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Windows 7 Catching Vista in Market Share

Yes, we know what you're thinking: Vista has market share? Oddly enough, it does. But its number is shrinking all the time with a new competitor on its heels -- Windows 7.

Net Applications says that Windows 7 now has 10 percent market share, just a few months after the October launch of the popular new operating system. Vista, by comparison, didn't pass 10 percent share until May 2008 -- well more than a year after its launch.

But you knew already that Vista isn't popular. And that's not really the point here. The point is that Windows XP, the old standby, is down to "only" about 65 percent market share. It's a sign that consumers are making the slow slog to Windows 7 from both Vista and XP -- even if RCPU readers remain dedicated XP fans (and even though Microsoft still hasn't provided an upgrade path from XP to 7).

If consumers are making the switch, then enterprises will eventually change over as folks get used to using Windows 7 as their default OS. Pretty much every metric at this juncture points to Windows 7 as being the next XP, the next long-term Microsoft OS. The only metric that doesn't point in that direction is feedback we get from readers and enterprise users. But we suspect that a larger number of partners and IT folks would be more bullish about Windows 7 if Microsoft would just put the Vista fantasy aside and let folks upgrade easily from XP. Maybe if we keep saying this, somebody in Redmond will pay attention.

In the meantime, the specter of XP continues to loom large, even if the venerable OS is finally showing signs of fading. Catching Vista shouldn't be a problem for Windows 7. Catching XP will be another task altogether -- one that would go faster if Microsoft would just help it along a bit.

What will it take for your customers or your company to move to Windows 7? Sound off at lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on April 05, 2010 at 11:56 AM