Windows 7 has finally overtaken Windows XP altogether, according to the latest market share data from Net Applications. August 2012 also happens to be the first month that Apple’s total Mac OS market share is above that of Windows Vista’s. Another year or two, and Mac OS will likely surpass Windows XP too.
As Windows XP’s market share dipped last month, so did the overall Windows slice: between July and August, it fell 0.24 percentage points (from 92.01 percent to 91.77 percent). At the same time, Mac OS gained 0.16 percentage points (from 6.97 percent to 7.13 percent) and Linux gained 0.08 percentage points (from 1.02 percent to 1.10 percent).
In the same time period, Windows 7 gained 0.51 percentage points (from 42.21 percent to 42.72 percent). Windows Vista meanwhile slipped 0.45 percentage points (from 6.60 percent to 6.15 percent) and Windows XP fell 0.34 percentage points (from 42.86 percent to 42.52 percent).
At the end of April 2011, Windows 7 passed the 25 percent mark. Now it’s on its way to passing the 50 percent mark, although by then Windows 8 will already be available (it ships October 26).
Some are predicting that Windows 7 will become the new Windows XP. The implication is that the majority of Windows users will stick to the second latest version, as they did before: Windows 7 will be to Windows 8 as Windows XP was to Windows Vista. To fight this trend, Microsoft is offering Windows 8 at a mere $39.99.
Microsoft is also doing everything it can to get its users off Windows XP. On April 14, 2009, Microsoft retired Mainstream Support for XP, and with it, support for IE6. The company is not planning to retire Extended Support for the operating system until April 8, 2014.
By then, Windows XP will still be likely on at least one in every five computers, unless Microsoft can convince everyone that Windows 8 is the future. From both a business and security, this will be a key to the software giant’s strategy going forward.
Hat tip to ZDNet.