Microsoft: 88 million copies of Vista shipped

And that's not including corporate volume licenses

Despite underwhelming consumers and being snubbed by enterprises, Windows Vista's numbers keep growing, with Microsoft saying that it has now shipped 88 million copies of the operating system, almost double the number of copies of XP in the same amount of time at its launch.

In late July, Microsoft said it had hit the 60 million shipment mark with Vista.

Microsoft had previously said that it had shipped 20 million copies of Vista in its first month and 40 million copies of Vista in the first 100 days.

Microsoft credited Vista with helping it beat Wall Street expectations and raise financial projections for the rest of the year. The company reported revenue of US$13.76 billion for the first quarter ended September 30, up 27 percent from the same quarter in 2006.

Revenue in its client segment, which includes all consumer versions of Windows, was US$4.14 billion, edging out the US$4.11 billion in revenue from the Microsoft Business Division where Office is produced.

CFO Chris Liddell credited strong sales in emerging markets, due in part to anti-piracy and legalization programs there.

Client revenues, however, did not top those of the first calendar quarter this year, when Vista was officially launched. Revenues at that time were US$5.32 billion.

Three-quarters of the copies sold of Vista were higher-priced 'premium' versions, compared to 59 percent of the copies of Windows -- primarily XP -- available a year ago.

The 88 million figure mostly includes Vista-installed PCs bought by consumers and small businesses, as well as packaged copies of Vista sold in stores or online.

It does exclude the tens of millions of Windows corporate volume licenses. There, many enterprises continue to hold off on deploying Vista, acknowledged CFO Chris Liddell, though he expects them to start deploying it when Vista Service Pack 1's arrival in the first quarter of next year.

Nevertheless, revenue from companies renewing their volume licenses for Windows, which gives them the right to upgrade to Vista, was up 27 percent.

Other highlights from the statistics:

  • Unit sales of Windows Server's premium enterprise edition were up 35 percent year-over-year;

  • A release candidate for Windows Server 2008 has been downloaded more than one million times in its first month;

  • Unit and revenue growth of SQL Server were both up more than 15 percent;

  • Halo 3 generated $330 million in revenue;

  • Xbox 360 console unit sales increased 90 percent, driven by a price cut in August and Halo 3-related demand;

  • Client revenues, including those for Vista, are expected to grow 62-64 percent year-over-year in the current fiscal Q2, or 13-14 percent excluding certain revenue deferrals in the prior year;

  • Microsoft Business Division revenues, including those for Office, are expected to grow 15-16 percent in Q2 after normalizing for impact of technology guarantees and pre-shipment deferrals in the prior year;

  • A beta version of Office Communications Server has been downloaded 80,000 times;

  • There are 10,000 customers in the Customer Technical Preview (CTP) program for PerformancePoint Server, its new business intelligence offering.

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Eric Lai

Computerworld

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