Windows XP finally dips below 50 per cent mark

Summary:Windows XP -- the world's most popular operating system -- has finally dipped below the 50 percent mark, as Windows 7 takes its place.

Enterprises are finally waking up to the inevitability that they will have to upgrade either their systems, or their ageing operating system, as the Windows XP market share mark drops below 50 percent.

At over ten years old, Windows XP has been slowly losing momentum during each month since Windows 7's release, according to statistics collected by Net Applications.

While Microsoft still has around 87 percent share in the operating system market, Apple's share is slowly but steadily rising.

With Vista's share holding at only 9 per cent, Apple's operating system share has been steadily increasing thanks to the widely used iOS on iPhones and iPads.

With only three years before Windows XP is no longer supported, the enterprise sector in particular -- making up businesses, universities and government -- have had no option but to upgrade to a more recent  version of Windows.

Many have been putting off the upgrade due to unsatisfactory upgrade paths from Windows XP to Windows 7, requiring either an intermediary Windows Vista upgrade to continue through, or a replacement of hardware to have Windows 7 pre-installed.

While Microsoft is firm in its efforts to rid the world of Internet Explorer 6 -- the browser pre-installed with Windows XP -- the company has not acknowledged the market share dip of its long running operating system.

What is clear, however, is that Windows 7's rise in numbers is directly attributable to Windows XP's decline. Though more businesses and consumers are still using Windows XP over newer Windows 7, Microsoft still needs to make the upgrade process simpler, and less Vista-orientated to get more people on board.

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Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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