Microsoft claims it has already sold more than 20 million licenses of Windows Vista since the launch on January 30. This is almost 18% more than the 17 million copies of Windows XP that were sold in the first two months of its availability.
"We are encouraged to see such a positive consumer response to Windows Vista right out of the gate," Corporate Vice President Bill Veghte said in a statement Monday. "While it's very early in the product lifecycle, we are setting a foundation for Windows Vista to become the fastest-adopted version of Windows ever."
Of course, the PC market has grown substantially since XP hit store shelves. In 2001, worldwide PC shipments totaled 136 million units, while last year the industry shipped 227 million computers, according to IDC.
And Microsoft's figures include not only boxed copy sales and those included on new PCs, but also people who bought Windows XP during the holiday season and have applied for their free Vista upgrade since the mainstream launch of Vista.
In an interview, Windows marketing director Bill Mannion said that the upgrade program did help the sales figures, but said it wasn't the driving factor. "It's boosting the overall number, but it's certainly not the core component of the 20 million," he said.