Windows 7 Sales hit 150 Million, Says Microsoft

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft has reported that Windows 7 has now sold 150 million units, which they claim roughly translates to seven copies of the operating system sold every second since its October 22, 2009 launch date. The figures come from a post on a Microsoft-run blog, written by the company's Brandon LeBlanc. (Source:

Businesses Upgrade Late

Back in April, on the day which marked six months since Windows 7 went on sale to the wider public, the company reported selling "well over 100 million licenses of Windows 7."

In most cases one might expect a slowdown in the total number of copies sold, but critics suggest that with businesses wary about the economy, some IT departments may have had to wait until a new financial year (which starts in April for many firms) before they could persuade management to pay for software upgrades.

Timeline Under Scrutiny

The claim of seven sales a second is a guestimate at best, and it's even more likely that Microsoft is making a point to publicize these statistics because they coincide with the operating system's name.

On the face of it, the arithmetic of dividing sales by time does indeed add up to around seven per second (both now and when the same claim was made back in April). However, that assumes every sale has been made since October when Windows 7 hit the store shelves. (Source:

In reality, many customers will have pre-ordered the system. It's also unclear exactly what Microsoft constitutes as selling a license. For example, some businesses pay an annual subscription which allows them to use Windows and automatically get any new editions when they are released. It's a grey area whether these users should be counted as having "bought" Windows 7. If they have been, that means more to the total sales before the official release, and thus fewer sales since release day.

Whatever proportion of the 150 million licenses have been sold since release date, it's certainly unlikely that week-to-week sales are averaging seven a second at the moment, or that they'll be doing so in the foreseeable future.

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