Has Windows 7 already passed XP in the UK?

Has Windows 7 already passed XP in the UK?

Summary: Microsoft Windows 7 is the fastest-selling PC operating system of all time, which it should be because the market is bigger now than when Vista and XP were launched. There's still some uncertainty about when -- not if -- it will be bigger than XP, but on StatCounter's numbers, Windows 7 has already overtaken XP in the UK.

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TOPICS: Tech Industry
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Microsoft Windows 7 is the fastest-selling PC operating system of all time, which it should be because the market is bigger now than when Vista and XP were launched. There's still some uncertainty about when -- not if -- it will be bigger than XP, but on StatCounter's numbers, Windows 7 has already overtaken XP in the UK.

StatCounter's UK graph for April, below, shows Windows 7 at 34.1%, with XP on 29.5%, Vista on 24.3%, Mac OS X on 9.4% and Linux on 0.75%. If the graph is correct, Windows 7 overtook Windows XP in February.

StatCounter chart showing OS use in the UK

Like other companies, including NetApplications, StatCounter collects its data from a global network of websites. With three million sites, it's registering billions of hits. The charts are then compiled from raw data, which is what NetApplications does not do. StatCounter's FAQ says:

"We do not manipulate the data in any way. We do not collate it with any other information sources. No artificial weightings are used. We simply publish the data as we record it."

The problem is that if we don't know what the sites are, we don't really know what the numbers mean. Some technology websites, for example, saw Windows 7 overtake XP last year, while websites that are mainly used by large corporations may not see that until next year.

Of course, everybody also has their own opinion of how far and how fast the market is changing, based on their personal experience. However, whether StatCounter is right or wrong about XP's position, its website tracking certainly shows the trend.

If Windows 7 has not yet overtaken XP in the UK, it's just a matter of time.

Last month, I reported that Gartner was giving companies A wake-up call on Windows 7 migration. StatCounter's chart is another.

There's no great pressure on consumers to move to Windows 7, because it requires little or no planning, and they can do it in a day or two. Historically, we know most will upgrade only when they buy a new PC. However, large companies with hundreds or even thousands of programs to test and fix, and tens of thousands of PCs to migrate or replace, may already be running out of time. And this could well be a problem for companies that have not upgraded their web browsers for ten years.

The failure to keep up with the times may save money in the short term, but usually builds up a "technical debt" (PDF) that has to be paid eventually. The bills are now starting to come in.

@jackschofield

Topic: Tech Industry

Jack Schofield

About Jack Schofield

Jack Schofield spent the 1970s editing photography magazines before becoming editor of an early UK computer magazine, Practical Computing. In 1983, he started writing a weekly computer column for the Guardian, and joined the staff to launch the newspaper's weekly computer supplement in 1985. This section launched the Guardian’s first website and, in 2001, its first real blog. When the printed section was dropped after 25 years and a couple of reincarnations, he felt it was a time for a change....

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3 comments
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  • Windows 7 is just like Vista rehashed. Full of gimmicks and fancy tricks. Aero Snap? There's a far better version in XP called Tile Horizontally or Tile Vertically that isn't limited to arranging just two windows but any number you select. There are many good useful features of XP removed and broken in Windows 7. The file manager, Windows Explorer was utterly destroyed in Vista and becomes worse in Windows 7. Poor usability. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_features_removed_in_Windows_7 and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_features_removed_in_Windows_Vista . Unnecessary GUI changes. Vista was innonative but horrible usability wise and removed things. Windows 7 is Vista with few new features and again many features removed and fancy gimmicks and shiny graphics added.
    xpclient
  • there have
    been some significant shifts in the technology markets that deliver
    applications, and the platforms that sustain applications, so that while
    the current version of an application may be running well, the next
    upgrade for many applications is going to involve a substantial shift
    in the underlying platform infrastructure – or portends the need for a
    replacement system
    BrownieBoy-4ea41
  • Oops! Premature button press on my previous comment. Here's what I was going to say.

    "Technical debt" is a new one on me. Although the PDF is obviously intended to plug Cast's own product, it still said some interesting stuff. But my interpretation was that it's more concerned with how applications may break down over time of their own accord - e.g. changing business requirements - rather than because of changing platforms. The nearest they get to saying how it's the platform that's the cause is in this paragraph:

    "there have
    been some significant shifts in the technology markets that deliver
    applications, and the platforms that sustain applications, so that while
    the current version of an application may be running well, the next
    upgrade for many applications is going to involve a substantial shift
    in the underlying platform infrastructure – or portends the need for a
    replacement system"

    Hmmm... if IT Managers have enough current applications that are "running well" and need to be re-mediated, or even replaced entirely, just because they, supposedly, need a new platform, then no wonder those IT Managers are not looking the new platform with a welcoming eye.

    Unless, of course, the current platform is demonstrably crap, and the new one gives them so much more; e.g junking Internet Explorer, especially version 6, and replacing it with a modern, standards-based browser.
    BrownieBoy-4ea41