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By | John Oates 16th February 2007 16:37

Ballmer downplays Vista sales

Don't believe the spreadsheets

Steve Ballmer has played down the hype surounding Vista sales saying some analysts have taken an overly optimistic view.

Speaking to financial analysts, Ballmer said he was pleased by the response to Vista, but warned: "People have to understand that some of the revenue forecasts I've seen out there for Windows Vista in fiscal year 2008 are overly aggressive."

Ballmer said most sales of Vista were reliant on people buying new PCs and that the short-lived surge in PC sales was unlikely to be long-lived. Research from Current Analysis shows PC sales jumped 173* per cent in the US following the arrival of Vista.

However, boxed copies of Vista did less well. Vista sold 59 per cent less copies in its first week in the US than XP did on its debut.

Analysts NPD also noted a jump in PC sales, up 67* per cent, but warned that some of this figure would be made of deferred purchases - machines that people would have bought earlier, but they were waiting for Vista's arrival.

Microsoft shares fell almost 2.5 per cent on the news. ®

* Current Analysis takes figures from five big US retailers: Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA, Staples and Radio Shack. NPD gets its numbers from Amazon.com, Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA, Kmart, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, Target, and others.

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