Perhaps remembering that underpromising and overdelivering is a sure route to satisfying your audience, about a month ago, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer advised that, due to pricing and piracy challenges, Windows Vista sales for 2007 would be lower than originally predicted.
$1.30 copies of Vista notwithstanding, turns out he may have been a teensy bit overcautious. The company today said that the first month of general release has seen over 20 million licenses for Vista sold, according to this Reuters piece. That's more than twice the initial rate for predecessor XP.
Those numbers, if steady, put Microsoft on pace to meet or beat predictions toward the end of last year from analyst firms like IDC that sales would reach 90 million for the year. (Unfortunately, the percentage of licenses purchased by consumer vs. business customers isn't given.)
Both internal and external observers seemed a bit surprised, if still less than exactly excited, by the figures; a marketing director says in the Reuters article that "it's a little bit better than what we were expecting," and an analyst told InformationWeek today that "twenty million is a really big number."