Microsoft moved a lot of install disks, but hardware makers got a bigger bump two years ago
When Microsoft (MSFT) launches a new operating system, as it did two weeks ago, PC manufacturers like Hewlett Packard (HPQ), Dell (DELL) and Acer are supposed to reap the benefits. And everything seemed to be in place on Thursday Oct. 22 for that to happen.
Two weeks later, Baker is singing a different tune. Microsoft got a big boost according to NPD’s weekly tracking data, racking up sales of Windows 7 that were 234% higher than Vista’s during its first few days of sales. (More on that below the fold.)
But PC makers didn’t make out quite as well. Although they had a relatively strong week, with unit sales up 49% year over year and 95% from the week before, it was nothing like Vista’s launch in Feb. 2007. Then, sales soared 68% year over year and 170% from the week before.
In a press release issued Thursday, Baker explained what happened:
Another thing to remember about that Vista launch week is that it set a relatively low bar. Retail Vista sales were considerably below Microsoft’s forecast — almost 60% lower than sales of Windows XP during its first week in 2001.
Ironically, it was the computer manufacturers who did best in Feb. 2007. Sales of new PCs with Vista pre-installed were up 67% the week that Vista launched compared with the same week in 2006.
Apple (AAPL), of course, sells both OS X and the Macs that run it, so when it launched Snow Leopard in August, it made money on both sides of the deal.
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[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]