Windows 7 Finally Dethrones XP As Most Popular Operating System

    September 4, 2012

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.