Windows XP market share declines as Windows 7 approaches

By Justin Mann on September 3, 2009, 2:00 PM
Microsoft faced an uphill battle with Vista, taking flak from numerous groups who were opposed to upgrading their existing Windows XP installations without reason. Vista's performance and initial struggles did nothing to help, but it has matured considerably since then and is now more warmly welcomed. Windows 7 has done a lot in persuading people to switch from XP, and according to a recent survey, Windows XP has seen a substantial decline.

XP, estimated to be present on almost 72% of desktops around the world, slipped around 1.1% percent last month, matching similar figures from the end of last year. The loss almost directly correlated to an increase in the presence of Windows Vista and Windows 7, with Vista climbing 0.9% and 7 gaining 0.3% -- a minor figure, but enough to officially push it over a full percent of market share.

That number is expected to rise rapidly in the coming months once it goes gold. The assumption here is that when Microsoft releases Windows 7, it will gain market share largely at the expense of Windows XP. If true, it means that many people opted to skip out on Vista altogether.

Is this the beginning of Windows XP's phase-out? Perhaps just the tip of the iceberg -- the OS has been "mainstream" for much longer than any other release of Windows. It will take many years before it disappears completely. After all, there are still Windows 98 and Windows 2000 machines roaming around on the Internet.

One thing is clear, though -- people are slowly beginning to discard XP in favor of newer software.

User Comments: 4

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TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

People are (in general) slow to upgrade to a new OS. It's one of those "if it's not broken, then don't fix it" kind of deals. I believe a significant portion of XP users will move to Windows 7 only when they upgrade their hardware or buy a new PC, not from a "I need a new OS" decision. I see XP hanging around for a long, long time....

fwilliams said:

Great! This means is that more people are switching to Ubuntu.

windmill007 said:

Ya I really like Windows 7 at work. I still have XP at home but will be upgrading to 7 shortly after it is launched. 7 is really worthwhile upgrade. Now at work I don't see us upgrading any of the work stations to 7 for a long time yet. Why? XP does what we need it to do and cost to purchase new 7 software when it doesn't really offer anything more to office workers. I see most home users upgradijg but for businesses unless they are upgrade happy...I just don't see it happening to fast at all.

Guest said:

A decline of 1% could just be a statistical anomaly. Since Windows 7 currently only has a 1% share it will take years before it can even penetrate 20% of the market. XP will remain the most popular system for years to come. XP is so much faster and better supported than Windows 7 (aka Vista wearing sunglasses).

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