Microsoft's most recent Windows version, Windows XP, continues its torrid sales pace, the company told me today, with more than 46 million licenses sold since the product launched last October. This morning, at Microsoft's annual financial analysts meeting, Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates announced the milestone and noted that XP continues to form the foundation of the company's revenues each quarter. "This \[sales\] data follows last week's earnings announcement of Windows XP's positive contribution to last quarter, and we are thrilled with its ongoing success," said Charmaine Gravning, product manager for Windows XP.

Additionally, XP has seen unprecedented support from Microsoft's partners. More than 700 partners have designed more than 23,000 products specifically for XP--nearly three times the number of Designed for Windows products that were available at XP's launch and more than twice the number of Designed for Windows applications that became available for any previous Windows version in the same timeframe.

XP is the most recent version of Windows that Microsoft has built on the Windows NT kernel. A follow-up to XP, dubbed Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1), will form the basis for upcoming Windows versions such as Windows XP Tablet PC Edition and Windows XP Media Center Edition.