July 19, 2009

177 Million Windows 7 Copies to Be Shipped by the End of 2010

Microsoft will sell approximately 180 million copies of Windows 7 by the end of 2010 is the forecast IDC offered in a study assessing the market impact of the next iteration of the Windows client that was sponsored by Microsoft. The market analysis company indicated that Windows 7 would catalyze a brisk uptake, and that 177 million units would be shipped in the first 14 months on the market. Windows 7 is currently planned for RTM by the end of this month, and for general availability on October 22, 2009.

The numbers offered by IDC indicate that Windows 7 will perform better on the market compared to its precursor, but not by much. According to statistics from Microsoft, over 180 million Windows Vista licenses had been shipped by mid-2008, at approximately a year and a half since the operating system was introduced.

Personally I think that IDC's numbers are a tad conservative, and that Microsoft will ship more than 177 million Windows 7 licenses by the end of 2010. Still, the global economic downturn is indeed a factor that can deliver a heavy impact on Windows 7 shipments.

“Windows 7 will be shipping into a relatively harsh environment. But the launch of a new and better operating system will necessitate new applications, new hardware, new planning, deployment and training, and new services. These will drive much-needed investment that will, in turn, fuel stronger growth in subsequent years,” IDC noted.

Windows 7 Shipments
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The success of Windows 7 in comparison to its predecessor is intimately connected with that of new OEM computer sales. For the time being the market is not doing all that well. IDC revealed that worldwide PC shipments dropped by 3% in the second quarter of 2009. Over 80% of the revenue of the Windows client division comes from Windows copies pre-installed on new computers from original equipment manufacturers.

“For Microsoft, the launch of Window 7 suggests strong growth in client operating systems again. But the impact of Windows 7 will reach far beyond Microsoft, driving revenues and growth for many of the IT companies worldwide that sell hardware, write software, provide IT services, or serve as IT distribution channels. This growth will do its bit to help economies around the world climb out of the current economic crisis,” IDC added.

IDC expects Microsoft to ship 40 million Windows 7 units in 2009, namely in October (starting with Thursday 22), November and December. This number is forecasted to grow to over 272 million in 2013. Of course, it is important to note that the term “ship” is used, and not “sold,” an indication of the fact that all the Windows 7 copies available into the channel are taken into consideration and not specifically those acquired by consumers.



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