Is Vista Fueling PC Sales?

Dennis Faas's picture

There was much hope in Redmond, Washington on the morning of January 31, 2007. That day, Microsoft's Windows Vista launched into retail outlets, for the first time available -- in completion -- to home users.

Unfortunately, Vista failed to match lofty expectations, struggling to remain parallel with XP's early support while remaining far, far behind the mega-popularity of Windows 95.

One of the reasons for consumer boredom with Vista was simply the PC market; insiders believed no one was buying computers, and thus, no one really needed an operating system. According to some experts, that may be changing.

Early requiems for Vista cited Microsoft's lateness in reaching the PC market with its new product. Although demand for such software existed in 2004, by 2007 that need had waned.

However, the shoe may now be securely tied to the other foot. According to Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, Vista is doing quite well, having sold 40 million units. Insiders are now speculating that the gradual rise of the operating system could be causing a matched increase in PC sales. (Source:

NPD Techworld Analyst Stephen Baker argues against such beliefs. According to Baker, drastic changes to the nature of the hardware and software market have taken place since Vista's launch, but not enough that "people [might] actually buy their PC based on what operating system is inside".

Instead, the reason for a rise in PC sales may be the result of corporate concerns, and not home consumer updates. Analysts are finding that businesses are, faster than usual, seeking a transition to Microsoft's new platform. (Source:

In a way, that means Vista is indeed selling more PCs, but not to you or I. It's to the IT department and a company write-off, a move few make note of.

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