First-week Windows Vista retail sales trail XP's

Despite the hype surrounding the release of Windows Vista, figures from market research firm NPD suggest retail copies of the new operating system aren't selling nearly as well as Windows XP was when it came out. As CNet reports, NPD says the number of Vista copies sold in the first week after launch was 59% less than the number of XP copies sold in the week after its October 25, 2001 release. However, NPD claims sales of PCs during the Vista launch week were up 67% over PC sales at the same time last year. According to NPD analyst Chris Swenson, the 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."

As an interesting side note, NPD says Windows Vista Ultimate—the priciest edition of Vista, at $399 for the full retail version—represented a whopping 30% of Windows unit sales during the launch week. The popularity of Vista Ultimate helped boost Vista's average selling price to $207, compared to $125 for Windows XP five years ago.

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