappointing sales and reviews of its previous generation operating system Vista.

Most technology analysts and users who tested a demo version of Windows 7 gave it generally good reviews during its global debut, praising it as a significant improvement on the much-maligned Vista.

"The Windows 7 launch was a big deal for Microsoft. Windows Vista was a train wreck," said analyst Rob Enderle of Silicon Valley's Enderle Group.

Operating systems are at the heart of Microsoft's global software empire that runs more than 90 percent of the world's computers.

After Vista's disappointing results, Microsoft apparently worked closely with computer makers, users and software developers while crafting Windows 7.

Before its release, more than eight million people sampled a beta test phase of the new operating system.

Windows 7 features a newly designed taskbar for launching programs and switching windows, enhanced ability to share files with other PCs, improved photo and video editing software and the ability to stream digital music or video to other devices.

Microsoft's latest Web browser, Internet Explorer 8, is also featured on Windows 7.


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