Windows 7 finally beats XP, or does it?

It took its time, but Windows 7 now appears to be more widely used than XP.

StatCounter shows Windows 7 Beating XP

StatCounter shows Windows 7 Beating XP

It took Windows 7 a little more than two years, but according to StatCounter, the Website analytics company, Windows 7 is now being used by more people than its decade old brother XP.

According to StatCounter's research arm StatCounter Global Stats in October 2011 Windows 7 took 40.5% of global Web market share with XP at 38.5%. Windows Vista, which was meant to replace XP and failed miserably, is down at 11.2% globally.

"Vista was like the ugly sister that few wanted to dance with," said Aodhan Cullen, StatCounter's CEO, in a statement. "Despite Microsoft trying to keep it back in the kitchen, XP has retained tremendous loyalty over the last decade. However, it looks like the younger Windows 7 is now emerging in the Cinderella role."

According to the StatCounter analysis Windows 7 overtook XP in the United States in April 2011 and in Europe in July. However, in Asia Windows XP still retains a clear lead at 55% in October compared to 36% for Windows 7.

Not everyone agrees though that XP is now in second place. NetMarketShare, another Web traffic analysis company, has XP still hanging on to first place with 48.03% of the market and Windows 7 still catching up with only 34.62%. If the delta remains the same Windows 7 won't catch up with XP on NetMarketShare's view until early 2012.

NetMarketShare still shows XP as holding its own.

NetMarketShare still shows XP as holding its own.

StatCounter Global Stats are based on aggregate data collected on a sample of over 15 billion page views per month (4 billion in the US) from their network of more than three million websites. NetMarketShare data collection network has over 40,000 websites, and counts unique visitors once for visit for day. In summary, NetMarketShare's data is compiled from approximately 160 million unique visits per month.

What that means is that StatCounter counts all page views while NetMarketShare looks at single site visits. That in turn imples that very active users of a particular operating system would weigh more heavily on StatCounter's numbers.

Be that as it may, there can be no question that Windows 7, if not the most desktop operating system in the world today, is well on its way to that achieving that position. As for the rest, Mac OS X, according to StatCounter, has broken the 7% mark, 7.18%, and NetMarketShare shows Mac OS X at 5.45%. Linux on desktops still lags far, far behind the others.

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