See You Later, XP: Windows 7 Is Officially The Most Popular OS

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New data from Net Applications reveals Windows 7 topped Windows XP for the first time as Windows 8 closes in on the October 30 release date.

It was only a matter time: Windows 7 is now the most popular version of Windows

The move shouldn’t be surprising considering Microsoft is abandoning support for XP in 2014, and therefore businesses are likely to move from Windows XP during the end of this year and 2013.

I’m sure Microsoft wants Windows 8 to be the most popular version of Windows, though that won’t happen in the short-term at least. For now the honor will go to Windows 7: recent data revealed it eclipsed the juggernaut that is Windows XP, a move probably facilitated by people moving to Windows 7 as support for Windows XP declines and ultimately ends in 2014.

I imagine a bulk of users not wanting to use Windows 8 will be those comfortable with Windows XP. Actually, not I think more, those users may be reluctant to upgrade to Windows 7.

The data came from Net Applications; it revealed Windows 7 controls 42.76% of the market, pipping Windows XP’s 42.52%. At the beginning of this quarter XP was leading with 42.86% compared to Windows 7’s 42.21%. A month later in August Windows Vista took just 6.15% of the market. Behind Vista are the three latest versions of Mac OS X, Mountain Lion, Snow Leopard, and Lion, taking just over 6% combined.

Undetermined Future, But It’s Exciting

We don’t know how Windows 8 will perform when released October 26. The operating system will undoubtedly gain market share, particularly as it runs on tablets and hybrid laptops. I’ll personally be interested to see how the market share breaks down between PCs and portable devices as the Modern UI seems ideal for a touch-based device. I’ll also be interested to see if the ability for develop to co-build apps boosts Windows Phone, popularises its version of the Modern UI, and causes a knock-on effect with Windows 8.

Providing Microsoft does get support for Windows 8 the desktop side of the operating system means the experience is familiar. Users will be able to avoid that side of the operating system.

Windows 8 releases October 26.

Published: Wednesday, September 5th, 2012 Last Modified: September 5, 2012

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