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Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 Sales Top 1 Million

SEATTLE -- Windows XP Media Center Edition sales topped 1 million in the six months since the launch of the most recent edition, Microsoft chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates said this week.

"It's a significant number, and it's quite a good ramp," Gates said during his Windows Hardware Engineering Conference keynote. The figure was a rare glimpse at exact sales numbers for a specific edition of Windows XP. For example, in the same speech, Gates discussed 60 percent quarter-over-quarter growth of the Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, but he did not provide unit shipment numbers.

In three years of selling Windows XP Media Center Edition, the company has sold 2 million editions, Gates said. "We're at a very high run rate [now], over a half million a quarter," he said. "People like Dell [are] coming in and moving it to price points where we haven't been before."

While Media Center Edition sales are growing, it's still a tiny fraction of overall Windows sales. Gates told the industry audience that PC unit shipment growth would hit 10 percent this year -- "20 million more units than in 2004."

Also during his keynote, Gates promoted the Tablet PC Edition by showing off new versions of the hardware. He demonstrated two shipping computers from Toshiba and HP with screens that pivot around a center hinge to fold flat over the keyboard -- turning a laptop into a tablet. He also showed a prototype Acer model with a display that folded and slid down over the keyboard to convert from laptop to tablet. Gates said the new models are among many coming out this year and that the price premium for tablets has come down from about $250 to $100.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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