Will 2008 Be The Golden Year for Windows Vista?

Despite months of rumors and innuendo suggesting that sales of Windows Vista were lackluster, Microsoft last week turned in its best first quarter in eight years. And among the products credited with driving that revenue jump was Vista. However, Microsoft officials are being even cagier than usual when it comes to talking about the specifics behind those numbers.

Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell told financial analysts during the company's quarterly earnings call Thursday that sales of Vista so far stand at 88 million units. He said that compares to 45 million units for Windows XP in a similar time period after XP first shipped.

That number, according to a Microsoft spokesperson, includes sales of Vista installed in new PCs and as retail packages. In July, Liddell told analysts that Vista units sold via PC makers and at retail locations totaled 60 million to that point. (Vista began shipping to corporate customers last November and to consumers in late January 2007.) But that doesn't even begin to tell the whole story when it comes to license sales.

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