Microsoft sells 20 million Vista copies in one month, sorta

Redmond (WA) - Microsoft today said that its latest operating system is selling at about twice the pace of its predecessor.

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It has not been quite what we would call a secret that the release of Windows Vista has accelerated PC sales preceding and following its launch. Now Microsoft has provided some numbers, claiming that 20 million copies of Windows Vista shipped between January 30 and February 28. Microsoft concluded that Vista is selling about twice as fast as Windows XP - which sold 17 million times within the first two months of its introduction.

However, the Vista numbers have to be taken with a grain of salt. First, of course, there more PCs are sold today than five years ago and we do not know how Windows XP sold in the year before the introduction of Vista. And, the Vista numbers do not only include retail sales, but also OEM licenses distributed by PC vendors as well as Express Upgrades that shipped during the four weeks of launch (which we hear was a rather negligible number of copies.)

Microsoft did not break out the numbers of retail sales, OEM licenses and Express Upgrades.

In a statement released today, Microsoft and PC builders claim that consumer interest in Vista is "strong", especially in the Premium version of the product.

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