Net Applications: Win7 usage share now exceeds XP’s

For the first time in many years, Windows XP may no longer be the most widely used version of Windows. At least, that’s what the latest data from Net Application says. The research firm’s figures for the month of August show Windows 7 with the largest usage share, 42.76%, just ahead of Windows XP, which seized a slightly smaller 42.52% share.

Net Applications says it obtains its usage share data from "the browsers of site visitors to our exclusive on-demand network of live stats customers." Those site visitors number "approximately 160 million" each month, which sounds like a pretty healthy sample size.

As you can see in the historical graph above, Windows 7 has been steadily growing in popularity over the past year or so, while Windows XP’s user base has been shrinking slowly. Vista is on the decline, too—at 6.72%, its August usage share is only a small fraction of Windows 7’s and XP’s. The aggregate share for the last two versions of OS X is smaller still, but only by about one percentage point.

It’s nice to see folks slowly abandoning Windows XP. The OS has some unfortunate security shortcomings, and it’s getting seriously long in the tooth. We’re actually about a month and a half away from its 11th birthday. It’ll be interesting to see whether Windows 8’s arrival this fall will accelerate XP’s demise. (Thanks to CNet News for the tip.)

Comments closed
    • BobbinThreadbare
    • 7 years ago

    So Vista peaked at about 24% share, anyone want to place guesses on how high Win8 gets?

      • Chrispy_
      • 7 years ago

      On the desktop? I’ll go for “less than 10%”

      Microsoft seem to be [b<]betting the farm[/b<] on their tablets being super-successful. I am not so sure they'll even pass Android before Windows 9 is due out.

        • Meadows
        • 7 years ago

        Funny thing is, 10% will still be more than all versions of Mac OS X combined, according to the above graph.

          • Chrispy_
          • 7 years ago

          Yeah, but we all know MacOS is being neglected by Apple.

          They are betting on iOS because that’s their only successful platform.

    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    Uh oh, I’ve looked at a Microsoft news post and all I notice is APPLE.

    Given that Apple’s desktop revelance is negligible and their [u<]60% marketshare tablet dominance is completely overshadowed by their loss to Android[/u<]* in the smartphone space, Apple get a [i<]disproportionate[/i<] amount of coverage from most websites. I think [b<]that's[/b<] what infuriates me about them - the RDF field still exists in the form of press coverage and marketing despite most people now being aware that they are an evil, exploitive, litigous company that regularly demonstrates how they enjoy screwing their customers for money. Why? * They're smaller than [i<]just one[/i<] of the many Android smartphone partners, and (as a ballpark figure) there are 20+ people with smartphones for every person who has a tablet. My source is "google + "x marketshare 2012"

    • glacius555
    • 7 years ago

    The King is dead. Long live the King.

    • yogibbear
    • 7 years ago

    Everyone went and snapped up licenses to Windows 7 in anticipation of Windows 8’s release!! Or at least I know that’s what I did, and when I say everyone, I usually am referring to myself cause that’s the type of cool guy I am.

    • ronch
    • 7 years ago

    So what other information do they collect from us? I was recently surprised to see my Facebook profile name on a site I’ve never visited before, in its comments section. Looks like the big boys are out to snoop on us so they can sell our information.

    • Thresher
    • 7 years ago

    I really like Win 7. As much as I love my Mac, I love my PC and even my work PC.

    I think Win 7 is bar none the best product Microsoft has delivered since, well, ever. It’s stable, it’s reliable, it has tons of customizations, and the GUI is a perfect balance of flash and usability.

    All that said, knowing that this is going to draw negatives, I am NOT looking forward to Win 8. It’s a step back and I hope it dies the same, miserable death that Vista suffered so that MS will at the very least make all that Metro crap completely optional for Windows 9.

      • Deanjo
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]I think Win 7 is bar none the best product Microsoft has delivered since, well, ever.[/quote<] I don't know, DOS 3.3 and 6.22 were pretty good.

        • jackbomb
        • 7 years ago

        I didn’t like DOS. It kept telling me to press the any key.

        Windows 95 was my favourite Microsoft product. Sure, it would often try to scare me away from pornography by telling me it was illegal, but at least it never tried to sucker me into buying a fancy new Any Key-equipped keyboard.

          • SoM
          • 7 years ago

          i’m still looking to buy a keyboard with the any key.

            • albundy
            • 7 years ago

            pfff, I’m still waitin for my freakin Tab soda! Do you know how many times in the past decade I’ve pressed that button with no results? I’ve complained to my keyboard maker in china, Long Wang, but got the short end of the stick.

          • achaycock
          • 7 years ago

          Did add the windows key though. I had any-key equipped keyboards already and suddenly I felt I needed a new one for the start button.

      • Chrispy_
      • 7 years ago

      Yes, as a core OS, windows7 is great.

      As a GUI, parts of explorer and the control panels are still inferior to what we had going back to even Windows 2000.

      Microsoft have all the ingredients to bake a truly excellent OS but they don’t seem to have the recipe or a big enough mixing bowl.

      • designerfx
      • 7 years ago

      Windows 8 adds no value to consumers or desktop users. For tablets? Sure, good idea, but for desktops? horrible decision. It’s intentional though, not unlike vista or ME. They introduce new horrible things, and refine them into non-crap versions every other iteration. Tick/tock.

    • Deanjo
    • 7 years ago

    Bahhh, XP results are tainted anyways. It’s all them people that use Windows 7’s XP Mode. ;D

      • Wirko
      • 7 years ago

      And others that use XP’s 7 Mode.
      Sorry, I’m not letting my 7 installation out of its virtual box anytime soon, neither at work nor at home.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 7 years ago

    September 2013:

    Vista’s market share still exceeds Windows 8.

    trollololol

      • Meadows
      • 7 years ago

      The best humour has a nugget of truth in it.

    • ianworld
    • 7 years ago

    I wonder if windows 7 usage percentages will ironically dip back below windows xp when people start upgrading their computers from 7 to 8. Which will probably give xp another couple of years at the top.

      • Arag0n
      • 7 years ago

      I don´t know why people downvote you. You are speaking the truth. Windows7 usage is mainly because home-usage. If Windows8 has a significant success in home-users it´s likely that it halts windows7 marketshare gains and actually makes it dip faster than XP does.

        • rado992
        • 7 years ago

        However, as the support for XP ends, more and more PCs will be upgraded not to Windows 8 (which will scare the hell out of Joe Average), but to Windows 7, so I expect XP’s share to drop faster and 7’s to remain more or less at this level. Maybe both will start steadily decreasing but XP will eventually have to die long before 7 has to.

      • Wirko
      • 7 years ago

      Good point. XP is already as obsolete as it gets. 7 will be much more obsolete in two years than it is now. What you’re saying is possible if MS stops selling Windows 7 soon, and doesn’t allow down(?)grades afterwards.

    • Sargent Duck
    • 7 years ago

    I’m actually really really suprised that a) Windows XP is that high and b) it’s taken 7 that long to beat XP. Out of all my co-workers, family, church members, friends and people I do tech support, I can think of 1 person that uses XP. Granted, my sample size isn’t 160 million, but where are these people?

      • Buzzard44
      • 7 years ago

      Probably a lot of them are at work. My only windows computer at home uses 7 exclusively, but my work computer still runs XP. If large tech companies (IBM) are still moving from XP to 7, I can only imagine how many other people are racking up hours on the internet using XP at work.

      • brucethemoose
      • 7 years ago

      Those are some techy people you know.

      Most of my family’s still using XP, some still P4s, and not because of monetary reasons either. We did put out Vista machine out of it’s misery though.

      I see alot of Mac/Windows laptops, but most of my friends who also have desktops at home have XP.

      I visited an engineering firm (rather not say what business… but it’s pretty cutting edge), and almost all thier CAD machines and general work machines are XP/P4 boxes.

      XP is still everywhere I look. In fact, I’m suprised W7 is that high… W7 users probably go on the web more than XP users.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      As bruce says, corporate is a huge reason for XP staying high, it doesn’t surprise me too much. I wouldn’t be surprised if XP declines very slowly until support ends entirely.

        • BabelHuber
        • 7 years ago

        True. While my company already gave me a Win7-notebook, most of our customers still run XP. More and more switch to Win7, but only a single one runs Vista – poor MS, they convinced a single company to roll out Vista, now they have to support it for the next 10 years 🙂

        The reason is that there is not much to gain for an average company to switch to another Windows-release.

        Let’s say you have employees who sit on the same desk and on the same PC every day doing their stuff. These guys won’t become more productive because you use another Windows version.

        In extreme cases, they use their PC only for running MS Office and log on to some ERP system, like SAP.

        Such companies stick as long as possible to XP, since progess in productivity comes from updating their ERP-software, not the OS on their clients.

          • Wirko
          • 7 years ago

          These extreme cases are not so extreme, either. Also, the performance of their ERP applications depends a lot on their server hardware and less on the client machines.

      • pedro
      • 7 years ago

      Where I’m from (Australia) in the government health workplace it’s [i<]all[/i<] about XP. And then if you venture over to the private sector you're seeing a bit of windows 98 even thrown into that mix. In my workplace we were still using Windows 98 last year. And it was okay I guess. Windows 8 doesn't even register for these people.

      • just brew it!
      • 7 years ago

      Corporate users. My workplace has yet to officially switch to 7; if you order a desktop or laptop through our corporate IT dept, by default it comes imaged with XP even if it came from HP pre-loaded with 7. If you’re a “power user” (i.e. you run SolidWorks, Altium, Quartus, or some other tool that likes lots of RAM) it comes imaged with XP 64-bit Edition.

      We’ve got a handful of Windows 7 “early” adopters, but it is still not officially supported by our IT people.

      I spend most of my time in Linux, but have XP and 7 VMs set up. Pretty much the only things the VMs get used for are internal e-mail (Exchange/Outlook), intranet apps that don’t work right with anything other than IE, and miscellaneous tasks to support the Windows users (e.g. downloading/verifying SolidWorks service packs to post on our internal file server).

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    We should start a betting pool on wether or not Windows 8 ellipses a certain % within two years after release. I bet it doesn’t make it past 20% and Windows 7 slowly rises to XPs old share.

    We should probably differentiate the tablet version of the OS though.

    Neat graph highlighter btw. All you need is the ability to sort columns. XD

    • ltcommander.data
    • 7 years ago

    42.76% vs. 42.52%. I do wonder what the error in these net measurements are? I don’t doubt Windows 7’s rise, I’m just wondering if the data is sound enough to unambiguously stamp August 2012 as the Windows 7/Windows XP browsershare transition point.

    • Geistbar
    • 7 years ago

    I wonder how many years until XP only represents as much of the market as Vista does today? I suppose we’ll have to wait until 2014 when all support for it ends for it to truly start to disappear.

    Either way, it’s about time that we saw the lead held by a Windows version designed for the modern computing era.

    • firewarrior565
    • 7 years ago

    Sadly, I always thought Vista had a larger market share as I still come across it too often…

      • Krogoth
      • 7 years ago

      Enterprise world avoided Vista like the plague and they waited until Windows 7 to make the jump from XP.

        • yogibbear
        • 7 years ago

        My work (30k+ employees) upgraded to Vista only last year… and that was to 32-bit as well… soooo pathetic. But the IT department claims they had to test it for 3 years to find incompatibilities and then they never bothered to ask engineering…. so all these old programs no longer work which is hilarious.

          • pedro
          • 7 years ago

          I frigging love enterprise dudes.

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