Windows 7 Finally Dethrones XP As Most Popular Operating System

    September 4, 2012
    Zach Walton
    Comments are off for this post.

Thanks to the poor performance of Windows Vista, XP has enjoyed a decade long rule over the operating system landscape. Many people switched over to Windows 7 when it launched, but XP still had a lot of faithful users. The holdouts may finally be making the switch.

The latest operating system statistics from Net Applications came out yesterday and the results are unexpected, but welcome. They show that Windows 7 has finally overtaken XP as the most popular operating system on the planet. It’s not much of a victory though as Windows 7 commands 42.76 percent of the market whereas Windows XP still has 42.52 percent.

The difference between marketshare may not be that big now, but it signals the end of an era. It’s been over a decade since Windows XP launched. Since then, the operating system expanded quickly thanks to the popularity of the Windows PC in the early to mid-2000s. The launch of Windows Vista did little to reinvigorate Windows and now sits at only 6.15 percent of total marketshare.

We can only hope that Windows 7’s marketshare will continue to grow. Microsoft dropped official support for Windows XP a few years ago and the operating system is now susceptible to numerous security threats. Businesses running Windows XP should make the switch to 7 soon lest they be hacked.

In the world of Mac OS X, 10.7 still holds the lion’s share with 2.45 percent of the market. Version 10.6 holds a smaller 2.38 percent of the market. The stats don’t take the recent release of Mountain Lion into account yet, but I expect it to overtake Lion next month if Apple’s report of its popularity is to be believed.

It will be interesting to see where things stand next month. Windows XP’s marketshare can only go down from here and Windows 7 can only go up. Things will get really interesting once Windows 8 joins in as well. Microsoft’s new operating system is going to spread primarily through PC sales instead of upgrades. It’s initial marketshare will give us a good idea of how well Windows 8 PCs are selling.

  • Jos van der Klooster

    I see you put a lot of trust in these statistics. They also show that Windows Phone is at 0.6 % market share.

  • Roger N Garceau

    Windows 7 home premium is the OS loaded with new PC’s forcing the issue, not a free choice. XP comfortably runs all my programs. Win 7 may run some. I have to upgrade my other software. Win. 7 Ultimate runs in XP mode but even if you buy a new computer Win 7 Ultimate may not be available. You must upgrade 7 yourself.What a mess.I run a Host and remote for double the fun.

    • lubierzca

      “XP comfortably runs all my programs”

      That’s impossible. What kind of out-dated software you’re using?

  • DigiMan

    Most popular is not what the title should have been called. I work in IT and people HATE anything other than Office 2003 Pro with Windows XP Pro. Most people are on Windows 7 because A.) The company they work for HAS to push it due to support and licensing from MacroCa$h B.) Their laptops are failing since hardware manufacturers build life expectancy into their products and people have to buy a new system and it happens to have Windows 7 for the same reason A:) above.