Windows 7 is fastest selling OS in history

Fast Company is reporting that the Director of Marketing for Microsoft's Entertainment and Device Devision, Craig Belinson, has said that "Windows 7 is by far the fastest selling Operating System in history." While this news may not come as much of a surprise, it's always nice to hear how well Microsoft's latest pride and joy is doing.

Sadly, Belinson didn't provide any software sales numbers to back up his claim. Instead, he brought PC sales numbers, which directly correspond to Windows 7 sales (since PCs come with the OS installed). He states that during the week of Windows 7's launch, there was a 50% jump in PC sales when compared to the previous week. In addition, Black Friday saw a 63% bump from a year ago, and the holiday season, as a whole, saw a 50% increase in PC sales. Just as a side note, a poll on Lifehacker, which was done just weeks after Windows 7 was released, showed that 41% of readers had already begun using Windows 7 as their primary OS.

While it's great to see Windows 7 be the success that Vista, unfortunately, was not, it's also important to remember that being the fastest selling OS doesn't mean as much as it once did. Back in the days of Windows XP there were far fewer computers in the world and before XP, there were even less. Of course Windows 7 is the fastest selling OS, there are many more PCs in the world than there were when Vista, or any other Windows OS was released. This fact will continue to dictate the future trend of OS sales. As evident from Belinson's comments, the more PCs sold in the world, the more copies of Windows sold. Microsoft's next major OS release will most likely see even better numbers than Windows 7 did (assuming it's not another Vista, of course).

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The reason for the high sales marks is because Microsoft did something very smart this time out; they made Win 7 beta open to the public back in January of 2009. By doing this more people got to test the new OS, hence putting in a great deal of input toward what problems were manifested by all the different systems (retail and individual builds) out in the wild. This allowed Microsoft to go to the OEM's and third party producers and demand good drivers, and backup support. In April they released the RC to the public again, and again they were allowed to demand new and updated drivers.

Windows 7 was marketed in a manner that brought the new OS into the mines of a large part of the computing industry, and got the public involved. Once the people testing Win 7 found it was a solid OS they spread the word, thus you now have a great marketing technique that worked, and one of the reasons why Windows 7 has been a great success.

Pam14160 said,
The reason for the high sales marks is because Microsoft did something very smart this time out; they made Win 7 beta open to the public back in January of 2009. By doing this more people got to test the new OS, hence putting in a great deal of input toward what problems were manifested by all the different systems (retail and individual builds) out in the wild. This allowed Microsoft to go to the OEM's and third party producers and demand good drivers, and backup support. In April they released the RC to the public again, and again they were allowed to demand new and updated drivers.

Windows 7 was marketed in a manner that brought the new OS into the mines of a large part of the computing industry, and got the public involved. Once the people testing Win 7 found it was a solid OS they spread the word, thus you now have a great marketing technique that worked, and one of the reasons why Windows 7 has been a great success.

Just goes to show that viral marketing works just as well for operating systems as it does for applications.

The Windows 7 CPP was the ultimate in viral marketing (the last time Microsoft did anything remotely similar was the Office 2000 Customer Preview Program). It worked for Office 2000 (that merely became the best-selling version of Office *ever*), it worked for 7 (same results, apparently), and they are doing it with Office 2010.

What about retail numbers?

But to be honest, I'm not surprised by this, as XP was seriously overdue for a proper replacement and Vista did not deliver as such in the minds of a fair number of consumers and businesses alike. Should see faster adoption in the business world as well, given that the Professional version has XP Mode.

Windows 7 is a great OS and I like it a lot. It is a much more refinded version of Vista. Having said that, I still don't get all the Vista hate. I ran Vista on a number of computers without issue. 7 really is better, but Vista really was not half bad.

Vista wasn't a terrible OS. People just became so blinded by the hate that most people didn't even try it before they denounced it.

If anyone ever said to me "Vista sucks", I asked them "Have you used it?" The biggest reponse was "No, but I heard it sucks, so it does"

sphbecker said,
Windows 7 is a great OS and I like it a lot. It is a much more refinded version of Vista. Having said that, I still don't get all the Vista hate. I ran Vista on a number of computers without issue. 7 really is better, but Vista really was not half bad.

Apple and their fanbase had the mind share back then and just smeared Vista with a bunch of garbage that was non-existent.

Now Mac OS X 10.6 is a problem Apple tried to make Vista out to be. I'm not dissing Apple with any form of bias but they got a dose of their own medicine.

Chrono951 said,
Vista wasn't a terrible OS. People just became so blinded by the hate that most people didn't even try it before they denounced it.

If anyone ever said to me "Vista sucks", I asked them "Have you used it?" The biggest reponse was "No, but I heard it sucks, so it does"

Yep, that's what I found myself. What's really disturbing is how much I've had that very discussion on Neowin... You'd think anyone one a tech forum would have more sense...

Do you guys remember when Microsoft did the whole faking people out by showing them Vista and telling them it was their next, upcoming, OS thing? Everyone seemed to love it :P

True, the media made it worse than it was, but it only started due to it's initial release, where NOTHING was supported properly and drivers were hard to come by. Even display models in stores crashed all the time.

Benjamin Rubenstein said,
NOTHING was supported properly and drivers were hard to come by. Even display models in stores crashed all the time.

Yes, drivers where a problem when Vista first came out, but honestly not as big of a problem as when Windows 2000 first came out. Anyway, whose job is it to make drivers for 3rd party hardware??? I'll give you a clue, it is not Microsoft's. It isn't as if MS sprung Vista on the community out of the blue, OEMs had over a year from the first betas to GA, and the driver model changed very little during that time. People always say it was horrible at first and then got better. Well what made it better? It wasn̢۪t that MS fixed anything, SP1 didn̢۪t change much, it was all about driver availability, which MS does not control.

Sorry to rant, I just don̢۪t understand why people say "I have X device which has no Vista driver and the XP driver doesn̢۪t fully work or makes my system crash" and they blame MS. Why not get upset with the manufacture of your hardware for their lack of supporting the new OS? Never before in the history of computing have I seen so many OEMs refuse to release updated drivers. Instead of publishing a Vista driver they will just say the old hardware doesn̢۪t support Vista and require you to buy something new. Again, not Microsoft̢۪s fault.

heres how one backs it up, last copy of Windows i outright purchased was XP pro
the next, Windows 7, i doubt i'm alone
enough with the hate

I was given a legit copy, I'd never pay for this. I don't count in their figures :P
This is what we should have had ages ago, they better get cracking on Windows 8!

hotdog963al said,
I was given a legit copy, I'd never pay for this. I don't count in their figures :P
This is what we should have had ages ago, they better get cracking on Windows 8!

So you like it, but because this didn't come out "ages ago", you wouldn't pay for it?

Bizarre...

how do PC sales numbers back anything up? I can still buy PC's with Windows XP and Vista almost everywhere......

Where are you buying all these computers with XP or Vista? Most retail stores only have Windows 7 now (with the exception of XP on some netbooks)

Chrono951 said,
Where are you buying all these computers with XP or Vista? Most retail stores only have Windows 7 now (with the exception of XP on some netbooks)

+1. Everything I've seen has 7 on it...

It's funny you say that, cuz that's the one thing I miss also. But, if you use WMPlayer in the small mode, you can right click it and set it to always be on top. Then you can just move it wherever you want. Works like a charm

Or you can use some registry hacks and a few files from Vista and add that mini player back in, or you can replace WMP with the one from Vista.

You guys like WMP? i think thats one of microsofts worst ever products.. they should just replace it with the Zune.. like Apple uses iTunes.. Zunes absolutely gorgeous.. .takes a bit getting used to, but after that you'll never leave it!

dimithrak said,
You guys like WMP? i think thats one of microsofts worst ever products.. they should just replace it with the Zune.. like Apple uses iTunes.. Zunes absolutely gorgeous.. .takes a bit getting used to, but after that you'll never leave it!

You don't always need a full blown UI like Zune's system just to play a small media file.... I wouldn't want to load all that up just to hear a 10 second WAV or short video.....

neufuse said,
You don't always need a full blown UI like Zune's system just to play a small media file.... I wouldn't want to load all that up just to hear a 10 second WAV or short video.....

VLC and Zune, there you go.

neufuse said,
You don't always need a full blown UI like Zune's system just to play a small media file.... I wouldn't want to load all that up just to hear a 10 second WAV or short video.....

yh i too tried zune and it took ages to start up

Soldiers33 said,
yh i too tried zune and it took ages to start up

Starts up immediately for me, and I have 13,000+ songs.

neufuse said,
You don't always need a full blown UI like Zune's system just to play a small media file.... I wouldn't want to load all that up just to hear a 10 second WAV or short video.....

Yeah, that would get frustrating... WMP is good for that...

I agree. I've been using Zune for a good four or five years now and never had a problem with the performance of the software. It loads quickly and runs flawlessly. I don't used WMP for much of anything anymore.

NPGMBR said,
I agree. I've been using Zune for a good four or five years now and never had a problem with the performance of the software. It loads quickly and runs flawlessly. I don't used WMP for much of anything anymore.

I use MediaSource 5 (I have an X-Fi XtremeGamer PCI low-profile, which includes MS5; but it's available for any Creative sound card from the Classic Audigy up). It's based on WMP, but loads much faster (and includes several options even WMP lacks). I have VLC as an alternate, and WMP (Windows 7 x64) backing them both up. (VLC is primarily for odd formats, such as MKV.)