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Windows 7 Finally Tops Windows XP in the U.S.

By - Source: Royal Pingdom | B 49 comments

It’s been 18 months since Windows 7 hit retail availability and Microsoft will this week be celebrating the fact that it’s finally the most popular OS in the United States.

Thanks to low confidence in Windows Vista, many Windows users opted not to update from Windows XP, which meant the 10-year-old OS remained on top. However, according to statistics from StatCounter (via Royal Pingdom), Windows XP has finally been dethroned.

As of April, Windows XP accounts for 31.56 percent of the market, while the newer Windows 7 accounts for 31.71 percent. When Windows 7 launched, Windows XP accounted for nearly 50 percent of the market while Vista accounted for over 35 percent. Vista has since dropped to 19.07 percent. In fourth place is OS X, with 14.87 percent, while Linux comes in fifth with just .7 percent of the market.

Royal Pingdom reports that, while Windows 7 has surpassed XP in a number of countries (including Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Germany), there’s still a ways to go when it comes to toppling XP as the worldwide King of OSes. Windows XP currently accounts for 46.87 percent of the worldwide market, while Windows 7 follows behind with 31.17 percent.

Windows 7’s success is somewhat overshadowed by this week’s leaks about the upcoming Windows 8. Recent evidence suggests we’ll see an app store integrated into the next iteration of Windows.

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  • 4 Hide
    Marco925 , April 13, 2011 3:14 AM
    And while everyone just finally settles down and gets used to their chair, a New one comes out and everyone is told to change it, despite the first chair already having the outline of your buttocks engraved in it.
  • -1 Hide
    acadia11 , April 13, 2011 3:20 AM
    About time, windows 7, is the isht, way better than that mistake called Vista.
  • -1 Hide
    Stryter , April 13, 2011 3:21 AM
    lol, poor OS X still sits below Vista.
  • Display all 49 comments.
  • 1 Hide
    dco , April 13, 2011 3:38 AM
    The report also stated that Windows 7 is the most used "desktop" operating system. If it took into account all other computing devices, XP still dominates by a massive margin.
  • 2 Hide
    joex444 , April 13, 2011 4:51 AM
    Probably should point out that the Linux user population is hard to estimate. With OS X it's simple -- Mac sales divided by total computer sales. Microsoft generally admits the true Linux population is several percent of users, which is to say 5-10x higher than most reports indicate.

    Otherwise one mostly relies on web server statistics.
  • 1 Hide
    joex444 , April 13, 2011 4:55 AM
    Also "desktop" operating system is used to distinguish between servers and desktops. Which is to say "desktops" include traditional desktop computers as well as laptops. I'm not sure what other computing devices are out there, but I'm thinking along the lines of an iPad which I don't think runs XP. Just look at the laptops for sale, they all come with Windows 7. Even the netbooks.

    My guess is the popularity of Win 7 is coming from new PC sales where customers don't have a choice to go with XP and are too lazy to downgrade themselves/start using Win 7 and find it acceptable. Fact is people are creatures of habit and if given a choice between learning something new that ostensibly doesn't do anything new we'll opt to stick with the thing we've already learned. And while we on THG consider an OS install to be beyond trivial, it's daunting for your average user.
  • -5 Hide
    aww , April 13, 2011 5:04 AM
    The most popular operating system for all non-PC devices is Linux. Outside the desktop, Linux dominates the mobile phone market, embedded appliance systems, robotics, and supercomputers.

    The reason OSX is so slowly making headway in the desktop market is because Apple is a far costlier computer. For instance, compatible hardware between a Mac and a PC may render similar performance results, but the Mac will invariably be twice as much in price.

    The reason Linux may not have a significant share of the PC market is because Microsoft has managed to ensure that OEM manufacturers pre-install only Windows and nothing but Windows into each machine that makes it to a shelf. Consumers have never had a choice.

    In the end, Linux desktop market share is irrelevant since open source has its own environment sustained by a dedicated community of developers that are not beholden to any single corporation. In other words, the best minds around the globe are ensuring that Linux will stay cutting-edge for desktops and all other devices.

    I will say unequivocally that OSX and Linux have proven to be far superior than Windows for desktops and laptops. Linux runs faster, more reliablly, and without the nightmarish viral maladies that have blighted Windows users for years. Which proves that popularity does not necessarily mean quality.

    Windows can continue to dominate the desktop- but who really cares? Certainly not the Mac or Linux communities.
  • -2 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , April 13, 2011 5:06 AM
    I don't see Windows 8 overtaking Windows 7. A lot of people that had Windows Vista that either upgraded to it or bought a pc with it installed were chomping at the bits a short time later with vista's problems to upgrade to Windows 7. Tghe avg consumors only buys a new pc every 4 or 5 years, by the time Windows 7 rolled out most people that bought their pc's that came with Windows XP where ready to buy a new pc again. Since Windows 7 has been soo great for most pc users, most people won't bother upgrading to Windows 8 and most avg consumors won't do their anual upgrade cycle for another 3 or 4 years or even longer now considering pc's that came with Windows 7 are more then capable of doing typical work loads due to advancements in hardware which will hurt Windows 8 even more when it comes out. business are just now starting to upgrade to Windows 7 so they aren't going to upgrade again for another 6 or 7 years. MS should push Windows release date back another couple of years for those reasons.
  • -1 Hide
    Flameout , April 13, 2011 5:07 AM
    dcoThe report also stated that Windows 7 is the most used "desktop" operating system. If it took into account all other computing devices, XP still dominates by a massive margin.

    if you're using the word 'actual' including servers and smartphones as computing devices, linux is the king!
  • -1 Hide
    adamboy64 , April 13, 2011 5:13 AM
    Sweet. Well done Microsoft.
  • 2 Hide
    razor512 , April 13, 2011 6:04 AM
    How many of the activations are from OEM preinstalls or from purchased copies?

    Microsoft could have re-released windows ME with out changing any of it's code and it would eventually beat windows xp in market share, simply because when people go into the store to buy a prebuilt system, it will come with windows ME.

    What needs to be done is compare the active licenses for purchased copies of windows XP, to purchased copies of Windows 7. Preinstalled operating systems should never be counted as there is generally no choice in the matter for many people.

    while most of us here may build our own computers, overall, probably 99.9% of computer users will purchase a prebuilt computer.
    Another interesting thing is that most computer users don't even know which operating system their computer is running, and a few that I provide support for who know slightly more about their computers, will generally only make it as far as the name Windows, but often, will not know which version of Windows they are running.

    gathering statistics on preinstalled operating systems is a very poor way to measure the popularity of an operating system, as for the average user, when they head into a store such as Best Buy(ripoff), in almost all cases, they are stuck with a choice of either a PC or a Mac, and if they go with the PC route then they are generally forced into getting whatever the current version of Windows that Microsoft is shipping out is.
  • -3 Hide
    Anonymous , April 13, 2011 7:01 AM
    every incarnation of windows has been an improvement. Me and Vista were great.No sense tarnishing them because your software would not run on them.
  • -4 Hide
    Wish I Was Wealthy , April 13, 2011 8:12 AM
    I've got windows 7 also,but this will not stop me using my retail boxed edition of windows XP Pro x32bit which I think is still the king of operating systems...
  • -3 Hide
    Wish I Was Wealthy , April 13, 2011 8:16 AM
    Did you all out there think that this could be due to IE9 coming in to the browser market now & windows XP OS can not install IE9 & infact can only go up to IE8...
  • -5 Hide
    Wish I Was Wealthy , April 13, 2011 8:22 AM
    Also think about every body that has an OEM XP operating system...These OEM operating systems do not last as long as a retail boxed XP operating system does...So over the years as peoples OEM's die off & they can not load an OEM onto another motherboard,but with a retail boxed XP operating system you can load it onto another motherboard within a new pc...
  • -5 Hide
    Wish I Was Wealthy , April 13, 2011 8:33 AM
    One more point of view,although humoruos as it may seem comes to light & that is numerology...Up there in the article it has written "It's been 18 months since windows 7 hit retail availability"...Low & behold 18 adds up to 9,which in numerology is supposed to be a caring number,especially if you are born with it...
  • -4 Hide
    Wish I Was Wealthy , April 13, 2011 8:41 AM
    Another point of view to consider is again in this article they mention xp as being the 10 year old operating system & again 10 adds up to the number 1,which in numerology is masculine & classed as being top dog...So let's all hope that windows XP operating systems still will bloom in the future...
  • -4 Hide
    Wish I Was Wealthy , April 13, 2011 9:31 AM
    Why can't people just use mozilla's firefox & stay with XP rather then leaving XP just for the sake of being able to use microsoft's IE9...Better still buy another operating system for these uses of trying IE9 & still keep your XP running...
  • -3 Hide
    razor512 , April 13, 2011 9:33 AM
    Windows XP may be 10 years old, but that doesn't mean it is useless. It is a light weight OS compared to windows vista and 7, it was designed to be responsive on a computer with a 300MHz CPU and 64MB of RAM (though many programs have higher requirements than this).

    On a modern computer, if windows XP is properly setup and the transition effects and other crap is disabled, the OS responds instantly to almost everything.

    For most people, the OS run all of their programs and works well.

    For those who do not understand the use of an OS, consider this question. If when microsoft released windows 7, they locked it down in such a way that the only software that you could run was what came preinstalled through the retail disk, and no other software could be installed. Would you still use windows 7?

    The OS is basically an environment that you use in order to run the software of your choice. Windows XP still meets this task, with the exception of 2-3 PC games, which aren't that good.

    While windows 7 has made some improvements, for what the average user does on heir computer, they can do it with both windows 7 and XP, which is why you probably wont find them buying a copy of windows 7 to upgrade the current OS on their PC, and when they actually get windows 7 will be when they purchase a new computer that comes with it preinstalled.

    Counting preinstalled copies when calculating popularity or like for an OS, is like saying that more new computer users prefer the sasser worm to adobe photoshop because more new computer users had it installed as compared to adobe photoshop. (not comparing windows 7 to a worm, i am just using this to back up my argument of why preinstalled or installed with out the user having a say, is not a good indicator of how many people actually like or want it over windows xp)
  • -4 Hide
    Wish I Was Wealthy , April 13, 2011 9:41 AM
    Good One razor512,keep it coming...
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