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Report: Windows 7 Passes XP as Most-Used OS in U.S.

For the first time since its release in October 2009, Windows 7's U.S. market share has surpassed Windows XP's -- at least according to one source.

The finding, announced by Dublin, Ireland-based aggregate data collection company StatCounter, is based on the OSes' market share performances between March 2010 and April 2011. StatCounter's research shows that Windows 7's usage rate for that period rose to 31.98 percent, compared to XP's 31.2 percent.

Rounding out the top five OSes in the United States during that period are Windows Vista (19.23 percent usage rate), Mac OS X (14.79 percent usage rate) and Linux (0.7 percent usage rate). The numbers for these three OSes were relatively unchanged since StatCounter's previous study.

However, XP still leads the OS pack in worldwide usage numbers for the same time period, with 47.7 percent of the global market. Windows 7 has 31.17 percent of the worldwide market share.

According to StatCounter, it derives its results by analyzing the usage rate of more than 3 million global sites, with an average of 15 billion hits per month. It then can determine which browser and operating system each individual is using. It's worth noting that only desktops are included in the company's figures; laptops, netbooks and other mobile devices are not accounted for.

While StatCounter's figures are good news for the newest Windows OS, they contradict those of Stat Owl, a rival Ariz.-based online data analytic company. According to Stat Owl's tracking system, XP still has a commanding lead in the U.S. market with 51.56 percent of usage, while Windows 7 is actually in third place (behind Vista's 23.45 percent share) with 23.21 percent.

The contradicting figures can stem from the fact that Stat Owl says it predominately tracks U.S.-centric Web sites and has a user tracking base of 28 million -- 25 million more than StatCounter.

About the Author

Chris Paoli is the site producer for Redmondmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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