Microsoft Vista sales hit 100 million before holidays

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp said on Sunday that Windows Vista sales topped 100 million before the 2007 holiday season when an extra flood of buyers purchased personal computers.

The world’s largest software maker announced passing the threshold during Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates’ keynote speech at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

In an embargoed briefing with Microsoft prior to Gates’ speech, the company said it has yet to tabulate holiday sales of Vista and declined to say exactly when it passed the 100-million mark. The year-end holiday shopping season is traditionally a period of robust computer sales.

Microsoft has seen a steady stream of upgrades by consumers to its new Vista operating system over the last year. As of the end of September, Microsoft had sold 88 million Vista licenses after exceeding 60 million at the end of June.

The company released Vista to consumers in January 2007. Microsoft expects to roll out its first major update of Vista, called Service Pack 1 (SP1), in the first quarter of 2008. Corporate customers often wait until the release of SP1 to upgrade to a new Windows operating system.

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Reporting by Daisuke Wakabayashi, editing by Phil Berlowitz