Despite lingering concerns that Windows Vista isn't making much of a dent after over a month of general availability, retailers are reporting that demand for the new operating system is indeed strong. Both Best Buy and Circuit City report that consumer interest in Vista-based PCs is particularly strong: Best Buy says that sales were up 10 percent in the past month, while Circuit City didn't order enough Vista-based PCs to meet demand.
Of course, Best Buy and Circuit City have gone down different paths in recent months. Best Buy is surging, with profits up 18 percent year-over-year in the most recent quarter, thanks to increased sales of its PC and other electronic profits. Circuit City, meanwhile, is floundering. The company lost $12.2 million in the most recent quarter and responded by firing its top salespeople in order to save money. It's inability to stock enough Vista-based PCs was a direct result of its financial problems, Circuit City admitted.
Regarding Vista, its success is still somewhat fuzzy. When you combine Microsoft's numbers--20 million units sold in 30 days--with these reports from top electronics retailers in the US, Vista appears to be doing quite well. But it's worth noting that Vista benefitted from pent-up demand due to its five-year gestation, while the market for PCs today is quite a bit larger than it was five years ago when XP first arrived. That said, PC makers are expected to ship over 250 million units this year, and the vast majority of those PCs will utilize Windows Vista. So no matter how you measure it, Vista will be the dominant computing platform at some point in the near future.