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Windows Me Tops 260K In 1st Week

NEW YORK — Windows Millennium (Me) sales during its first full week on the market topped 260,000 units, considerably slower than the initial sell rate of Windows 95 and Windows 98.

Roger Lanctot, director of research for Reston, Va.-based PC Data, expects sales to trail off in the coming weeks, but the operating system will end the year with a respectable 1 million units. Windows 95 and 98 each sold about 2 million units in their first six months on the market.

The operating system’s biggest impact could be its effect on software sales overall, Lanctot said.

“Its integration of video, audio, photo editing and recording abilities will bring this functionality to a wider audience and create new opportunities for both publishers and manufacturers,” he said.

Apple has touted the same features in its new Mac OS X, of which a beta version began shipping the same day as Windows Me, but the company declines to say how many copies it has sold. Apple is only selling Mac OS X through its online store.

PC Data’s breakdown of the first week of sales found that most consumers, 216,448, took advantage of the promotional price of $49 that was offered during the first three days the operating system was on sale. Of those counted, 216,448 paid $49 and about 36,000 paid the full upgrade price of $89. Fewer than 10,000 bought the entire application at an average price of $167.