StatCounter: Windows 7 overtakes XP

Good news for Windows 7 fans ... but be careful about putting too much stock in a single data source.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

According to StatCounter, Windows 7 has finally (and clearly) overtaken XP in global usage.

Here's the good news for Windows 7 fans:

Let me zoom in on that crossover point for you:

The data shows that Windows 7 is now at 40.21% while XP is floundering with 38.64%.

Note: My colleague Zack Whittaker covered this earlier this month, but at that time the chart didn't show Windows 7 ahead of XP.

Breaking the data down is also interesting. Here is usage share for the US, showing Windows 7 with a huge lead over XP:

It's a different story in China where XP commands a massive lead over Windows 7:

Note this is just one data point. NetMarketShare, another popular web metrics firm, shows Windows 7 lagging behind XP significantly (32.42% versus 50.50%).

Personally, I've felt that NetmarketShare's data to be more reliable, but overall the best we can get out of these metrics is trends rather than actual numbers. I don't get too caught up on the numbers, and I suggest you don't either.

And the trend is clear. Windows 7 is gaining ground and that XP's usage share is eroding, but it's slow progress. Microsoft sold some 240 million Windows 7 licenses by the end of the first year and the company estimated that some 94% of new PCs would ship with Windows 7 by the end of the year.

[UPDATE: Added data for different countries]

(Hat tip to Tom Warren at Winrumors)

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