back to article Microsoft thinks it can sell one copy of Windows 7 for every four people

Microsoft hopes to sell 14 million copies of Windows 7 to UK consumers next year. The software vendor has set itself an ambitious target with its latest operating system, which will hit stores in a few hours from now. Blighty's population is roughly 60 million. Microsoft said it had been buoyed by the response from its 15 …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Predicting the end of Microsoft...

    Take 4329.

  2. IceMage
    Thumb Up

    What I've Seen So Far

    As far as I've seen, it's a world of difference in the same box.

    Explanation: Windows 7 is almost exactly the same as vista. There are a lot of new features, some streamlined applications, etc, but it's still windows. This is good, those of us who use windows, LIKE windows. It's got that smooth, crisp feel of Windows XP, along with the new smooth looks of vista. I think Win7 can be a smashing success.

    And for the record, the only reason Vista failed so hard was all of the negative ads from Apple.

    Hey, go get an apple! Then, you can buy the same OS we're bashing when you want to do anything like play games! YAY.

    IMHO, apple is an overpriced piece of hardware (half the hardware features the average person never uses), stuffed with a bloated and equally shitty compared to windows OS. Mac OSX sucks, and so does Vista... get over it, it's not any better, or any easier to use. Besides, why doesn't my mac come with 2 buttons on the mouse? seriously, I paid 2 grand, and we're cutting back on mouse buttons?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ashley Highfield

    This is the same Ashley Highfield who abused his position at the BBC by strutting around on stage with Billg at "Mix 06" using a mock-up of the yet-to-be-released iPlayer to plug the yet-to-be-released Vista. The irony is that the much-delayed iPlayer, when released as a Windows-only product, didn't even run under Vista! When the BBC Trust finally came to its senses and forced Highfield's department do away with the proprietary nonsense, it was only a matter of time before he was kicked out and claimed the reward for his connivance by landing his cushy job at MS (via a brief stint at the failed Kangaroo project, no doubt to make it slightly less obvious).

    He seems to have been quite quiet since then.

  4. Bugeyes

    1 in 4....!!!!

    The other 3 are using MAC OSX......!!

  5. Jeroen Braamhaar

    I'd buy but ...

    ... Microsoft's PROHIBITIVE pricing and bletcherous licensing puts it out of my reach.

    Clue: when the alternative is free, charging 300EU for a copy isn't the best strategy ...

    Mine's the one with the penguin plushie in the pocket.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    They still have a monopoly

    Like every other version of Windows, I'll buy pre-loaded Win 7 when I have no practical choice not to. That probably means by 10/2010 about 20% of our 30 some PCs will have Windows 7 loaded. This time though I'll install Ubuntu & OpenOffice on the healthiest of the retired Pentium 4s and make them available to our users. Meanwhile at home I'm bringing in an Apple for the first time since the late 80s.

  7. John McEchron

    Magical pirate conversion?

    "Microsoft hopes to sell 14 million copies of Windows 7 ... buoyed by the response from its 15 million beta testers, only eight million of which were actually legit users..."

    Lemme get this straight - M$ expects that out of 7 Million people who pirated the FREE Win7 Beta, 85% will PAY for a licensed copy?

  8. Anonymous Coward

    "perhaps even more importantly, with the arrival of Google in the OS arena"

    Everyone knows that Google OS will just be for netbooks and phones, from what I've heard it will just be a web browser, with nothing else. I doubt it will even threaten Linux's market share on real computers, let alone apple or MS.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    MS could do it, and Apple will never be as big

    Not only because of price, but also because the amount of control Apple exerts over its customers would end up in antitrust court really quickly. Plus as people changed from Windows they'd have more exposure to the likes of Linux (which needs to get its act together in terms of consumer-friendliness). Anyway, Apple could never dominate the business market in the same way Windows has. There's no driver to pay more for lower spec hardware and less software.

    Anyway, by the time Apple could possibly build up market momentum the Desktop PC will have quietly disappeared and been replaced in the home by whatever's next- in the same way that the large steel beige boxes have disappeared and been replaced by smaller systems.

    1 copy for every 4 people is possible- remember that many households have more than one PC now, as well as using at least one at work. Then there's the embedded market, the Mac/Linux/etc users who can't live without Dual Boot. When you count up how many computers there are in the UK that run Windows you start to realise that it's a very achievable aim. Though that many users would be more realistic than that many sales.

    Anyway, time will tell and we shall see.

  10. N2

    why such a big box

    for such a small, insignificant DVD ?

    Every other manufactirer is considering the environmental consequences.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Windows Vista Second Edition

    It's Vista Second Edition. Microsoft and their fanboys will adamantly deny that, but all they did was take Vista and apply all existing patches, update the built-in hardware support, scrap the stuff no one used or liked, and implemented efficiencies where needed. It's basically what Vista would have been if they gave themselves two more years of development time on it and were better in touch with their user base at the time.

  12. sandman
    Gates Halo

    Oil Tankers - see turning circle

    Windows has a lot of life left in it yet. Does anyone think for a minute that most of us corporate peeps are going to use anything else on the desktop? Once you have an installed base the size of Microsoft's, you have a virtual monopoly. This is both a bad (lack of competition) and a good thing (de facto standard). The latter is important from a business perspective, it gives anyone who wants to develop applicatons for the largest market a single standard (slight simplification, but stay with me). This actually helps competition in areas where MS is weak.

    It is possible that the Windows monopoly was the prime driver behind bringing computing to everyone and that changing that monopoly will be as easy as turning the proverbial oil tanker. In theory cloud computing may have more of an impact than OS competition, but quite honestly it looks a little premature if recent news reports are anything to go by.

  13. Nomen Publicus

    Too much for too little

    For what is essentially a Vista bug fix and UI cleanup Win7 is very expensive.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    The true test...

    ...isn't how well consumers buy it - thats not really a moneyspinner. After all each consumer will at best buy one or two copies ever, and thats not a revenue stream. Its not even really a large amount of money, even at an outrageous markup.

    The real test is whether businesses, and in particular the big ones with thousands of desktops distributed all over the world, buy in - and if so how quickly. With big companies you're talking support contracts, huge numbers of licenses, associated office and backend app upgrades etc. There's a revenue stream there, and thats what any company needs - not a one-off windfall.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Ashley Highfield

    .. .is he working for the BBC or MS now, i can't keep up! Although i am pleased that his BBC salary paid for a nice Ferrari, now that is what i want my license fee going on...

  16. Anonymous Coward

    @What I've Seen So Far

    You have been ripped off sir, or you don't actually have a Mac. They do have 2 buttons... FAIL.

  17. Charles Manning

    re:"perhaps even more importantly, with the arrival of Google in the OS arena"

    As phones and netbooks become more capable and more stuff gets integrated into TVs and game consoles, what do people want "real computers" for?

    "real computers" are starting to go the way of the mainframe.

    Google isn't trying to make inroads into desktop PCs because there is no point. Microsoft can have the last of the old generation.

  18. Geoff Spick

    This launch drinking game isn't easy

    Playing the Windows 7 launch drinking game is proving harder than expected, as every site is writing (almost exactly) the high forfeit stuff in the rules... thank God Apple's spoiler never turned up (yet)

  19. gerryg

    @AC 20.41

    But in a no-you-don't kind of way you have to admire how Microsoft seem to planning to get their customers to pay for this.

    I find it difficult to believe disgruntled existing Vista users (or XP users thinking they need new hardware) will not consider trying a Linux distro first to see if they can stop paying again, ever, for something they thought they had bought already.

    Mine's the one with an openSUSE distro on a USB stick in the pocket.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @IceMage, here's what I've seen....

    Apple overpriced? Check the facts: Apple MacBook £799 vs closest spec Dell (Latitude E4300) £1031. You could throw in VMware Fusion and a legit copy of W7 on the MacBook for the difference. Actually, the Dell with Intel GMA 4500 graphics isn't even that close to the MacBook with a GeForce 9400m.

  21. DZ-Jay

    Re: MS could do it, and Apple will never be as big


    You're missing the point of Apple's business. If you haven't noticed by now, they are one of the few technology companies actually making a profit during the current recession. They even just closed their most profitable quarter to date. They sell to a smaller market than Microsoft, and make a killing at it.

    All this means that Apple has no intention of becoming as big as Microsoft, and does not need to. This is something most people have a hard time accepting: Steve Jobs is perfectly happy keeping Apple as a boutique shop, and selling at a premium to the higher end market. Who needs to take over the world, when they can become king within their own community?

    As for Microsoft's relevancy in the technology sector? I don't expect the company to disappear any time soon, but it'll probably cease to excert any real influence in the industry. Somewhat like what happend with IBM: there was a time when the entire business world quaked at the thought of Big Blue encroaching in their markets, and now it's just another player--a big player, for sure, but no longer dictating the pace and trend of the industry. Bit by bit, Microsoft is becoming just as big and just as irrelevant.


  22. Quirkafleeg

    Dual boot?

    Two Linux kernels, of course.

  23. Goat Jam

    Re IceMage

    "And for the record, the only reason Vista failed so hard was all of the negative ads from Apple."


    Say what?

    Does your particular kool-aid come straight from the bladder of BillG or something?

    That has to be one of the most bizarre comments I've ever seen.

  24. Big-nosed Pengie

    1 in 4?

    Laugh? I thought I'd shit!

  25. Greg J Preece


    "And for the record, the only reason Vista failed so hard was all of the negative ads from Apple."

    You're kidding, right?

  26. Chris Hunter

    Are they mad?

    There is not the slightest chance of sales anywhere near as big as they expect - "Ultimate" is already on the torrents! It's also too expensive, it doesn't work with a whole lot of hardware, there are already exploits to abuse it, and the first "7" malware is already out there.

    Once again it's the same old NT mess with a shiny new bit on top. UAC is just as annoying and just as ineffective, and it comes without any useful software - Outlook Express is a truly useless email client, and Internet Explorer is still broken.

    Save your money for a newer computer, or have a holiday. Install the latest Ubuntu, and have a stable, secure machine with a wide selection of excellent software.

  27. Stoneshop

    @John McEchron

    How about 15 million beta testers *worldwide* ? Did you fail to notice nearly all Windows users around you *NOT* running W7 beta?

  28. NB


    Good trolling sir! Perhaps when you want to re-aquaint yourself with a friendly little place we call reality you can give us a call!

  29. Dan 10
    Thumb Down

    Too late for some

    There is a growing number of Mac users in the team I work in, because people just got sick of Vista. Yes, we'll probably all get W7 in a VM, but the reality is that, particularly with the popularity of the iphone, Apple are getting the market at both ends - Syncing your iphone with your Mac is just too easy.

    As for the non-tech angle, my wife doesn't like the Mac. She just doesn't like change, to be honest. She complains that she wants it to 'just work', but she actually means 'just work for email, Word, Excel, Powerpoint and internet browsing'. She doesn't care about the OS, and would rather not have one, period.

  30. serviceWithASmile
    Thumb Down

    just thought I'd point out

    I bet MS are counting the licenses that they will push on the OEM's to put on their laptops, 14 million laptops with windows 7 preloaded sounds about enough to stock most of the UK's laptop shops.

    How many are sold in UK every year?

    Regardless, I'd quite like a copy to pollute my machine with so I can take advantage of my GFX card's DX10 support but until they are £35.00 from a certain Ebay store in Germany I'll not bother.

    So until 2015, I'm using XP for games and Ubuntu for any actual serious computing. After that, Ubuntu for everything and maybe win7 if it's cheap enough.... I'll only pay what its worth.

  31. Liam Johnson


    >>he only reason Vista failed so hard was all of the negative ads from Apple.

    uh, no. It failed because it is cr*p. And no, I am not an apple fanboi and I only use Linux on servers. Vista failed in comparison to XP, simple as that.

  32. Piro Silver badge
    Gates Horns

    @AC: "Windows Vista Second Edition"

    Nobody would deny that in the slightest, indeed, it's just NT6.1. Still, it's definitely better than Vista, and that's good news.

    Still falls short of some of the promises made for Longhorn in 2003-2005, let alone what Blackcomb/Vienna should have been.

  33. Malcolm Alderton

    1 in 4 is possible

    It would easily be possible to sell that number - remember that companies buy software as well!

    But that to one side, in our own household both my teenagers have HP Laptops with Vista ( soon to be W7) , my wife has an older XP laptop ( soon to be replaced by a W7 Netbook) plus the Desktop PC we have and use as a server as well ( Vista soon to go to W7) that's 4 in our houshold plus I also use W7 on my work laptop.

    I have been using W7 on a lenovo and also on an older Toshiba laptop since W7 Beta - rock solid on both , performance has never degraded and so stable, even at Beta, that I couldn't dream of using anything else.

    Have looked at Apple laptops - very nice and so expensive without offering anything extra in the way of functionality for me - but I can see why people buy them , if they can afford them.

    And just to head off the Linux fans - I also have an older desktop that I use to run various flavours of Linux on - just for fun as I was a Unix Consultant some years ago - good to keep my hand in but boy it does feel like stepping back in time...

  34. alistair millington
    Thumb Up


    How is the MS fanboi status going?

    Vista failed not because of Apple PR, but because there was no hardware support compared to XP (6 months after laungh Nvidia was using beta drivers still) IBM (and other major players) didn't sign up. Most of the IT support staff and technical staff found it utter pants and bloated with unused rubbish, while being mainly window dressing to an XP build (network properties, program manager etc) an MS director openly said it was rubbish, people took them to court over the hardware spec fiasco and more importantly. Nearly Everyone who bought a Pc had to either spend a ton more just to get it to run properly, Or were ripped off with a machine that wasn't capable of running the new features. Vista Basic was just XP. All of those headlines doomed the Vista OS.

    Windows 7. Will sell well simple because of vendor lock in, if you hate vista you haven't been able to buy a new machine for the last two years. And people are now in a serious position of having machines that need replacing. So windows 7 by default will see more uptake now that Vista has been taken outside and shot.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What is windows 7 offering?

    No one has explained to me, or the public en-masse, and not during the clear promotion of Windows 7 on the National News curtesy of the BBC, why people should upgrade to it.

    I haven't used Vista much, tried it the other day, found it extremely frustrating, and it was unreliable as f**k. It's stopped recognising there's a DVD burner in the laptop, and other functionality could only be resolved by rebooting.

    So, my question: what exactly is Windows 7 going to offer Windows XP users to encourage those XP users to shell out the massive upgrade price of £130 ?

  36. Christopher Rogers


    The simple reason is windows is easy. Linux distros haven't got their product in the position where joe public feels comfortable using it... Therefore Windows will always have an audience.

    I'd love to see Linux become a big player, but its a long way off....

  37. Ed L
    Thumb Down

    What are you talking about?

    "a marketplace that is no longer dominated by one key player"

    Which marketplace? I think it's safe to say that MS still do dominate the desktop OS market...

  38. whiteafrican

    @ Bugeyes

    "1 in 4....!!!! # The other 3 are using MAC OSX......!!"

    Uh, no dude. Even the Fanbois (who are the most optimistic) estimate that less than 10% of people use OSX:

    The "other 3" you describe either don't have their own computers, or if they do, they probably run XP or Vista...

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "three screens and a cloud" Is this the reason for this upgrade? Am I the only one who doesn't want their processing done somewhere "out there" but on their own PC? Who wants to avoid games machines since a PC should be capable of running games and more serious stuff as well, and who doesn't have sufficient use for Net access on their phone to justify paying for it? Were MS really listening, or did you lot outvote me?

  40. Nameless Faceless Computer User
    Gates Horns

    I bought a mac

    Not to say that Mac doesn't have its own problems, but I grew tired of cheap hardware, third-party drivers written by monkeys, and Windows over-writing key system files every time I install something. The Windows registry aka "all eggs in one basket" approach combined with "shared dll's" is the worst design ever conceived.

    For those who think OS X is horrible, you obviously do not understand that it's just a pretty shell sitting on top of a Unix operating system - probably the best OS ever written.

    Operating systems should sit quietly in the background and load my applications. I don't want an "in your face" OS. I want to run my own applications. I never liked anything Microsoft ever wrote, stole, or borrowed. It's all crap.

  41. Christian Berger

    Of course it will die

    Of course Windows will die. As the world around it shifts, Windows will become irrelevant. And unlike other OSes Windows cannot adapt to changes as you still need to be able to run your old Windows 3.1 software.

  42. kwikbreaks

    What has Win 7 got to offer?

    > So, my question: what exactly is Windows 7 going to offer Windows XP users to encourage those XP users to shell out the massive upgrade price of £130 ?

    If it's running XP there is indeed not much point buying Win 7 but it will either be a netbook or starting to show it's age and replacement machines will have Win 7 preloaded.

    If it's running Vista then all Win 7 needs as a selling poit is that it isn't Vista. I hate rewarding MS for producing the shite that was Vista but I really couldn't continue to put up with it on my laptop for the next couple of years or so til I replace it.

    I could have taken the Linux route but from past experience changing or adding anything for those not possessing beards and sandals involves half a night or more seeking out which obscure parameter located deep in an even more obscure file in the depths of the file systen needs adding or tweaking to allow it to happen without adverse effects elsewhere. Linux is for hobbyists whose hobby is making Linux do something useful.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What is it with Regtards?!

    With their pointless love of holy OS wars? It's quite puerile, and frankly a little worrying to think tat these individuals might be responsible for decision making!

    There obviously is a brand loyalty for all things Microsoft out there and a lot of geeks will be buying it today, but I'd argue that Mondeo man (is he Audi man now?), who owns a PC bought from PC World or Dell won't be rushing out to buy an upgrade, although a not unsubstantial few may be considering a new PC in the near future. Enterprise IT spending as we all know is on hold and the common practice amongst the IT profession at large is not to adopt early anyway (No, beta's and RC's don't count. The RTM hasn't been available long enough for any real extensive testing). SME's on the whole probably won't be upgrading anytime soon.

    Windows 7 is a good product. It's what should have been released 2 and a half years ago. Microsoft have lost a lot of credibility with the public at large over Vista and Office 2007 (which IMHO was a fantastic upgrade), and Win 7 goes a long way to rebuilding that credibility, but the "second coming" it ain't. Quite a bit of optimism on Microsoft's part...

  44. Anonymous Coward

    Fuck Ashely Highfield least he's schilling for MS officially this time, rather than trying to lock UK license fee payers into shitty Windows-based p2p. The poor old beeb spent years trying to be platform agnostic, and he all but wrecked that :(

  45. Adam Salisbury

    @gerryg @ Dan 10

    @gerryg: If I ever end up working for a company who decides to cut and run from MS into Tux' open arms I'll call you but don't hold your breath! The only option more expensive than buying into MS licensing nightmare is getting out of it again, plus even as a Linux fan I can't stand the effort it takes to get a half decent codec or driver running for something that was built-into Windows 98!

    @Dan 10: Likewise, if I find myself working for a company who decides iPhones are defintely the best corporate option I'll call you too. Likewise, don't your breath! With encryption descibed by security industry folk as 'worth than useless' I'd hand my notice in after getting a memo like that!

    Windows 7 will be a success, the version junkies want something better than both XP and Vista, the Vista users want something better than Vista. No self-respecting PC user can easily camp without some Jobsian duckspeak to convince us to swallow the price difference and features like Direct Access mean it's even more attractive for businesses to make the switch.

    Just don't expect riots as Dixons because they didn't get enough stock in!!!

  46. SlabMan


    Shouldn't the plural of fanboi be fanboix?

    What do you call a female fanboi? Fanette? Fangrrrrl? Or are women too sensible to be fanboix?

    Where is the capital of fanboi-dom? (fan)Boise, Idaho.

    What's the collective noun for fanboix? A swoon of fanboix? A hoxton of fanboix?

    Can we stop using the word 'fanboi' because it's so flipping annoying?

  47. Anonymous Coward

    @ whiteafrican

    Failed to see the elephant-sized joke? Failed to noticed the whooshing sound of it passing right over your head? Complete sense of humour failure there was it?

    Double fail, right back atcha...

  48. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Terminology

    The correct collective noun is a smugness of fanboix, I believe.

    The right tube stop is of course Theydon (Fan)Bois.

  49. Anonymous Coward

    Do these count too?

    The most likely outcome…

  50. Curt Vile

    Oh God, again with the Applefans' FUD

    I just couldn't let that anonyposter get away with the bizarre assertion that MacBooks are cheaper than the equivalent Dells - a quick look on Dell's website reveals that a Vostro 1520 with a GeForce 9300M, twice the RAM of the MacBook, and a faster CPU, is nearly £300 cheaper...

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    nearly £300 cheaper...

    Focus RS or Porche..? A Vostro is categorically NOT an equivalent laptop you flaming idiot! As a Vostro owner, I wish I had payed the extra £300! They are extremely cheaply made - both internally AND externally,lumpy and heavy pieces of jargon! Even the high end Dells fall apart! The screen is the biggest POS ever - lots, and I mean lots of dead pixels. The power supply just falls out on it's own and the battery life is dire, EVEN with the much hyped supposed improvements to power management that Windows 7 supposedly brings and not forget the oh so poor resale value! I'd be lucky to get £200 for it secondhand. I could go on, but I think I've said enough. The £300 will be towards a significantly superior screen and better batteries if nothing else! When are you regtards going to learn?! Point of Sale price is not the final cost!

  52. crypt

    ARRRR there be the User Base

    Hmm - anyone care to guess what percentage of win7 installs will be pirated?

    The true success of win7 , of course , will be measured when it overtakes XP on the desktop.

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