Windows 7 usage overtakes Vista

4 Aug 2010

It has taken Windows 7 less than a year to overtake its predecessor Vista in terms of worldwide usage, according to data from an IT analyst firm.

Last month, the latest version of Microsoft’s Windows operating system had a 14.46pc share of the market, edging ahead of Vista with 14.34pc. When Windows 7 was launched last October, Vista’s share was 18.83pc. The information was compiled by California-based NetApplications.

Whereas many businesses were reluctant to upgrade to Vista, Windows 7 sales have been more robust and Microsoft said this helped the company to a 48pc year-on-year jump in profits. Earlier this year, Microsoft’s announcement that it had sold 90 million copies of the new OS made it the fastest-selling operating system in PC history.

Industry watchers IDC and Forrester have also been very bullish about businesses upgrading to Windows 7. Microsoft will doubtless be cheered by 7’s rapid uptake, but its share still pales in comparison with Windows XP, which holds 61.87pc of the worldwide usage market, according to NetApplications. That’s quite an achievement for software that first saw the light of day nine years ago.

Microsoft announced last month that it would extend the time available for business users to downgrade to Windows XP after buying PCs supplied with Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate versions. This period had originally been due to expire with the release of Windows 7 Service Pack 1, but Microsoft said this downgrade option would continue for the entire life of Windows 7.

Gordon Smith was a contributor to Silicon Republic