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March 26, 2007

Vista sells 20 million licenses in February

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano at 10:13 AM

Microsoft released an update this morning on Windows Vista's performance during its first month on the market. Here's our story and Microsoft's press release.

"If you look just at the debut [of Vista], even accounting for overall organic growth in terms of the PC market, it shows really strong consumer response right out of the gate, which is good," Windows Client Director Kevin Kutz said in an interview ahead of the announcement. "And we're really encouraged by that."

How will financial analysts incorporate this new data point into their Vista forecasts, especially given that just over a month ago CEO Steve Ballmer tossed cold water on some sales predictions? In a conference call Feb. 16, he called some analysts Vista revenue forecasts for fiscal 2008 "overly aggressive." This will be interesting to watch in the run up to Microsoft's fiscal third quarter conference call on April 26.

Kutz provided some other interesting details:

-- The more expensive premium editions of Vista have been selling "extremely well."

-- Microsoft has no firm schedule for providing sales updates. "Typically in the past, we've done maybe one, maybe two, sort of an initial announcements talking about how sales are tracking and this is in keeping with that," Kutz said.

-- The company is not planning any immediate changes to its Vista marketing campaign. "We're pleased at the results so far and we're going to stay the course on all of that," he said.

-- More than 4,000 products and devices have been certified to work with Vista, up from 2,500 at launch.

-- More than 1.7 million device drivers are good to go for Vista, up from 1.5 million at launch.

Kutz had no comment when asked about schedules for a Vista service pack or for the next version of Windows.

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