CES: Gates says 100M copies of Vista sold

Means Microsoft sold 12 million copies in November, December

Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft Corp., said Sunday that the company has sold more than 100 million licenses of Windows Vista since its launch 13 months ago.

Speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show, Gates announced the 100-million mark during his keynote address, a fixture at the Las Vegas-based trade show since 1994.

The last time Microsoft trotted out Vista numbers was in October, when it claimed that it had shipped 88 million copies of the operating system. Previously, it had cited 20 million copies shipped in its first month after launch, 40 million copies in the opening 100 days and 60 million by late July.

2008 International CES

View more stories from 2008 International CES Gates didn't specify whether the 100 million excluded corporate licenses, but simply said: "One hundred million people are using Vista now." When Microsoft claimed 88 million two months ago, it said the number didn't taken into account copies available or sold to businesses via volume licensing deals.

In a release posted prior to Gates' keynote, however, Microsoft said Gates would claim that the company "has sold more than 100 million Windows Vista licenses to date."

According to measurements collected by Net Applications Inc., which monitors traffic at approximately 40,000 Web sites, Vista's share broke the 10% mark for the first time, to end the year at 10.5%. In comparison, Windows XP accounted for 76.9% and Mac OS X's 7.3% during December.

More information about Vista sales may be disclosed Monday by Microsoft, which will hold a conference call and webcast with financial analysts and reporters from CES at 2 p.m. Pacific time. It will not release results from its fiscal 2008 second quarter, however, until Jan. 24; that quarter ended Dec. 31, 2007.

In the past, the company has used press conferences announcing quarterly results to boast of Vista sales. Both the 60 million and 88 million copies shipped figures, for instance, were given out during calls with financial analysts.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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