40m sold but some ISVs still miffed by Win95

Microsoft's revelation this week that it has sold 40 million copies of Windows 95 may sound impressive but it doesn't hold much water with independent software vendors (ISVs) dismayed by take-up of Win95 native applications.

"The problem was that the majority of corporate sites said 'I'm already doing that under Windows 3.x, why should I change'," said Joe Corr marketing director at Demon Internet product services and previously UK general manager of Micrografx when 95 shipped.

"It's no secret that Micrografx stuck the flag on the Windows 95 hill. The consumer market was a fait accomplis but there was no headlong rush to Windows 95 in business. I think there was a little bit of complacency at Microsoft. That meant no demand from the channel and left ISVs to sell to OEMs or direct to major organisations."

Several ISVs including Corel blamed slow uptake of Windows 95 for disappointing fiscal results and many analysts have suggested that Microsoft made little effort to sell Windows 95 to business, preferring to focus on Windows NT instead.

"If you listen to Microsoft people selling products to big organisations, you hear Windows NT all the time, never Windows 95, and it's been that way a long time," said a senior executive at a rival software vendor.

Microsoft can be forgiven for turning a deaf ear to the chiding; a press release issued on Monday points out that 95 has already equalled sales of Michael Jackson's Thriller album. It also cites IDC forecasts of 132 million sales by the end of 1997.

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