Vista Launch Week Sales Less Than XP

The drop in revenue came despite a 65.5 % increase in the average selling price of Vista compared with XP, The NPD Group said. The avarage selling price for Vista was $207.13.

During Vista's launch week at the end of January, retailers sold nearly 59 % fewer units than XP in 2001, and took in 32 % fewer dollars, the research firm said. More than 30 % of the unit sales, however, were for the Ultimate version of Vista.

"Although total dollars were down compared to XP, I think the preliminary data shows that Microsoft's gamble on a new high-end Vista SKU will help keep dollar volumes from declining as rapidly as unit volumes in the near term," NPD analyst Chris Swenson said in an e-mail.

A spokesperson for Microsoft was not immediately available to validate NPD's sales figures.

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Sales of Vista-sporting PCs fared much better during the launch week, NPD reported. Sales were up 67 % over the same period in 2006. Although a portion of those sales could be attributed to people who would have bought computers sooner, but decided to wait for Vista, the increase still reflected a fair amount of growth, Swenson said.

"The preliminary data suggests that consumers are getting the message that they need a more robust system to take advantage of some of the new features in Vista, and thus a relatively smaller number are opting to upgrade older machines with the new OS themselves," Swenson said.