Windows 7 Initial Sales Blast Past Windows Vista

Nearly all reviewers can agree that Windows 7 is a better operating system than Windows Vista – and now initial sales numbers are adding another victory under the new OS's belt with data showing that it is selling much better than Vista did at time of launch.

According to NPD Group sales data, Windows 7 sales were 234 percent higher for retailed boxed editions than for Vista in the initial releases of both products.

Windows 7 sales have also brought in 82 more revenue than Windows Vista. The mismatch between the increased unit sales and revenue is from the lack of promotion of Windows 7 Ultimate.

"Ultimate was a much bigger part of what Microsoft did with Vista, whereas this time I think they not only kept the price very high, but really kept the focus on the Premium product and the Premium three-pack," explained the author of the report, NPD's Stephen Baker, to CNET News. "Most of the promotional fire that they've put out there has been focused on those, for example, 'Buy a computer, get a $50 copy of Home Premium.' The pre-sales were all pretty much focused on Home Premium."

The top selling Windows 7 SKUs, in order, are:

1. Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade

2. Windows 7 Pro Upgrade

3. Windows 7 Home Premium Family Pack 3 User Upgrade

Sales of Windows 7-based PC hardware, however, were six percent below that of Windows Vista during its launch. This was attributed to the differences in the market during launch (October vs. January) and the large percentage of Vista-equipped machines still on store shelves during Windows 7's release. Regardless, PC sales during the week of Windows 7's release were the highest throughout the entire third quarter.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • ssalim
    Not a surprise but thanks for the news.
  • Perhaps one day we'll find out if the sky is blue.
  • itadakimasu
    the 3 user upgrade pack for $149 is a great price if you need something like that. I did a double take when I saw the pricing @ costco.
  • Honis
    andboomerPerhaps one day we'll find out if the sky is blue.Sometimes it's black with white specs, gray and spitting water, and sometimes even red! The sky's color is a very fickle thing.

    Glad to see the numbers and Vista comparisons. Any chance of getting them compared to XP in an article?
  • ravewulf
    To me it speaks more to the good marketing around Windows 7 and (as those here probably already know) marketing and reviews around Vista sucked. Windows 7 is definitely improved over Windows Vista, but they still make Vista out to be horrible when it isn't.
  • Platypus
    But...but... why go to all that trouble upgrading to Windows 7? Just buy an Apple and... wait... what was our catch phrase again?
  • precariousgray
    Looks like Microsoft learned this time around: better marketing, better sales!
  • lutel
    I hope to see decent review of Windows 7 and benchmarks against XP / XP-64bit - I think we can forget about Vista now. I like eye-candies of Win7 and DirectX11, but not sure if its faster that my good old XP. And I truly hate DRM which is designed not for user, but against user.
  • JohnnyLucky
    I think I'm going to wait until Black Friday to see if vendors might offer a decent combo price.
  • buwish
    For all the bad about Vista, well, it really wasn't that bad in my opinion. I liked it more than XP, i.e. flashier UI. However, W7 is much better in terms of how "smooth" it feels and it's somewhat improved UI.