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Sales of boxed copies of Windows 7 are thrashing Windows Vista's early history, but at a price - the money that Microsoft is making on them isn't keeping up.

Windows 7 unit sales were 234 per cent higher than Windows Vista's during the first few days of both operating systems' release, according to analyst NPD Group's weekly tracking service.

Revenue, though, is only 82 per cent higher than that earned by Windows Vista.

NPD, correctly, cited the fact that Microsoft has been massively discounting Windows 7 for consumers. The focus for this push has been the low-priced Windows 7 Home Premium SKU at the expense of the more expensive Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate

Microsoft's stated goal has been to kick-start the business and grow Windows 7's market share. The idea is to do what Windows Vista failed to achieve: replace Windows XP.

NPD noted that the average selling price for an upgrade edition of Windows 7 Home Premium is $76 compared to $147 for Windows 7 Pro and $149 for the Windows 7 Home Premium Family Pack for three users.

Copies of Windows sold pre-installed on PCs, rather than as boxed product, are usually Windows' strongest route to market. NPD said, though, that sales of Windows 7 on PCs lagged those of Windows Vista during its early days.

The number of Windows PC sold grew 49 per cent in units year-over-year and 95 per cent over the week prior to launch. That's compared to 68 per cent and 170 per cent for Windows Vista. ®

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