It’s finally happened. Windows 7 has now been out for two years (I know, I can hardly believe it myself) and it’s finally overtaken XP on installations according to figures released by StatCounter.
The figures show that Windows 7 has grown to 40% total market share since its launch while Windows XP, which at the end of 2009 stood triumphant with almost 70% of the total market share has now dropped to around 38%. This is just below Windows 7 but as you will see from the graph the decline in usage for XP is steady and constant, mirroring the advance of Windows 7.
Windows Vista has also shown a steady decline and is currently down to around 10% overall. This still puts it ahead of Apple’s OS X desktop operating system however which has risen slightly in the last two years to stand at 7%, and Linux which has remained constant around the 1% mark.
If you look at the figures for Windows overall, Microsoft have lost around two or three percent market share to Apple in the last two years. While this may look like a tiny figure, when you extrapolate this out to around 2 billion Windows users worldwide, it could be as high as 60 million individual licences lost as more people buy Macs.
Many people will be happy to see XP now less popular than Windows 7 because of its inherent problems with security. Others however will be very sorry to see the venerable desktop OS go.
With Windows 8 out approximately twelve months from now it will be very interesting to see where these numbers go in the next three years? There are currently significant questions about whether it will prove as popular with computer users as Windows 7 has, and if it will be forced to live side-by-side with Windows 7 during its life.
Questions also remain as to whether Microsoft will be able to steal tablet and desktop market share back from Apple, which is still on a steady climb and that shows no sign of slowing down.