Microsoft didn't seem to have any problems with forecasted sales projections for Windows Vista when analysts were abuzz at the end of 2006. In late November, IDC projected that over 90 million copies of Windows Vista would ship in 2007 -- far outpacing the 67 million copies of Windows XP shipped during its first year on the market.
Now after slow initial sales of Windows Vista, Microsoft is saying that the analysts were "overly aggressive" with their sales projections. According to PC Advisor, Vista sales are off 60% compared to the 2001 launch of Windows XP. Revenue is also down by 23% so far with Vista's launch.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer repeatedly suggested that piracy is the reason why Vista is coming up short in sales. As a result, Ballmer feels that Microsoft must step up its antipiracy efforts to protect Vista sales worldwide. The move to stave off increases in pirate activity will no doubt affect the everyday users of Microsoft's operating systems. "We [will] really ferret through how far we can dial it up, and what that means for customer experience and customer satisfaction," said Ballmer.
"Piracy reduction can be a source of Windows revenue growth, and I think we'll make some piracy improvements this year," Ballmer continued. "We will have strong growth in the Windows business in emerging markets: China, India, Brazil, Russia and many others. Those markets are very high in piracy."
Microsoft is no stranger to piracy and Bill Gates recently had a front row seat when boastful Romanian President Traian Basescu proclaimed that "[Piracy] set off the development of the IT industry in Romania... It helped Romanians improve their creative capacity in the IT industry, which has become famous around the world."
A senior attorney for Microsoft also estimates that over 33% of all Microsoft software available worldwide is pirated.