A billion copies of Windows?

While I've been busy at OSCON, Microsoft has not been idle, announcing a billion copies of Windows will ship by the end of its next fiscal year, i.e., June 20, 2008.

Yesterday's 'Analyst Day,' an annual event when the software giant invites the press and stock market gurus to Redmond to hear of Microsoftian accomplishments, was the venue when CEO Steve Ballmer made that pledge. Coupled with that pronouncement was Microsoft's claim that security is the driving force behind Vista adoption.

Of course, if you've tried to buy a new PC recently, you'll find the notoriously security-unaware general public finds it extremely hard to find a Windows XP machine at retail anymore. Last weekend's trip to the local Fry's found only two PCs, Fujitsu tablets to be specific, were still available with XP, and every other of the several dozens of Windows machines on the sales floor was loaded with one of the bewilderingly diverse varieties of Vista, despite the audible requests of campus-bound students and their parents for machines with XP. Given that real-life experience, I still have faith that the Microsoft Marketing Machine is far more responsible for feeding Vista into a marketplace that seems less than enthusiastic about adopting it in lieu of XP.

But, that's one example, and from the Silicon Forest of the Pacific Northwest at that. Wherever you are, do you easily find new machines at retail with XP? Inquiring minds want to know.