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CES 2008: Microsofts 2007 sales figures product by product
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Sat Jan 12, 2008 6:26 pm Reply and quote this post
The consumer electronics industry's big annual bash in Las Vegasgot off to its usual start on Sunday evening - a speech from BillGates, boss of a company that still often seems to be struggling tolocate its own consumer gene.
Gates' CES speeches (this will be his last) are a useful reminder ofjust how many eggs Microsoft has in the consumer basket. No matter ifHD-DVD has all but lost the next-gen DVD format war, Microsoft is alsopushing ahead fast with Xbox Live Marketplace, a venue for sellingdownloadable video (some cynics, in fact, claim that this is where itsreal long-term interest lies and it only ever saw HD-DVD as adiversionary tactic to try to stall Sony's Blu-ray.)
To coincide with CES, Microsoft issued a deluge of fresh data aboutits consumer businesses. But what do all the numbers really add up to?
Windows Vista. 100m licences in the first year.This compares with 67m licences in the first year of XP - but then,there are many more PCs around now. Consumers certainly didn't takequickly to Vista. The new Aero interface was meant to produce a "wow"effect but that was quickly drowned out by problems with incompatibledevice drivers, insufficient machine memory, and other glitches. With ade-bugged service pack release due soon, though, Vista's early badpress should eventually fade.
Xbox 360. 17.7m sold to date. A good headstart inthe next-gen console race. But the Wii shows no signs of slowing down,and the apparent defeat of HD-DVD gives the (Blu-ray enabled) PS3 amuch-needed boost.
Xbox games. 1.6m copies of Mass Effect sold in thefirst six weeks, and plenty of buzz among Xbox's core users. Finally, agame to stand alongside Halo?
Zune Social. More than 1.5m registered users.That's not a bad start for the social networking play that is meant todo for the Zune player what Xbox Live is starting to do for theconsole. That's no replacement, though, for actually selling thehardware. Tellingly, there were no numbers on how many Zunes were soldover the holidays.
Beijing Olympics. 3,000 hours of exclusive onlinevideo from NBC will be powered by Microsoft's Silverlight. That will bea great showcase for a technology that is fighting it out with Adobe'sFlash player. However, the joint NBC/ MSN site for the Olympics willcarry adverts that are sold and served up by NBC, so no success here inextending Microsoft's online advertising reach.

Contributed by Editorial Team, Executive Management Team
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