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Windows 7 flying off virtual retail shelves, Vista not so much

Chicago (IL) – Windows 7, despite being months away from its official release, is apparently still selling well, dominating Amazon.com’s software best seller list. Windows Vista barely makes the top 100, which, of course, is not so surprising.

Information Week’s Paul McDougall noticed Microsoft’s continued success of Windows 7 pre-sales first this morning. At least if we believe Amazon’s sales charts and if those rankings are any indication, Windows 7 is doing well. The $50 Home Premium Upgrade is the top-selling software while the $100 Professional Upgrade is second. The expensive $220 Windows 7 Ultimate Upgrade is listed at #18.
   
As an interesting side note, Amazon’s product pages note that 91% of customers who are visit the Home Premium Upgrade page (and buy something in the end) in fact buy this product, while 7% end up with the Professional Upgrade. On the other hand, only 75% of customers looking at the Professional Upgrade page, buy the software: 23% buy the Home Premium version and 1% the Ultimate version. Of course, the Home Premium version is the volume product and the Ultimate variant may the least compelling product, which is reflected by Amazon’s statistics: 46% of visitors to the Ultimate page buy the Professional Upgrade, 36% the Home Premium version and only 16% the Ultimate Upgrade.

Further down the ranking we learn that Windows XP is still selling well, holding positions #31 (Home Full SP2), #57 (Pro Full SP2) and #75 (Home Upgrade SP2). What about Vista? Microsoft’s current consumer operating system has made the top 100 in only one version – Home Premium SP1 Upgrade at #89. No other versions are listed among the 100 best selling software titles in Amazon’s ranking. But then we know that this should not come as a surprise: 95% of Microsoft’s operating system sales are OEM and license sales and ship either with new computers or via license agreements to business customers.

What is somewhat remarkable is the fact that Microsoft can convince users to order the software now, more than three months before its official release on October 22. Release to manufacturing is apparently targeted for Monday next week, July 13. Options to purchase the software do not only include retail chains such as Best Buy or etailers such as Amazon.com, but also Microsoft’s own web store. Microsoft that customers who decide to preorder the operating system not only get Windows 7 at a discount of up to 58%, it also guarantees that a credit will not be charged until the software ships.