XP Launch Falls Short of Windows 98

Retailers in the United States sold more than 300,000 copies of the professional and home editions of Windows XP during the three-day period following its official launch, according to NPD Intelect.

Initial retail unit sales of Windows XP during Oct. 25 to 27, 2001 surpassed those recorded for Windows Millenium Edition (Me) in the three-day period after its release in September 2000, but fell short of volumes recorded for Windows 98 during the comparable period after its launch in September 1998. During the first three days of its availability, retail sales of Windows Me were slightly above 200,000 units, NPD Intelect found. In the same period following its launch, sales of Windows 98 approached 400,000 units.

“A huge promotional effort from Microsoft really drove sales of Windows XP in the first few days,” said Steve Koenig, software analyst for NPD Intelect. “At some retailers, you needed a wheelbarrow to carry away all the free hardware and software products being offered with a purchase of XP. Offers like these convinced several fence-sitters to go ahead and make the move to the new OS.”

According to statistics compiled by StatMarket, Windows XP’s global usage share had risen to 2.36 percent as of Nov. 5, 2001. The StatMarket data is based on information gathered from more than 50 million Internet users a day to more than 125,000 sites worldwide.

Microsoft’s Windows 98 is currently the leading operating system on the Web, accounting for about half of all OS versions worldwide, according to StatMarket. Windows 98 surpassed its predecessor, Windows 95, in April 1999, less than a year after its release.

“If the past is any indication, Windows XP will be the dominant OS on the Web by this time next year,” said Geoff Johnston, vice president of product marketing for StatMarket.

On a global basis, StatMarket found adoption of Windows XP varies among countries. Internet users in Germany have embraced Windows XP much more quickly than surfers in Japan (4.43 percent to 0.67 percent as of Nov. 5).

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