Bill Gates told the press at CES 2008 that Microsoft has sold more than 100 million copies of Windows Vista since the operating system launched a year ago. Based on this statement and market research figures, ITNews claims Windows Vista was aboard 39% of the PCs that shipped last year.
And Vista, in terms of units shipped, only marginally outperformed first year sales of Windows XP according to Gates' numbers -- despite the fact that the PC market has almost doubled in size since XP launched in the post 9-11 gloom of late 2001.
Speaking five years ago at CES 2003, Gates said that Windows XP in its first full year on the market sold more than 89 million copies, according to a Microsoft record of the event.
Assuming Gates is using consistent measurements across time -- and any failure to do so would raise questions about Microsoft's reporting tactics -- first year Vista unit sales have exceeded first year XP unit sales by little more than 10%.
Windows XP launched in October 2001. According To Gartner Dataquest, worldwide PC shipments in 2002 totaled 132.4 million units. Windows Vista launched in January of 2007 -- a year in which PC shipments will have totaled 255.7 million units when the final tallies are in, according to Gartner.
Gates' statements at the 2003 and 2008 Consumer Electronics Shows thus reveal -- calculating roughly -- that Windows XP captured about 67% of the new PC market during its first year. Vista, by contrast, captured just 39%, or less than half, of new PC shipments in 2007.