Market research firm Current Analysis reports sales of PCs at U.S. retailers in the week ended Feb. 3 were 67% higher year-over-year and increased 173% week-over-week. Two key findings are consumers prefer Windows Vista Home Premium to Vista Home Basic and Hewlett-Packard is dominating sales. Vista Premium accounted for 70% of Vista sales in Vista's first week on the market (Basic was at 22%), but the most expensive consumer version, Vista Ultimate, only had a 1.2% share of sales. Laptops with the premium version installed were in higher demand than desktops (76% vs. 59%). HP recorded more than half of all PC sales in retail stores with 53% of Vista Premium and 54% of Vista Basic unit sales. The director of research at Current Analysis expects Vista Ultimate sales to improve with time. He also points out the data is only for one first week and notes PCs were not even the focus for retailers because HD TVs were top priority for the Super Bowl.
Sources: PC World-IDG, The Wall Street Journal
Commentary: Microsoft Vista: The Good, the Bad and the Boring - Barron's • Vista Sales Beat Forecasts, MSFT Shares Climb • Hewlett-Packard Extends Lead Over Dell in PC Market
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Microsoft (MSFT), Dell (DELL), Gateway (GTW), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Lenovo (LNVGY.PK). ETFs: Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK), Software HOLDRs (SWH), Internet Architecture HOLDRs (IAH), iShares Goldman Sachs Software Index (IGV), iShares S&P Global Technology (IXN)
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