Windows 7 launch success: Microsoft executed well, says NPD

Windows 7 first-week sales figures were much better than Vista's, says market researcher The NPD Group. They point to good supply-chain execution and canny discounting as success factors. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers look at worrying trends behind the numbers.

By Richi Jennings. November 6, 2009.

(MSFT)

Your humble blogwatcher selected these bloggy morsels for your enjoyment. Not to mention the latest excellent cover from Jack and Nataly...

    Emil Protalinski brings home the bacon:

Initial sales of Windows 7 boxed software surpassed those of Vista's by 234 percent in the first few days of the operating system's availability on the US market, according to NPD. ... [It] compared sales numbers for the week of October 18, 2009 to October 24, 2009 as well as Windows 7 preorder sales and compared them to the first few days of Vista's sales.

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[It] that Microsoft executed well with its early and discounted preorder sales, high visibility marketing, and aggressive deals to make the Windows 7 software launch successful. ... It's hard to draw a solid conclusion from one week of sales, especially with the region limited to just the US. We'll keep our eyes peeled for more information, especially for any official numbers directly from Microsoft.
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Nick Eaton looks across the Pacific:

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, in Tokyo on Thursday, said that Windows 7 sales in Japan are "fantastic" and that the company's Japan subsidiary is its best performing. ... [He] said quicker start-up times were attracting customers in Microsoft's second-largest market.

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He told reporters new computers also were boosting sales. "People don't buy operating systems, they buy computers with operating systems on them," Ballmer said.
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Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc is quite amazed:

It has been quite amazing to watch the global excitement build around Windows 7, especially during a tough economic climate. It was just a few short weeks ago that we learned about Windows 7 outselling the UK's "own" Harry Potter. In Japan, anxious PC users waited in line to be one of the first to get their hands on Windows 7.

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Magic.
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But Jeff Bertolucci has some cold water to pour:

The NPD figures ... show that Microsoft is deeply discounting Windows 7, particularly the Home Premium Upgrade version targeted at consumers. The average selling price of Home Premium Upgrade is $76--that's nearly 37 percent off the $120 list. ... The business-oriented Windows 7 Pro Upgrade is discounted too.

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Microsoft is smart to offer deep discounts right away. The low street price encourages impulse buys--$76 is a lot more palatable than $120--and boosts sales of upgrade versions. Redmond can then trumpet Windows 7 as a huge success--which, to be fair, seems accurate out of the gate.
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Barb Dybwad puts it in perspective:

Of course, in many ways the bar wasn’t set too high. Still, Microsoft must be feeling relieved at the good sales clip for what is still, after all, its core business. ... Looking strictly at dollar sales, Windows 7 is up 82% over than the equivalent time period for Vista.

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In a tough economic time for packaged software, Windows 7 appears to be faring fairly well. The PC hardware sales picture wasn’t nearly as rosy, however. Although total PC sales were up 49 percent in year-over-year sales and a full 95 percent over the previous week, the overall growth rate was not as high as during the Vista launch window, which saw a 68% jump in year-over-year and 170% gain over the week prior to Vista’s launch. Vista had a slight advantage with its January release however, which typically shows a larger PC sales footprint than the month of October.
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  Meanwhile, Ron Schenone isn't surprised:

It should be no surprise to anyone, least of all Microsoft, that sales of their new Windows 7 operating system is already out selling Vista by a wide margin. Vista started out on a bad foot, with so many problems. ... However, once Microsoft ... introduced SP1 and SP1 things did get better for most users. But Vista never recovered from the bad press.

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This morning I was at our local hospital ... one gentlemen was sitting using his laptop. We struck up a conversation ... the subject turned to Windows 7 and his opinion was that Microsoft keeps shooting themselves in the foot. He also stated that when Google comes out with their OS, Microsoft would be finished. This was the opinion of what I would call ‘the man on the street’, who didn’t have an axe to grind.
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So what's your take?
Get involved: leave a comment.

 
 
And finally...

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him as @richi on Twitter, or richij on FriendFeed, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: itblogwatch@richij.com.

 
 
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