More Pre-orders of Windows 7 Are Sold in 8 Hours (in the UK) Than in Vista’s Entire 17 Week Pre-order Period
Amazon has put Windows 7 up for preorder in the UK, and the sales so far have been amazing. In the first 8 hours, BBC reports, more copies of Windows 7 were sold than those of Windows Vista in its entire 17 week pre-order period.
Yes, Windows 7 is somewhat of a quick fix for the unsuccessful Vista, but it’s a solid quick fix, and Windows users, who haven’t had a chance to switch to a really good new Windows OS since Windows XP can’t wait to get their hands on Windows 7.
But good results in the UK and the rest of Europe carry a special weight; first of all, due to European Commission’s anti-trust ruling, in Europe Windows 7 will ship without a built-in browser (Internet Explorer). It also requires a clean install, and – depending how you look at it – the pre-order versions are cheaper than the US pre-order versions. For comparison, Windows 7 Home Premium E is £50 (approx. $82), and Windows 7 Professional E costs £99.99 (approx $163); in the US, customers were able to pre-order upgrade versions much cheaper: Windows 7 Home Premium for $49.99, and Windows 7 Professional for $99.99.
Simply put, there are reasons for European customers to be careful about buying Windows 7, or even annoyed by the fact that they’re getting a slightly crippled version, but they’re still pre-ordering it like crazy.
This puts into perspective Vista’s numbers. Vista sold great, Microsoft kept telling us, and on paper the numbers didn’t look so bad. But let’s face it: a new version of Windows is always an exciting product; it comes bundled with a lot of new computers, and even if it sucks, it’s bound to sell in decent amounts. If Amazon’s early numbers are any indication, Windows 7 – thanks to mostly positive reviews from the press – will sell much, much better than Vista. Market research firm IDC forecasts 40 million units of Windows 7 will be sold in 2009, and 177 million units by the end of 2010. In that year, they predict, Microsoft will sell only 18 million units of Vista, which should account for only 15% of all Windows OSs sold to corporations.
This also means that Google will have a harder time selling (I mean that metaphorically, it will probably be free) their Chrome Operating System. It’s an exciting product, most people agree, but it may be a little late to the game; had it arrived when thousands of unhappy users were watching Vista drag on their computers, a lightweight, netbook-friendly OS would have hit the spot perfectly. If Windows 7 turns out to be a hit, chances are people won’t be that interested in switching to a different OS, even if it has Google’s name on it.