Microsoft Corp. has sold twice as many copies of Windows 7 in its first few weeks than any previous version of the operating system, Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer said. A company spokeswoman said Mr. Ballmer was referring to both boxed copies of Windows 7 and copies it sells to PC makers for inclusion on their machines.
The new software, which has received favorable reviews, also could give Microsoft a badly needed image boost in the wake of Windows Vista, which suffered from technical snafus when it was launched in 2007.
Mr. Ballmer said Microsoft does "quite well" among students but said the company can improve its standing in that market. "Windows 7 gives us a real opportunity to come back again at audiences that have been tougher for us". Apple's share of new PC shipments in the U.S. was 9.2% in the third quarter, up from 4.8% in the same period four years ago.