News

Windows 7 Overtakes Windows XP in Popularity

Windows 8 cracks the Top 10, thanks to its preview versions.

Windows 7 is the most popular operating system in the world, finally overcoming the venerable Windows XP.

Various versions of other Microsoft and Apple OSes fought it out for the rest of the Top 10, an Internet statistics company reported.

Microsoft's Windows 7 OS has taken the top spot in worldwide market share for the first time in its three years of availability, according to NetApplications.

Windows 7 finished the month of August with 42.76 percent -- an increase of .55 percent over the previous month. Windows XP's drop of .34 percent to a total of 42.52 percent dropped it down to the second-place position for the first time in years.

Microsoft XP's market dominance could be thanked in part to the lackluster sales of Windows Vista, which ended August with a 12-month low of 6.15 percent of worldwide market share. However, with Microsoft announcing earlier this year that the end of XP support would be coming in 2014, coupled with shops' slow migration to Windows 7, the decade-old OS has been in decline for the majority of 2012.

Windows 8, which is set for launch on October 26, finished the previous month with a .23 percent share, thanks to the multiple "preview" versions that has been available for download since last October.

Overall, Microsoft's OS desktop market share accounts for 91.77 percent of worldwide usage; Apple sits far behind in second place with 7.13 percent.

Top 10 OSes August 2012 Market Share Market Share % Change (Over Previous Month)
Windows 7

42.76%

+ 0.55

Windows XP

42.52%

- 0.34

Windows Vista

6.15%

- 0.45

Mac OS X 10.7

2.45%

- 0.82

Mac OS X 10.6

2.38%

- 0.10

Mac OS X 10.8

1.41%

+ 1.13

Linux
1.10%
+ 0.08
Mac OS X 10.5
0.70%
- 0.03
Windows 8
0.23%
+ 0.03
Mac OS X 10.4
0.17%
No change

Figures courtesy of Net Applications

About the Author

Chris Paoli is the site producer for Redmondmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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