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Report: Windows 7 Surpasses Vista in Market Share

Windows 7 now has nearly 15 percent of the operating system market for business users, outshining Windows Vista for the first time, according to a report issued this week.

The report by Janco Associates Inc. found that Windows 7 reached 14.6 percent of the OS market in April, while Vista declined to 12.8 percent. The result is impressive for an OS released less than seven months ago, according to Victor Janulaitis, CEO of the Janco management consulting firm.

"The last OS that was accepted as quickly in the market was XP," Janulaitis commented in a released statement. "Vista's market share has peaked and is in the process of being decommissioned in most enterprises."

Windows 7 adoption was a major factor in Microsoft's improved record earnings, according to Janulaitis. Microsoft's performance was lifted in its fiscal third quarter largely due to consumer Windows 7 sales, which provided new revenue.

In contrast, Vista was a "flop" that drove quick acceptance of Windows 7. Users are pleased with Windows 7, according to the report, with the exception of the 64-bit version and issues related to the 64-bit version of Internet Explorer. Nearly 94 percent of all systems use Windows, as measured by Internet sampling.

Other OS surveys sampled through the Internet are more conservative about the speed of Windows 7 adoption. For instance, data from Net Applications puts Windows 7's usage share during April at 11.7 percent -- well under Vista's 15.6 percent. Stat Owl places Windows 7 even farther behind -- at 8.8 percent compared with 24.7 percent for Vista.

Microsoft has its own measure of the adoption rate for Windows 7. In late April, Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Peter Klein said in a Webcast that Windows 7 now powers more than 10 percent of the world's PCs. He noted that Windows 7 sales drove revenue for the company, which was 6 percent higher than last year's 3Q revenue figure.

A key reason for the variance in OS market share stems from methodology. Janco's study focused on business use.

"We only deal in business-to-business sites. The others include consumer sites," Janulaitis explained in an e-mail. "Second, we have captured our data consistently using the same methodology and it has been accurate for our customer base (businesses)."

The Janco report also found that Microsoft's browser market share has fallen to its 1998 level. IE's market share peaked in 2000, according to the report, and since then it has declined steadily to 67.7 percent.

About the Author

Natasha Watkins is a New York-based freelance writer specializing in technology and business topics.

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