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Vista Launch Week Sales Less Than Windows XP

Retailers sold less than half as many shrink-wrapped packages of Vista than Windows XP, and reaped almost a third less revenue, in comparing the launch weeks of both Microsoft operating systems, a research firm said Thursday.

The drop in revenue came despite a 65.5 % increase in the average selling price of Vista compared with XP, The NPD Group said. The avarage selling price for Vista was $207.13.

During Vista's launch week at the end of January, retailers sold nearly 59 % fewer units than XP in 2001, and took in 32 % fewer dollars, the research firm said. More than 30 % of the unit sales, however, were for the Ultimate version of Vista.

"Although total dollars were down compared to XP, I think the preliminary data shows that Microsoft's gamble on a new high-end Vista SKU will help keep dollar volumes from declining as rapidly as unit volumes in the near term," NPD analyst Chris Swenson said in an e-mail.

A spokesperson for Microsoft was not immediately available to validate NPD's sales figures.

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