Since Microsoft announced that they had reached the 20 million mark of Windows Vista licenses, people have been criticizing the numbers, and rumors have been swirling that the numbers are straight-out made up.

Recently, PCMag published an article stating how the numbers did not add up with Vista sales. Microsoft says that they sold 17 million licenses of Windows XP during the first 2-and-a-half months, so Vista is doing far better than XP. 3 reasons that PCMag stated of "why the folks at Redmond are probably on Kool-aid":

  • Microsoft's sales period for the license sales is significantly longer than 30 days—more like four months.
  • License sales into the channel do not correspond to actual Vista PC sales out of the channel.
  • The numbers don't match up with real world PC sales volumes.

Well, there are other sources that argue this is just due to the fact that there are way more PCs out there now than when XP was starting out, and plus Microsoft is counting licenses, not actual bought copies sold. So for example, if a computer store ordered a ton of new PCs, but didn't sell them, this would count as sold licenses of Vista.

It's quite understandable why people think that these numbers are false -- after all, Vista doesn't seem to be selling by leaps and bounds, or at least doesn't seem to be doing that much better than XP. So are the numbers made-up? No, I doubt that Microsoft would completely make up numbers just to fool the public for a brief amount of time while they bask in their glory. Microsoft isn't stupid. However, the pressure for Microsoft to sell Vista fast may have caused them to stretch the numbers by adding in some hidden statistic that we're not currently aware of. Or perhaps Vista is selling better than we think.

Microsoft is simply doing the exact same thing IBM did back in mid-1995 (and I am surprised and taken aback that they would stoop to this). In order to try to convince a wary public that the then-latest release of OS2 was "catching on" (or had caught on), IBM announced that over 300,000 copies of that latest version had been sold in the first 90 days of release. Actually, what that meant was that there had been 300,000 copies ordered by retailers, OEM's, etc. Although most of these copies were still fighting the dust bunnies in warehouses, IBM yet held up that number as proof that the product was catching on.
So, of the 20 million or so copies of Vista Microsoft is claiming it has "sold", I am of the opinion that perhaps 16 or 17 million of those, if not more, are sitting in warehouses somewhere in taped up boxes, or on new PC's still sitting somewhere waiting to be bought.
There is just no way I am going to believe that there are 20 million individual PC's running Vista.

I work for a small rural ISP in Indiana, We have to deal with about 100 people per day, and about 6 of them have Vista. Even assuming that they are skewing the sample because they are having more problems than people on XP, I wouldn't find it hard to believe 3% of our customers have Vista. I know this is horribly unscientific, but if we extrapolate that number to all pc owners in the US we can find a believable number for how many vista owners are out there.

First off, I found a survey taken in march of 2000 that said that 50% of Americans had a home computer, another one taken this last year by Seagate came up with 76%. We'll take the smaller one. There are supposedly 300 Million Americans, so 150 million own a computer, of those, 15 million own an apple (or is 10% market share too generous?) so that leaves a theoretical 3% of 135 million, or 4 Million.

Meh, Now even if we used the other numbers maybe we would get a number like 6 to 13.5 million depending on how generous we were with the numbers. (13.5 assuming 75% of americans on computers, 6% have vista, and nobody likes apple)

So I would find it hard to believe that 20 million people are using Vista, but thats not what Microsoft was saying. They're talking about Licenses sold. I look at our local computer builder here in town, Every computer in his shop windows is running Vista, thats like 20 PC's for one guy, but he's not an individual owner. And I wonder how many licenses Dell and HP are sitting on. They probably bought them by the boat-load.

So I would agree that Microsoft has probably sold 20,000,000 licences, but so far less than half to one quarter of those have actually made it into end-users' hands.

Also of note, I was only figuring for the US, maybe those are world wide sales. [facetious] All the people in developing countries need Vista so they can do our tech support.[/facetious] Also, it may not be selling by leaps and bounds... but it is definitely a steady moving force that is, at least in my community, assimilating one PC at a time.

Yawn. And if Microsoft had announced sales figures below expectation you'd have said they're hiding the fact that they're "forcing" people to upgrade.

Just another anti-Microsoft rant from a slashdot kiddo.

You can't forget that Microsoft is counting licenses sold to companies, that probably arn't using them yet. I know quite a few companies that have over 200-300 licesenses (each) that don't even have vista installed on a single computer.

If I was selling something, I wouldn't care less if it went into 20 mil of homes or 1 store, as long as I got paid. You can predict all you want, but the fact is that 20 mil times average of $200 poured into MS. And the global trend says that it will continue to pour in.

Ah, but Chaky, it's not necessarily about Microsoft making the money; they have a vested interest in Vista CATCHING ON. What they are saying isn't as much about making money as it is about Vista being accepted, or at least being perceived as being accepted.
This is why the 20 million figure is such a problem, because they are using that number, not to say, "Hey, we're raking in the bucks", but to say, "See? Everybody is saying 'Wow' to Vista." I just don't think everybody is.
Like I said, it's the same tactic IBM used back in mid-1995, and I, being a Microsoft fan, don't like seeing them stoop that low.

scru 909

But what's the whole point/issue?

Why is this even relevant?