Windows XP sells less than Win 98 after 2 months

Windows XP sells less than Win 98 after 2 months

Nearly two months after the launch of what Microsoft called one of its most important products ever, the Windows XP operating system has failed to sell more copies than its predecessor did after its release, according to data from market research firm NPDTechworld, a division of the NPD Group.

Since its October 25 launch, Windows XP has sold around 650,000 [cq] copies through retail channels, as opposed to the roughly 900,000 [cq] copies of Windows 98 sold in the two months after it was launched, according to Howard Dyckovsky [cq], vice president of software tracking at NPDTechworld. Windows XP tallied sales of around 400,000 copies in October and pulled in 250,000 in November, he said.

Though the numbers may appear disappointing, Dyckovsky says they're not.

"Given the market conditions, sales are pretty good," he said, adding that "(XP) will end up selling more than (Windows) 98 and (Windows) 95 did, but it will take a while."

"Overall, it will clearly be the biggest selling operating system that Microsoft has," he added.

The dip Windows XP has taken compared to Windows 98 can be explained by a number of factors, he said. The state of the economy and the low price of new computers may be either keeping users from upgrading immediately or is causing them to buy new PCs with Windows XP preloaded, thus taking sales figures away from the retail charts, he said. PC makers were also able to sell PCs with Windows XP in advance of the OS' launch, which may have also hurt retail numbers, he said.

Though Windows XP is not "taking the world by storm," Dyckovsky expects that the numbers the OS has tallied so far this year likely line up with Microsoft's pre-launch expectations.

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