20 Million Copies Of Vista Reported Sold

"REDMOND, Wash., March 26 (AP) ― Microsoft said on Monday that it sold 20 million consumer copies of the new Windows Vista operating system worldwide in February, but analysts said the data shed little light on the program’s popularity during its first month on the market.

By comparison, Windows XP, Vista’s predecessor, sold 17 million copies in the two months after its 2001 release, Microsoft said.

“It’s a stronger-than-expected start,” Bill Mannion, a director of product marketing for Windows, said.

But given that the personal computer market has nearly doubled since XP was released, Vista sales “probably should be more,” said Michael A. Silver, vice president of research at Gartner, a technology research group.

Mr. Silver said 51 million PCs were sold to consumers worldwide in 2002; this year, the research group predicts 96 million consumers will buy a computer.

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