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There's going to be more Windows Vista than automobiles by 2008

Although many PC users are still satisfied with their Windows XP experience, Microsoft was proud to announce that it has shipped 60 million copies of its Windows Vista operating system.

In particular, Microsoft boasted that it had quickly surpassed the entire install base of another computer maker that’s better known these days for its music players. "By our math, we eclipsed the entire install base of Apple in the first five weeks of shipment," said Kevin Turner, Microsoft's COO.

While 60 million copies would be an impressive number for any other software maker, an operating system from Microsoft must aspire to reach completely new heights. Microsoft isn’t simply looking at millions of units – it’s looking at the billions.

"The install base of Windows computers this coming 12 months will reach one billion," said Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's CEO. "If you stop and think about that for a second, by end of our fiscal year '08 there will be more PCs running Windows in the world than there are automobiles, which to me is kind of a mind-numbing concept."

Earlier this year, shortly after the launch of Windows Vista, Ballmer blamed piracy for the operating system’s sluggish start, while also viewing the stop of illegal activity as a chance to grow sales. "Piracy reduction can be a source of Windows revenue growth, and I think we'll make some piracy improvements this year," Ballmer said.

Shortly after Ballmer's comments, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates was more upbeat and stated that Vista had been "incredibly well received." Gates continued, "People who sell PCs have seen a very nice lift in their sales. People have come in and wanted to buy Vista."

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By dreddly on 7/31/2007 9:53:25 AM , Rating: 0
I don't know about the billion mark.

As a small-time installer, the system requirements and new interface makes the people I build systems for much likely to wait longer to upgrade, and I rarely recommend it.

Personally, after using Vista for months now, I really don't see much advantage over XP. It seems more stable, but I still run into many compatibility issues and the sheer footprint makes it more difficult to backup and recover.

I guess if businesses start full-scale adoption I could see it, but I think it will take several more years before they hit that mark.

RE: Skeptical
By darkpaw on 7/31/2007 10:38:05 AM , Rating: 5
Its the article title thats misleading, as mentioned above the 1b mark is for all Windows installs. Vista is about 6% of that right now, it might be around 10% by the end of the year.

RE: Skeptical
By MonkeyPaw on 7/31/2007 12:58:44 PM , Rating: 3
It's not terribly different from "Apple sells 100 million iPods." Not all of those are in active duty either, but the article sure gives a different impression. MS would like you to think they have 1 billion active copies of Windows out there, just like Apple wants you to think there are 100 million iPod users running around.

RE: Skeptical
By RamarC on 7/31/2007 10:40:44 AM , Rating: 4
ballmer's probably combining all windows licenses regardless of version to get the billion estimate.

3.x + wfw + 95 + nt + 98 + 2000 + me + xp + 2003 + vista = billion licenses

still, it's pretty ridiculous for him to presume that all these licenses are still on functional computers.

RE: Skeptical
By DEVGRU on 7/31/07, Rating: -1
RE: Skeptical
By peldor on 7/31/2007 11:01:12 AM , Rating: 5
It's not ridiculous when the worldwide market for computers is now roughly 250 million annually, and Windows still enjoys about a 95% share of market.

Worldwide shipments (culled from IDC & Gartner)
2003 169M
2004 189M
2005 207M
2006 230M
2007 257M
2008 287M

Just on 2007 and 2008 expected sales, Windows would be on over half a billion systems. Getting the other half a billion on older systems is not that much of a stretch.

RE: Skeptical
By RamarC on 7/31/2007 2:58:17 PM , Rating: 2
Just on 2007 and 2008 expected sales, Windows would be on over half a billion systems. Getting the other half a billion on older systems is not that much of a stretch.

i double checked your figures/sources and must admit that you're right, peldor. one billion active installs isn't hyperbole!

RE: Skeptical
By SoCalBoomer on 7/31/2007 3:23:48 PM , Rating: 2
Say 100% from 07 and 08, 75% from 06, 50% from 05, 25% from 04, and 10% from 03 (just pulling reasonable scalar numbers out my arse) and you've got:

03 - 17M
04 - 45M
05 - 104M
06 - 175M
07 - 257M
08 - 287M

Total: 885M . . .

RE: Skeptical
By darkpaw on 7/31/2007 5:04:11 PM , Rating: 3
Having worked in used hardware for years, I can safely say the typical first life-span of a PC is 3-5 years. I'd say the average is pushing the higher end over the last several years as companies see little reason to upgrade their systems. As of last summer when I changed jobs, the vast majority of the systems coming in where still low-mid range PIII's. Most anything P4 or newer companies did not dispose of unless they were non-functional, because they can do office work just fine.

Up until 3 years, its probably a good 90%+ of the systems still in operation, and it might drop off at 10% or so per year after that. Many home users keep their PC's in use 5-10 years. Even if they give the PC to junior or grandma it still counts as a PC in use.

RE: Skeptical
By MADAOO7 on 7/31/2007 10:41:33 AM , Rating: 2
It's equally a celebration for those who pirate software - I am willing to bet half of those billion are running on bootlegged software

RE: Skeptical
By Spoelie on 7/31/2007 11:07:04 AM , Rating: 2
That would be the other way around, as microsoft can only count the licenses it actually sold. The real amount is anyone's guess, as has been mentioned above. The number of computers running windows is "licenses sold" + "licenses pirated (# unknown)" - "licenses discontinued/unused (# unknown)".

Both the unknown numbers will be very significant.

RE: Skeptical
By East17 on 8/1/07, Rating: 0
"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes
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