Windows 7 set to overtake Windows XP in August

Windows 7 set to overtake Windows XP in August

Summary: According to Net Applications, Windows 7 will finally overtake ageing Windows XP in market share in August, more than three years after its initial release, and months before Windows 8 is out the door.


Windows XP, the operating system that just won't die, is about to be overtaken by Windows 7 in worldwide operating system share trend, according to one research firm.

Despite other research firms suggesting that paths have already crossed, Net Applications is yet to call time on Windows XP holding the top spot.

Windows XP, currently weighing in at 42.8 percent, has lost month-on-month around 1 percentage points of its market share. Meanwhile, Windows 7 stands at 42.2 percent, gaining 1 percentage point each month.

Aside, Windows Vista remains mostly flat but continues to lose a fraction of its share, while Apple sees marginal growth in its OS X line-up. Linux, well, doesn't really exist, unless you call it an "other."

It's worth noting that StatCounter, a rival research firm, said Windows 7 took over Windows XP in mid-September 2011, though two firms rely on different methods of totalling up their figures. How the two firms calculate their figures is crucial, however, and any figures based on estimates can be disputed.

In doing so, Microsoft will have succeeded in pushing aside its decade old software. (For years, I've considered Windows 7 to be Microsoft's Terminator, released to kill its predecessor. I digress.)

It's somewhat poetic that Windows XP should die the same month that Windows 8 is released to manufacturing. But with the warning that Windows 8 will "be another Vista," it could be that Windows 7 is just as pesky half a decade down the line, long after the buffet cart empties and the tears dry up at Windows XP's memorial service.

How this fares for the enterprise is interesting. Windows 7 is a solid piece of kit. It's reliable, relatively secure, and compatible with the apps you know and love. It has to be to survive in the face of Microsoft's catastrophic foul-up with Vista. 

But rinse and repeat years down the line as Microsoft readies Windows 9 or Windows 10 -- or if we go by perhaps the development cycle will speed up to keep in line with Apple's annual rollout -- that businesses and the enterprise will cling on to Windows 7 like it did with XP. 

At least we have until 2020 before we have to say goodbye for good to Windows 7. That gives us plenty of time to worry about that nearer the time.

Until we hear from Microsoft on official figures -- which could be in the coming months, ahead of the Windows 8 launch in October -- we'll just have to twiddle our thumbs, wait, and break out the party poppers around this time next month. 

Image source: Net Applications.

Topics: Windows, Operating Systems

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  • Hurrah....

    Microsoft's best OS to date overtakes their second best OS to date.
    • Yea right

      5 years after Vista was introduced and XP is finally being eclipsed.

      But keep polishing that turd...
    • Yea right

      5 years after Vista was introduced and XP is finally being eclipsed.

      But keep polishing that turd...
      • Yea right - ironic

        Funny how the boy trying to make a hard point manages to spoil his own legitimacy by creating a double post.

        But keep pushing that submit button ... :)
        • Funny how Pwned99

          Changes his name to CallMePwned.

          Do you really think that helps your image any?
  • Windows 7 set to overtake Windows XP in August

    That is pretty impressive considering the huge amount of XP installs that were out there.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • Impressive?

      It's "huge number," not "huge amount" - installs are counted, not measured.

      And, in terms of being impressive, let's bear in mind that XP lasted this long in part because Vista, touted as the next great thing, was such a colossal POS, and it took M$ this long to actually improve sufficiently to justify the upgrade.
      Non-techie Talk
      • Let's not forget all those XP downgrades...

        ...once M$ caught on to what a colossal POS Vista was.
  • XP is/was better than Win7

    From my experience, a well-maintained XP PC is a lot less troublesome than a well-maintained Win7 PC, especially in mixed network environments where you have to play nice with other OSs. Windows 7 still has many of Vista's problems when trying to network with older versions of Windows, as well as being unpredictably very temperamental and fussy with network changes, including even when you just replace a router. And it's been irksome to have to go 3rd party to get legacy DOS apps to work when you know it would have been trivial for Microsoft to have supported doing that. As far as Windows 7's supposed superior security, never saw it -- all I know is that when a Windows 7 PC gets infected with a high tech bug, I'm a lot less certain that it's really actually completely removed after going through the cleaning process. And when you install XP on newer hardware, including an SSD, it's so much more responsive than Windows 7 on similar hardware.
    • Win7 and networks

      I've got to admit it gave me some frustrations when I got my first Windows 7 and tried to network it with Vista and XP, but that's all past history as Vista and XP have exited my home and all PCs are now Windows 7.

      But it never gave me trouble for changing a router. Windows 7 noticed a change in the network and asked me if it was a home or public network just like any time you connect to an unknown network, which it is! After configuring my new router with same name and WPA key as the old, wireless Windows 7 machines just asked the same, home or public and all was fine, I wouldn't call this temperamental.
      • Usually it works smoothly but

        when it doesn't.... There's this office that got 3 new Dells that were identically set up, and when their router went bad and was replaced with an emergency replacement, 2 of the 3 simply noted the change and asked if it was a public network or not, and there was no problem. That 3rd one, though, ended up denying all access to the local network while providing Internet access. I thought maybe the secretary made a mistake but that it would be easy to fix. Wrong. I got on Google and found a bunch of those exasperating discussion threads where people had the exact same problem, but got a pile of "try this" replies that don't work. After proving they don't work, I took a guess based on my past troubleshooting of random Windows issues, and changed her IP from DHCP to static -- that fixed it. But only until the router was replaced once again with a permanent replacement, and that 3rd Win7 PC again flaked out on network access. I then made another educated guess and changed her IP from static back to DHCP, and that fixed that. Stuff like that really bothers me since it indicates really sloppy coding and QA.

        My main issue, though, has been Win7's consistently poor behavior and performance in a mixed environment (and yes I have gone through all those checklists on the Internet that supposedly but don't really completely fix this.) I don't care if that goes away when everything on the network is Windows 7 -- that again just shows really poor coding and QA.
        • No sloppy coding

          But a localized problem, if it really would be sloppy coding, the problem would be far more widespread. I have administered litterally hundreds of Win7 machines, and not once did I notice did. Of course changing the network type is dead easy and should have solved your issue. If not, there is a advanced firewall that can be set..
          • The problem is that these are widespread problems

            And a some quick Googling shows this. Large companies tend to upgrade all their workstations at once following a period of testing. That's nice if have the money and a full time IT staff. Small offices, though, typically have a mix of equipment, especially age-wise, and buy stuff as needed. They should be able to go out and buy a new PC without having to be concerned that it won't "like" something about their network, requiring them to get a computer expert to get things running properly. Having to change the IP from DHCP to static and then back to DHCP because Win7 didn't like something on the network is dopey and absolutely does indicate poor coding and QA.

            And how would you defend those network performance issues? You go Googling for that and you find lots and lots people peppering discussion threads with the same problem, and they get the same recommendations regarding autotuning, RDC and all that. But if you do all that, most likely you'll just get marginal improvement. My "solution" was to just use a USB drive for copying over huge amounts of files. Microsoft, Microsoft....
          • If you play with enough configs of W7

            You'll see W7 has a myriad of bugs and burps, and this isn't limited to networking issues alone. Anyone who hasn't noticed this hasn't hammered that OS much.
    • If you want performance.. and that is the only issue..

      ... then just install DOS 3.
    • I'll Take Win7

      My experience has been the opposite. Our enterprise has well over 2,000 PCs, and we (I and my technicians) far prefer Windows 7 to Windows XP. While WinXP was solid enough, we find Win7 to be even more reliable, faster, better at detecting and playing well with devices, and easier to manage.
    • Don't Get It

      You simply don't get it, do ya? You are supposed to get rid of any other O/S on your network and put LoseDoze7 on ALL computers. What is this so difficult to understand? Then you would have true networking compatibility.
      • Yeah, that will work...

        Except Windows sucks for mobile development. Eclipse on win7 isn't as bad as XP but it still has a crapload of annoying errors. Thankfully you can't develop iOS apps on any Windows OS, so I only have to use wincrap for developing software for enterprise server applications and services. I love my stable, reliable, sleek and sexy Mac Book Pro's. Yeah that's plural...

        Thankfully no one has asked me to waste time developing Windows Mobile apps...


        Happiness is MSFT @ 0.0001
  • Levels of hell = Windows version?

    Get ready for the 8th level!
    One thing has never changed with Microsoft, the new version fixes half the bugs of the old version and introduces twice as many new bugs of which the first service pack will fix half..... to be repeated ad nauseum.
    Reality Bites
    • Interesting...

      When I worked in a school district doing IT work, the number one call I had was with Macs properly connected to AD. I also had a number of issues with duplicate printers showing up, printers missing out of the blue, etc. That red dot and I just never got along. I got a call for the AD connection issue several times each day.

      The biggest issue I ever had with a Windows XP computer- socially engineered scareware pop ups. Nothing got clicked, but they were worried it was real. I got this call twice, ever.

      I will be installing Windows 8 from day one on my personal computers and I'm confident that I will have few, if any issues. Why? I haven't had a single issue with any of the previews.