This weekend, Puget Systems updated many of our preconfigured systems to default to Windows Vista 64-bit. This is in direct response to a dramatic increase in popularity of 64-bit over the last few months. As part of my research in making this call, I took a look at our operating system sales over the last few years. I found the data interesting, so I thought I'd share that data, as well as my thoughts!
You can see that while Windows XP is slowly decreasing in use over time, the decrease is much less dramatic than you might expect. Soon after the launch of Windows Vista, Windows XP made up about 50% of our operating system sales. Today, it is down only to 30%. I find it particularly interesting that there was a surge in Windows XP usage around the middle of 2008. This correlates to the height of the general public's anti-Vista sentiment, which prompted Microsoft to perform what I thought was a desperate advertising campaign. Named the "Mojave Experiment", its goal was to demonstrate that people simply disliked Windows Vista because that was the public consensus. Micosoft didn't need to worry, however, as this resistance was soon overcome by the sheer need for a 64-bit OS. Its funny to think that the availability of 64-bit drivers is quite possibly the largest factor "forcing" people to adopt Windows Vista.
The middle of 2008 is when we started seeing a dramatic movement that started with 32-bit accounting for 80% of our sales, to it only accounting for 20%. I find it very interesting how smooth this transition was. Every month, 64-bit made steady gains. This is what you would expect when the sales are customer-driven. If Puget Systems had been pushing one version over another, you'd see a sudden shift at the time we made an internal company decision. This graph makes me feel really good -- its shows that we really are doing our job of educating our customers, and letting them decide!
Tags: operating systems, OS, Windows XP, Windows Vista, 32-bit vs 64-bit, XP vs. Vista