While Apple seems to be content with "going negative" when it comes to commercials touting its computing products, Microsoft has taken a different route with Windows 7. Apple has focused more on bashing Windows 7 (and the faults of its predecessors) rather than focus on the main strengths of the OS X platform. Microsoft, on the other hand, has created positive ads which tout the new features in Windows 7.
It appears that Microsoft's positive route -- along with relatively positive reviews -- have led to some rather impressive sales numbers for the latest and greatest from Redmond, Washington. According to NPD Group, boxed unit sales for Windows 7 during the first week of availability were up 234% compared to it's predecessor, Windows Vista. However, due to an increased use of discounts – such as $50 and $100 Home Premium and Professional upgrades for general consumers, along with $30 Home Premium and Professional upgrades for students – meant that dollar sales were up just 82%, which still isn't too shabby at all for Microsoft.
Total Windows PC sales (including Windows 7, Vista, and XP machines) were up 49% year-over-year compared to 69% when Vista launched. Sales in relation to the week prior to launch were up 95% for Windows PCs versus 170% for Windows Vista during its retail launch in 2007.
NPD predicts that things are looking good for Windows 7 in the coming weeks. “A combination of factors impacted Windows 7 PC sales at the outset, but the trajectory of overall PC sales is very strong leading into the holiday season,” said NPD Stephen Baker, NPD's vice president of industry analysis.
Not surprisingly, Microsoft is quite happy about the numbers. Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc posted on the Windows Team Blog, “It has been quite amazing to watch the global excitement build around Windows 7, especially during a tough economic climate. It was just a few short weeks ago that we learned about Windows 7 outselling the UK's "own" Harry Potter. In Japan, anxious PC users waited in line to be one of the first to get their hands on Windows 7.”