Today, Microsoft has announced quite the milestone for Windows 7: since its launch in October 2009, a full 450 million licenses have been sold. The numbers are somehow more impressive when broken down; just a hair over 650,000 licenses are sold each day.
Sales of Windows 7 have been on the upswing over the past two months to boot; it seems all that back-to-school prep has given Windows 7 a kick in the pants. The folks in Redmond are fond of calling Windows 7 “the fastest selling version of Windows ever,” and it turns out the claim may not just be a load of marketing fluff.
Microsoft tends to keep unit sales figures quiet, save for big announcements and financial statements, but let’s try and put Microsoft’s achievement in a bit of perspective here. They announced in their Q4 2008 revenue report that they sold 180 million Vista licenses since launch. At this point in Vista’s life (just over a year and half after launch), that averages out to about 335,195 licenses per day. Seems respectable without context, but after the same amount of time, Windows 7 nearly doubles that figure with 632,911 licenses/day.
Vista, to be fair, was a bit of a flop, but 7 compares to its grandfather XP rather nicely too: Microsoft announced that they had sold 210 million copies of XP in May 2004, a window of just about two and a half years since launch. Meanwhile, Windows 7 managed to move 240 million licenses by the time it was a year old.
What does this mean? First, there’s a massive install base of Win7 machines out there and, more important, those same machines should be powerful enough to run Windows 8 when it arrives in the next year or so. In addition it means that more users are connecting to Windows live for SkyDrive sharing and other features – 542,000,000 people to be exact. These are wildly large and impressive numbers and it’s clear that Microsoft has a hit on its hands.