Microsoft Predicts Win7 Sales to Hit $300M in 2010

Dennis Faas's picture

A senior Microsoft executive has forecast that 300 million copies of Windows 7 will be sold during 2010. That comes just days after Microsoft reported sales of 90 million Windows 7 licenses to date.

The comments came from chief operating office Kevin Turner, the man effectively responsible for Microsoft's day-to-day operations. He was speaking to the London School of Economics.

Sales Outweigh Economic Conditions

Turner said he expected the positive response to the new operating system to drive sales, outweighing a natural reluctance by businesses to spend large amounts amid harsh economic conditions.

The 300 million sales goal requires maintaining Windows 7's current pace. Indeed, if you take into account that the sales-to-date include pre-release orders, it might even mean Microsoft expects a faster rate throughout the remainder of this calendar year.

It does seem a little ambitious to expect interest to be maintained all year, though there could well be a boost in April when many businesses will be entering a new financial year and unfreezing spending budgets.

$9 Billion to be Pumped Into Research, Development

Turner also noted that while Microsoft will continue to be conscious of costs -- following 5,000 job cuts last year -- it will invest $9 billion in research and development during 2010. He said much of that money will go into cloud computing; services by which applications and data are stored and run on Microsoft servers rather than on a user's own machine, thus lowering their hardware demands. (Source:

The comments follow confirmation by Microsoft's financial chief Peter Klein that 90 million copies of Windows 7 have been sold so far. That's up from 60 million in early January. It certainly appears Windows 7 is off to a much better start than Vista, which hit the 100 million sales point almost a year after its release. (Source:

Total Sales Figures Questionable

It's worth noting these figures can be disputed.

Microsoft usually releases figures in terms of licenses rather than individual users, which means it's tough to tell exactly how many people are using the system, or whether the figures may include copies which have been installed on new computers that haven't yet been sold.

Of course, chances are Microsoft used the same method to produce figures for Vista and Windows 7, meaning that even if the actual sales totals may be questionable, the level of disparity between the two systems' reception in the market appears reliable.

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