Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

Windows Vista Sales Numbers May Always Be Murky

I was reading another article about the lack of clarity in the Vista sales numbers, when I realized something. The new Windows Anytime Upgrade and electronic distribution through Windows Marketplace are the best things for Vista in a while. The problem is that these two things will forever shroud Vista numbers in a cloud of uncertainty. Don't believe me? Let me explain:

  1. This has already been covered a little bit, but because of the new electronic distribution model, the retail sales numbers can't really be trusted. We have to wait for Microsoft to report them before we can get a complete picture... and for a company pitching clarity as an OS feature, they sure aren't offering
  2. The real issue is this: Anytime Upgrade lets any copy of Vista change its colors at any time. Even Home Basic sales are opportunities for future upselling. Each upgrade is almost pure revenue for Microsoft, which they may or may not break out their numbers, you never know. But it means that it'll be a LOT more difficult to know how many copies of each edition are out in the marketplace at any given time. To be honest with you, with the trouble they've been having with their fulfillment system (between the Express Upgrade, Anytime Upgrade, and Family Discount), I'm not entirely sure they even have a handle on their own numbers.

That's just my opinion, what do yo guys think?



  • Ed Bott said:

    Anytime Upgrade still pushes the customer to go through retail partners. Although Microsoft is an option, it's only one among many and it doesn't get preferential position.

    February 21, 2007 7:23 AM
  • Ryan Baker said:

    Anytime Upgrade won't make a big splash in 2007.  It's more of an ongoing revenue stream, and in the long term may provide more incremental revenue than any of the other sources, which are really just maintaining the status quo, with some minor blips.

    I actually wrote more about this just yesterday at

    February 21, 2007 7:38 PM
  • Great writeup, Ryan!

    February 22, 2007 11:28 AM