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Vista Business sales slow, XP stays steady in European IT channels

Channel sales of personal computers equipped with Microsoft’s new Vista operating system for business users, Vista Business, slowed in August 2007 accounting for 13% of unit PC sales through Europe’s top IT distributors, according to IT market researchers Context. That’s down from 17% in July 2007.

Meanwhile, unit sales of Windows XP Professional PCs, the operating system being replaced by Vista Business, dropped only four points to 27% in August compared to the previous month and remained at double Vista Business sales levels, reports Context: “The only flavor of Vista that is showing significant growth is Vista Home Premium. Ever since Vista’s launch earlier in the year, the sales emphasis has been on consumer PCs with the Home Premium and Home Basic editions, with the corresponding disappearance of Windows XP Home and XP Media Center Edition.”

In January 2007, prior to the Vista launch, Windows XP Home and Media Center-equipped PCs sold by leading distributors in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands accounted for 29% of unit sales, while XP Professional was at 45%, notes Context. By May of this year, XP Home and Media Center PCs had dropped to 9% of distributor sales, with Vista Basic and Home Premium combined at 36%, and XP Professional at 28%.

Context believes that as Vista Business PC sales have not continued to grow as expected since May 2007, XP Professional remains the apparent business operating system of choice. (