Our good friends in Redmond must be using the new math when they are boasting of a sales figure that just doesn’t make sense. I have read several articles about Microsofts claims of selling 20 million ‘licenses’ of Vista in 30 days. In fact I was so impressed that I tossed my XP laptop in the trash, and rushed right out to buy a Vista machine. Yeah, right!

First you have to understand how these numbers may have been calculated. Remember all the folks who bought computers from about the end of October 2006 that were issued upgrades to Vista? And that after the Vista launch, were shipped copies of Vista which some folks are still waiting for? Well if you count those as licenses issued during the first 30 days of the launch, that adds up to a lot of licenses. BUT, the time frame really extends backwards to about 4 months.

Next, we have to look at the licenses issued to the OEM’s for the machines that are licensed, but that are still sitting in warehouses or on store shelves. Because a license has been issued for a computer, is it a real ‘sale’ until the system is actually purchased by a consumer who takes it home and activates the copy? I personally don’t think so.

Here is the best one that I like the best. Vista has sold 20 million copies in 30 days and it took 2 or 3 months, depending on who’s figures you believe, to sell 17 million copies of XP. OK. That doesn’t take into account one small little factor. 5 years ago when XP was released there were not as many computers as there are today. I don’t think anyone can fudge on this logic.

And here is the one figure that Microsoft has also not made public. Does the number of licenses also include the free copies that were given away free of charge to beta testers? I got a free copy. So did my good friend Denny. And they are licensed copies so they do qualify as part of the 20 million.

If Microsoft sells 20 millions copies a month of Windows Vista, than in approximately 11.3 months every computer in the world will be running Vista. This is Ron’s new math. 😉

Comments welcome.
PS I wonder if these numbers include those who bought and installed Vista, formatted their disks and went back to XP?

[tags]microsoft, vista, licenses, sales, [/tags]