Windows 7, for the first time, has surpassed Windows Vista in operating system market share according to three popular companies that track OS market share over time.
StatCounter, the W3Schools OS platform statistics and NetMarketShare have recorded a steady rise of Windows 7 ever since its introduction in October 2009.
Overall numbers differ because of the different data sets used in the calculation of the operating system market share.
Statcounter for instance recorded a Windows 7 market share of 19.86%, while NetMarketshare one of 14.46% and W3Schools of 19.8%. Vista's market share respectively has been calculated to be 19.18%, 14.34% and 11.7%.
It took Windows 7 less than a year to surpass Windows Vista, an operating system with a two and a half year head start. That's not as surprising as it may sounds though, as Microsoft seems to be selling More Than 7 Copies Of Windows 7 A Second, resulting in more than 150 million Windows 7 copies sold in June 2010.
What may be surprising to some users is the steady decline of the Windows XP operating system, and the more or less stable market share of Windows Vista.
According to StatCounter, Windows XP dropped from an all-time high market share of 69.95% in July 2009 to 54.13% in August 2010. Netmarketshare saw a drop from 71.51% in September 2009 to 61.87% in July 2010, W3Schools a drop from 65.3% in October 2009 to 54.6% in June 2010.
Vista on the other hand did not drop that much. StatCounter recorded the market share of the Os with 22.71% in June 2009, and 19.18% in August 2010.
Netmarketshare similarly saw a drop from 18.62% in September 2009 to 14.34% in July 2010, while W3schools saw a drop from 18.6% to 11.7% in that period.
Windows XP is losing between 1-2% every month, while Windows 7 is gaining the same percentage in the same period. It will still be interesting to see if Windows 7 can keep up the momentum. Many experts believe that the market share will increase faster with the release of the first Windows 7 service pack, which is expected to be released in the beginning of 2011.
Windows XP is losing more absolute market share than Windows Vista. It is likely that Windows XP users who have waited a long time to migrate to another operating system pick Windows 7, Windows Vista users on the other hand sit on a relatively new operating system and computer, and are less likely the migrate yet.
StatCounter stats for individual continents show interesting trends as well.
Windows XP has dropped to 36% in July, while both Vista and Windows 7 gained market share and sit at 28% and 22%. Stats are similar in Europe, with Vista again in front of Windows 7 market share wise. Windows XP dropped to 46% over the last 12 months, Vista increased its market share to 24% and Windows 7 its to 22%.
The two continents where adoption rates are not as steep are Africa and Asia. Windows XP has a market share of over 70% in both continents.
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