Microsoft's Windows XP operating system (OS), which was released a decade ago in October 2001, was the most used OS in 2011 but its market share has been rapidly dropping, losing more than 10 percent, as more users shift to the latest Windows 7 software.
Web metrics firm, Net Applications, released its desktop OS study Monday which revealed Windows XP installed base stood at 57.51 percent in February last year, but fell to 46.52 percent in December.
By contrast, Windows 7, released in the market October 2009, had grown steadily throughout last year. Its user share was at 24.09 percent in February, but rose to 36.99 percent by end-2011. Windows Vista, meanwhile, also dropped from 11.49 percent to 8.44 percent during the same period, the study showed.
The latest findings come after a Microsoft executive urged companies not to bypass Windows 7 in anticipation of the next iteration of the operating system, Windows 8, which is scheduled to debut in 2012.
Rich Reynolds, general manager of Windows commercial marketing, told ZDNet Asia in September last year that its internal research showed 90 percent of companies polled had plans or were in the process of migrating from Windows XP or Vista to Windows 7. Reynolds said companies should continue to accelerate deployment of Windows 7 as delays could lead to security risks since official support for Windows XP will end in April 2014.
With regard to Apple's Mac OS, its Mac OS X 10.6, otherwise known as Snow Leopard, continued to be ahead of the latest iteration Mac OS X 10.7, or Lion. Its December findings showed that Snow Leopard stood at 3.05 percent while Lion had 2.02 percent, Net Applications stated.