Windows 7 Overtakes XP as Top OS Worldwide

For the first time in its three years of availability, Microsoft's Windows 7 OS is No. 1 in worldwide market share, according to NetApplications.

Windows 7 ended the month of August with a global market share of 42.76 percent, a jump of .55 percentage points over July. Windows XP, previously the No. 1 OS in the world, dropped its market share by .34 percentage points to 42.52 percent, putting it in second place for the first time in years.

Lackluster sales of Windows Vista, which ended August with a 12-month global market share low of 6.15 percent, have contributed to XP's market dominance. However, use of the decade-old OS has declined during much of 2012 due to its approaching support deadline of April 8, 2014, as well as organizations gradually migrating to Windows 7.

Windows 8, which is set for general release on Oct. 26, finished August with a global market share of 0.23 percent, thanks to the multiple "preview" versions that have been available since last October.

Overall, Microsoft desktop OSes account for 91.77 percent of worldwide usage, while Apple sits far behind in second place with 7.13 percent.

Top 10 OSes August 2012 Market Share (%) Change over Previous Month (Percentage Points)
Windows 7
+ 0.55
Windows XP
- 0.34
Windows Vista
- 0.45
Mac OS X 10.7
- 0.82
Mac OS X 10.6
- 0.10
Mac OS X 10.8
+ 1.13
+ 0.08
Mac OS X 10.5
- 0.03
Windows 8
+ 0.03
Mac OS X 10.4
No change
Figures courtesy of Net Applications


About the Author

Chris Paoli (@ChrisPaoli5) is the associate editor for Converge360.