Even with the Windows 8 release right around the corner, say October 2012, Windows 7 continues to be very popular. Microsoft announced the 600 million license mark for Windows 7.
According to The Verge, since the introduction of Windows 7 in 2009, the growth of the premier operating system has grown significantly. It reached 240 million license sales in its first year, and six months ago, in January, it reached 525 million. The 600 million mark represents 39% of the OS market.
Yet that still doesn’t beat Windows XP. Right now, it has about 46% of the OS market. But with continued growth of Windows 7, it may be a while before the two Operating systems converge; it may be another year.
From the figure below, you can see that even Windows Vista, the black dog in the Microsoft’s room, holds 7% of the market; Mac OS, in two forms has about 5%; and there is another 2% for the remaining OS, which is probably Linux.
Windows 8 on the Horizon
What this portends for Windows 8 is interesting. First users, and companies will have to decide if they want to make the upgrade sacrifice. Because to get the full benefit of Windows 8, they will have to change monitors to support touch technology; not to mention the hardware technology, which will make Windows 8 a version to use. If you don’t want to or can’t afford to upgrade the hardware, why bother? Keep Windows 7.
Second, are users and companies really ready for the Metro style interface? And while it may be possible to go back and forth between the traditional GUI and the new Metro UI, it has to be smooth and easy and intuitive to be a success. Some users will balk and other may accept it. But the latter must be the predominant ones.
In all then, the prognosis for Microsoft OS still looks very good, but whether a new soldier in their platoon of software will add to their market strength will depend on whether Windows 8 gets a share of the market.