Windows 7 becomes world's most popular desktop operating system


Windows 7 has finally overtaken XP as the world's most popular operating system, according to the latest monthly figures from NetMarketShare.

The market watcher's worldwide analysis shows that - over the past 11 months - Windows 7 has steadily gained users, while the percentage of people using XP has fallen.

For instance, in October 2011, 34.62 per cent of desktop users had Windows 7, while 48.03 per cent used XP.

By contrast, in July 2012, 42.21 per cent used Windows 7 desktops and 42.86 per cent had Windows XP.

The gap has continued to close since then and, in August, the number of people using Windows 7 (42.76 per cent) exceeded XP (42.52 per cent) for the first time.

The findings are sure to be welcomed by Microsoft, as the software giant has been pushing users to ditch XP, which enters end of life in 2014, since the launch of Windows 7 in October 2009.

During the same October 2011-to-August 2012 time period, the number of people using Windows Vista has dropped from 8.85 per cent to 6.15 per cent.

August also marked the first time that the popularity of the Mac OS X operating system has exceeded Vista, as 7.13 per cent of desktop owners now use version 10.4 or later.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.