Early Windows 7 unit sales beat Vista's by 234%

So far, the hype surrounding Windows 7 has been much more positive than what accompanied Windows Vista. Has all the upbeat chatter translated into higher popularity? Yes, according to early numbers from NPD.

The research firm writes that, in the United States, unit sales of boxed Windows 7 copies eclipsed Vista's by a whopping 234% when comparing the "first few days" after the launch of both operating systems. Microsoft didn't take long to relay the statistic on the official Windows Team Blog, citing it as proof of the excitement surrounding the new OS.

That datum doesn't tell the entire story, though. Because of discounts and a lack of promotion surrounding Windows 7 Ultimate, NPD says, Microsoft actually made less money from early Windows 7 sales than early Vista sales (only 82% as much). Also, while the Windows 7 release helped raise PC sales by 95% compared to the previous week and by 49% compared to the year before, those increases pale in comparison to the 170% week-over-week and 68% year-over-year gains NPD recorded after Vista's debut. The economy probably didn't help, though.

Regardless, the research firm is giving Windows 7 a thumbs up overall. NPD Industry Analysis VP Stephen Baker comments, "Microsoft's program of early low-cost pre-sales, high visibility marketing, and aggressive deals helped make the Windows 7 software launch successful."

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