Back in October 2009 Microsoft released the long awaited and highly acclaimed Windows 7 operating system. Unlike Windows Vista, the operating system's immediate predecessor, Windows 7 managed to do what where Vista failed: Snag away market share from Windows XP. Depending on which statistics you look at Windows 7 is installed on 39% (Statcounter), 42% (W3CSchools) or 32% (Net Market Share) of all computer systems. In comparison the same companies see Windows Vista at 11%, 5% and 9%, and Windows XP at 40%, 36% and 50% respectively.
If you look at the statistics you will notice that Windows 7 has surpassed Windows XP in one already (W3Schools) and that the operating system is about to surpass XP in another in the coming month (Statcounter) if current trends continue.
Only Net Market Share sees Windows XP still in the lead by a large margin.
One of the interesting things here is that Windows 7 managed to surpass Vista's market share in less than a year in all three statistics. If you project the rates at which Windows 7 grows in market share you will come to the conclusion that the operating system may gain another 15% to 20% of market share in the coming 12 months. Why is that period important? Because after that time Windows 8 will be released. An earlier release of Windows 8 may slow down the rise of Windows 7, but it won't halt the market share drops of Windows XP and Vista.
There will still be plenty of users working on Windows XP and at least some that use Windows Vista. When you look at global operating system brands and their market share, you will notice that Microsoft with Windows is still the big fish in the pond. Depending on the statistics service used the company has a worldwide market share between 85% and 93%.
Can Windows 7 be called a success because of this? I'd say yes it can, especially when compared to Windows Vista. The biggest feat in my opinion is that Windows 7 turned around the perception of Windows from a bloated slow operating system to something that people love to work with.
It will be interesting to see how the public perceives Windows 8 once it comes out. Will Microsoft be able to break the good OS bad OS cycle (Windows 98 good, Windows ME bad, Windows XP good, Windows Vista bad, Windows 7 good) and deliver two great operating systems in a row, or will the new operating system fail to impress with its new Metro start page and design changes.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.