Microsoft PR honcho Frank Shaw has a fun post up on the official Microsoft blog. It starts with Microsoft's calculation that seven copies of Windows 7 have been sold every second since the OS was released, then quotes other bits of math relating to the company and its competitors. His point: Microsoft sells stuff and serves customers on a truly massive scale that few companies can match.
There's something inescapably appealing about calculating how many copies of a popular product are sold per second, even though it suggests some sort of perfectly steady state of commerce that doesn't exist. (For me, at least, it brings to mind a supermarket checkout stand with Superman -- or possibly the Flash -- scanning items at superheroic velocity and ringing them up on an old-timey cash register that actually goes "ka-ching!") And the seven-copies-of-Windows-7-every-second factoid got me wondering how rapidly other popular products of the present and past have sold. So I did the math.
The figures below are profoundly inexact: They're based on sales estimates which may be way off in some cases, and periods which are often vaguely defined. I rounded off the numbers,wasn't obsessive enough to take leap years into account, and calculated some overall averages for lengthy durations. You may analyze the same available data and come to different conclusions, or decide that it's pointless to make any calculations whatsoever. But I still think these guestimates provide an interesting frame of reference.
Coca-Cola Company-owned beverage sales, currently: 18,519 servings every second (source)
Firefox 3 downloads (free, of course) on June 18 2008 ("Spread Firefox Day"): 93 per second (source)
iPhone app downloads (paid and free), first nine months after iPhone OS 2.0 release: 42 apps per second (source)
McDonalds hamburger sales, founding of McDonalds Corporation through 1973: 21 burgers every second (source)
New York Times sales, as of March 2010: Eleven copies every second (source)
Windows Vista sales, first month: Eight copies every second (source)
Windows 7 sales to date: Seven copies every second (source)
Windows Vista sales, through June 30 2008: Four copies every second (source)
iPhone 3GS sales, first three days: Four phones every second (source)
Windows XP sales, first 74 days: Three copies every second (source)
Windows 95 sales at retail, first four days of availability: Three copies every second (source)
iPod sales, 2001-2010: One player every second (source)
Harry Potter book sales, 1997-2008: One copy every second (source)
Cabbage Patch Kids sales, 1984: One doll every 1.5 seconds (source)
iPad sales, first 80 days: One unit every two seconds (source)
Windows 3.1 sales, first two months after 1992 introduction: One copy every two seconds (source)
Xbox 360 sales, 2005-2010: One console every three seconds (source)
Original Xbox sales, 2001-2006: One console every six seconds (source)
Sony Walkman sales, 1979-1989: One player every six seconds (source)
Commodore 64 sales, 1982-1994: One computer every twelve seconds (source)
Model T sales, 1908-1927: One car every 37 seconds (source)
Macintosh sales, first hundred days after 1984 introduction: One computer every two minutes (source)
Sony Walkman sales, first two months after 1979 introduction: One player every three minutes (source)
Microsoft Bob sales, 1995-1996: One copy every seven minutes (source)
Delorean sales, 1982-1983: One car every two hours (source)
Apple I sales, 1976-1977: One computer every two days (source)
UNIVAC I sales, 1952-1954: One computer every 22 days (source)
Technologizer, of course, is a free service. But for the record, during our busiest month to date (March 2010) we served a visitor to the site every six seconds. I feel tuckered out just thinking about it...
This story, "Windows 7 Compared to Other Top-Sellers" was originally published by Technologizer.