Report: Windows XP is Still The Dominant OS

Despite our love for Windows 7, the latest Microsoft OS still isn't the #1 platform on the market. Instead, Microsoft's opus Windows XP is still the reigning champ, claiming 47.19-percent of the market as of January 31, 2012. Strangely enough, the first month of the year actually saw a resurgence in the legacy platform, slightly higher than December 2011's 46.52-percent market share.

Since March 2011, Windows XP's lead has slowly given way to the more powerful and slicker Windows 7 platform. During that month, Windows XP seized a market share of 56.78-percent while Windows 7 only claimed 25.23-percent. By the time Jane and Marcus dressed up as Mario and Luigi for Halloween (aka October 2011) [Ed. note: This didn't actually happen, but it's a great idea for 2012], Windows XP had dropped to 48.03-percent while Windows 7 had slowly climbed up to 34.62-percent.

For the last few years, Microsoft has insisted that Windows XP customers upgrade to Windows 7. It's not necessarily a revenue issue, but rather from a security standpoint. Official support for the legacy OS will come to a close on April 2014, giving consumers just over two years to move away from the elder platform before security updates come to a halt. And while XP's market share does continue to drop, the slow progression may be due to countries with low economies unwilling to make the financial move.

Of course, the slow drop in Windows XP numbers may also signify a reluctance to upgrade period. Thanks to a struggling economy, consumers short on cash simply may not have the funds to upgrade their laptops and desktops, or even simply the operating system itself. What will be curious to see are the numbers of both Windows XP and Windows 7 towards the end of the year once Windows 8 enters the market. The new OS will have the upper hand of residing on both x86 and ARM-based hardware including notebooks, desktops and tablets.

In the overall OS sector, Microsoft's Windows-based platforms remain the champ. In March 2011, Windows Vista saw a 11.02-percent market share, and then a 8.22-percent market share in January 2012. Mac OS X 10.6 and 10,7 saw 3.65-percent and 0.01-percent respectively in March 2011, and then 2.95-percent and 2.18-percent respectively in January 2012.

An "other" category also reveals a 3.31-percent market share in March 2011 and a 3.06-percent market share in January 2012. This category likely includes Ubuntu, Chrome OS and a few others. To see the full chart, head to NetMarketShare here.

  • crisan_tiberiu
    Ofc it is, the majoraty of the companies use XP. Alot of programs are optimized and made for XP, and, when we speak about production , you simply canot play with the "compatibility mode" in w7 or vista. This is not about what OS is better overal, its about what OS does the job better. Microsoft releases a new OS and only after the release other programs get optimised/build for it. I wonder now if W8 knock on our door, what will happen with the people that didnt made the jump to 7? they will probablyskip w7.
  • GreaseMonkey_62
    Windows 7 was also released during a recession, which is still being felt. XP still does a good job and runs the software they need it to. Many people and companies I'm sure are sticking to what works and has been paid for rather than shell out the dough for a new OS.
  • madooo12
    MS should release Windows XP 2.0, seriously it would be a great Idea
    that way I may reinstall windows next to ubuntu
  • syrious1
    seriously, time to upgrade guys... 2014 is approaching fast.
  • mrmaia
    As I don't think this report counts in pirated software, corporations count heavily here. And as WinXP WORKS, they don't see any reason to upgrade any time in the future unless it's so obsolete nothing will run on it.
  • leakingpaint
    lol - really?
  • alidan
    im useing windows 7 now because i have a ssd and 8gb of ram, im not happy with windows 7, but im content enough that i dont rage quit it and switch back...

    i ask about how to fix things, like being able to click a file in any column, and not just on its name, and when i asked if there was a fix, i was told to use a 3rd party file manager... im sorry but that sounds like you are telling me that windows 7 has problems and there is no way to fix it, but here is a work around...

    that is just my most recent gripe with 7, but is so not my only one. ill get down voted i know... but i can say this at the very least, when i went from 98se to xp, there was nothing that xp couldn't do that 98 could, but going from xp sp3 to win 7 sp 1 (i believe), i was bombarded with so many things that are just missing, and may never be able to get them back... like the tile commands, and folder sizes in explorer.
  • sixdegree
    Maybe it's some cue for Microsoft to start release some discounted upgrade pack for people and business that still using XP.
  • nevertell
    Well, why should I upgrade my hardware just to be able to upgrade my software so I can do the same job I did before ?

    I think that the concept of a new OS taking up more resources is plain bullshit. Why should new functions, that are not/should not be running in the background all the time slow down the computer?
    I mean, what essential upgrades are there in windows 7 compared to windows xp ? Most are under the hood and most shouldn't be "felt" whilst using the pc everyday. So why does it use more resources to do the same job ?

    Unfortunately this problem isn't only evident in Windows, it's the same for MacOS, linux and others.
    Newer kernels should have support for more features and hardware, but they should never use more resources than the last version whilst doing the same workload. There is no rational reason for that.
    The only reason it is that way is because people tend to rush new features into new versions before fixing the old features, this is the main problem in linux development as of now. Even Linus acknowledges the fact that the linux kernel has become bloated.
  • Desertlax
    I know that in the county i work in they upgraded fairly smoothly to windows 7, just not all across the board, they waited for user to file a complaint that their machine wasn't working or had some issue with it, and then just replaced the machine with a new one that also had W7. As things wear out they just slowly continue to upgrade.