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Tracking Group: XP Retail Sales Trail Windows 98

An industry tracking group reported that retail sales of Windows XP in its first two months of availability lag behind sales of Windows 98 in that product's first two months on the shelf, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Microsoft responded that Windows XP's heavy system requirements mean that most Windows XP sales are coming with new systems.

NPD Techworld, a division of the retail sales tracking outfit NPD, said Microsoft sold 250,000 retails copies of Windows XP in November and 400,000 copies in October. NPD Techworld reports that Windows 98 sales were 580,000 copies in its first month on the market and 350,000 copies in its second month.

Retail sales, as defined by NPD, include new and upgrade versions of Windows XP but not software preinstalled on PCs, the Journal noted.

Microsoft, which says it has sold 7 million copies of Windows XP in retail and to OEMs, countered that retail sales account for less than 10 percent of Windows revenue. Microsoft spokesman Jim Cullinan estimated for the Journal that fewer than one quarter of computer owners currently have hardware capable of running Windows XP.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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