Gates: Windows XP Off to a Fast Start
Windows XP started out of the gate with a bang, selling more than 7 million copies in the first two weeks of its release, Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates said in November.
At the opening of the fall COMDEX, Gates said the 7 million copies were
sold, by Microsoft, to computer manufacturers for use on new personal
computers and through upgrades and full packaged product sold by retailers
throughout the world.
“The appetite of businesses and consumers worldwide for innovative PC
technologies is stronger than ever,” Gates said. “In just the two weeks
since the global launch of Windows XP, Microsoft has already sold an amazing
7 million copies of Windows XP, which we are incredibly excited about.
We believe that Windows XP will light a fire of innovation across the
entire high-technology industry.”
A statement on Microsoft’s Web site said sales of Windows XP are more
than 200 percent higher than sales for Windows 98 in its first month,
and the OS has been adopted by OEMs faster than any other operating system.
While those statements may be true, they’re less impressive when put
in context. The market is much bigger now than it was in the days of Windows
95 and 98. According to IDC, sales of Windows 3.1 and Windows 95 were
53 million units in 1996. In 2000, sales of Windows 9x and Millennium
Edition topped 70 million units, with a potential market of 90 million
In the business market, IDC expects XP Professional to overtake Windows
2000 Professional sales over a two- to three-year period.
XP has generally gotten positive reviews in the press for its increased
stability compared to 9x flavors of Windows, as well as its multimedia
enhancements. Negative feedback has included the need to contact Microsoft
to activate consumer versions of XP, and the claims of some that XP runs
slower on most machines than Win2K Professional.
Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine.