Windows XP usage finally falls below 50% mark

By on August 1, 2011, 5:00 PM

At the end of July 2011, Microsoft can say that Windows XP finally fell below the 50 percent mark. In other words, Redmond's decade-old operating system is now used by less than half of all Internet users.

Windows XP's market share is eroding, and Windows in general is slowly slipping as well: between June and July, it fell 0.63 percentage points (from 88.29 percent to 88.76 percent). At the same time, Mac OS gained 0.22 percentage points (from 5.37 percent to 5.59 percent) and Linux gained 0.03 percentage points (from 0.95 percent to 0.98 percent). Unsurprisingly, mobile operating systems gained share.

In the same time period, Windows 7 gained 0.74 percentage points (from 27.13 percent to 27.87 percent). Windows Vista meanwhile slipped 0.28 percentage points (from 9.52 percent to 9.24 percent) and Windows XP fell 1.19 percentage points (from 51.13 percent to 49.94 percent). In about a year's time, we should see Windows 7 pass Windows XP altogether.

By the end of 2010, Windows 7 had grabbed 20 percent of the market and at the end of April 2011, Windows 7 passed the 25 percent mark. Last month, Microsoft announced that Windows 7 had sold more than 400 million licenses in the last 21 months. This means that Microsoft is selling just fewer than 20 million licenses per month. Back to school season is coming up, followed by the holiday shopping frenzy, so that number should remain stable till 2012 at least.

Although Windows 7 is growing its share very quickly, the ancient Windows XP is still dominating. Microsoft knows this and is making its own attempts to woo users off the platform. The software giant still supports those using XP, despite its hate for the ancient OS.

On April 14, 2009, Microsoft retired Mainstream Support for XP, and with it, support for IE6. The company is not planning to retire Extended Support for the operating system until April 8, 2014. If the company ends up releasing XP SP4 (highly unlikely), it will retire support for SP3 (released in April 2008) two years later, or in April 2014, whichever comes first. In short, Windows XP will continue to be officially supported by Microsoft for about three more years. Despite the support options, Redmond still wants XP and IE6 to die.

Three months ago, even the National Security Agency (NSA) began advising users to upgrade from Windows XP to either Windows Vista or Windows 7. Furthermore, the organization says that when possible, choosing a 64-bit version of Windows is recommended.




User Comments: 43

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Raswan Raswan said:

How about some numbers about how quickly the mobile market is going in comparison to the world OS market, so we can get an idea of relative vs. absolute growth? Otherwise, saying things like "Unsurprisingly, mobile operating systems gained share" tells us nothing, at best, and implies mobile growth at the expense of desktop growth when such is not the case, at worst.

Guest said:

Well... Finally, Windows 8 will be called "Windows XP2"

:)

Guest said:

WOW! Windows XP has enough market share for other 10 years.

:)

Guest said:

I replaced my Windows 7 netbook with an Android tablet so it's happening...

EXCellR8 EXCellR8, The Conservative, said:

Still using XP on a few machines... I've fully adopted Windows 7 on most though.

Guest said:

Most people I know who have bought a NEW computer (ie: a windows 7 license) have upgraded back to Windows XP SP2 (SP3 is MS sabotage). Since you can't buy new laptops without Win7/vista, one just 'takes the one given' and reinstalls.

Look at the benchmarks XP sp2 is FASTER, the only drawback is it doesn't support > 4gb of ram... Someone should fix that issue in a SP2a update ;) . .

Guest said:

32 bit XP will never support > 4 GB of RAM. As for speed, my Windows 7 PC is quite speedy. While XP on the same hardware might be faster in some respects Windows 7 is a far superior OS. As for SP3 being sabotage I think your tinfoil hat fell off.

Guest said:

The only reason 32-bit Windows XP and above dont support >4Gb is a software restriction from MS. Have a look at Windows 2000 - 32-Bit Windows 2000 Pro with PAE enabled can access well over 4Gb RAM.

You can of source simply edit the kernel binaries to remove the restriction ;-)

Tedster Tedster, Techspot old timer....., said:

I would love to install win 7 on my old laptop. Unfortunately, I can't. It does not support the chipset and graphic drivers.

Guest said:

Hahaha, take that Windows XP phobics.

Guest said:

I'm installing two new systems with XP Pro as we speak, I don't want to but the customer REFUSES to get with the times, as do most of them sadly.

They want something instantly familiar, and oddly most seem to think that Windows 7 is too different for them to understand.

I do push 7 on them as much as I can, fighting the good fight.

Guest said:

I urge users to upgrade to Windows 7, because they eventually will have to anyway. Their computer running old faithful (cough) windows XP will give out eventually, and you're not going to run your new quad core on XP are you?

As for the >4GB on XP. I ran windows XP 64-bit for quite a while (certainty through the Vista age). As you can guess the 64-bit windows XP had support for over 4GB RAM, so if you're looking for a way around windows 7. The support (driver wise) is not bad either, but you do feel "special".

Guest said:

Accessing more than 4GB RAM with a 32-bit OS is possible with PAE support, but:

1 -- gives 64-bit addresses to the drivers, so you need different (often unavailable) drivers.

2 -- slows your system down (yes, worse than just running a 64-bit OS)

And I'm sorry, if you are running SP2, you're asking to be a part of a botnet. That tinfoil hat won't protect you from the internet, only good luck will :)

If you want to run an old OS, at least be smart enough to acknowledge that there might be a reason newer ones come out and updates are made (besides the obvious money-making).

Guest said:

Fighting the good fight? - surly that would be "Don't use Windows, use Linux or Mac"

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Although i still like XP, I think Windows 7 deserves its place now.

Guest said:

"Windows in general is slowly slipping as well: between June and July, it fell 0.63 percentage points (from 88.29 percent to 88.76 percent)"

That looks like a gain to me.

Guest said:

I am using windows xp professional, I have athlon ii x4 645 (quad core), sapphire radeon hd 6850 and I see no reason to use windows 7 because my pc is running everything very very well :)

g4mer said:

Guest said:

Hahaha, take that Windows XP phobics.

What? It is still Windows XP > 7, and it'll probably stay like that in the next 5 years or so.

Guest said:

"Windows in general is slowly slipping as well: between June and July, it fell 0.63 percentage points (from 88.29 percent to 88.76 percent)"

Looks like a typo. According to the graphic, the market share for July was 87.66%, not 88.76%. This would be drop of 0.63 percentage points from 88.29%.

Guest said:

our office will also upgrade to windows 7 on first quarter next year.

sure that will continue to go down as they've discontinued their support.

Guest said:

That's why you should consider LINUX - Linux only has about 1 % of the market but 1 % is a lot of people using LINUX.

Operating System free

No viruses

Makes an old computer run like lightning

Free office, graphics, music, accounting and other software - 32000 free programs in all

go to youtube and check out some LINUX desktops like Ubuntu, Fedora or SUSE. You will be amazed what your 'old' laptop can handle.

www.opensourcesolutionsni.blogspot.com

Guest said:

And they know that, They want us in a fast paced buying cycle and I refuse to do that. Either use common sense hardware upgrade timetables or wait for me.

Night Hacker Night Hacker said:

I was one that was holding on to my old XP, but eventually I decided to take the plunge and buy Windows 7 and I don't regret it. I partially done it because I am a programmer and some people that were playing a game I made were running Windows 7. I couldn't upgrade the game without having the OS. After looking into it I was pleasantly surprised at just how cheap Windows 7 was. Koodos to Microsoft for making it so affordable. I definitely love Windows 7 now. It's more secure without being anal about it. As for speed, I have no problems. Over time I expect to see more and more software made for 64bit and I expect they will run much better, but I don't see any problems.

This is the same old story we have seen time and time again, whenever we get a major upgrade and technology change like we have had, there is a settling in period. We no longer use 16bit, pretty soon 32bit will meet the same fate. Upgrade and get used to it, you'll have to sooner or later.

As for a "fast paced buying cycle" ummm, XP has been around for something like 10 years now, I wouldn't call that fast paced. And Windows 7 is probably the Cheapest windows I can remember while being the most impressive version.

As for Viruses, I don't even run a virus checker anymore, I just use common sense and I haven't had a virus in a very very very long time... in fact, I don't think I have EVER had a virus, so the old "Use windows instead of Linux and you'll be plagued by viruses" is a crock... Linux will never take off, it's simply not user friendly not matter how much you try and cover it up. There is no way I would recommend the average user at home install Linux over Windows 7.

Guest said:

So what's the source where these stats came from?

Guest said:

I have a problem with this article because it doesn't tell what method was used to arrive at these numbers? I have a feeling that Linux has a larger market share since it is difficult to pin down the exact numbers when it doesn't require a serial number. This article seems more like an advertisement for Windows than a serious discussion about market share.

Leeky Leeky said:

I would imagine most figures for Linux in articles like these are going by purchased server hardware complete with commerical Linux solutions that actually cost money.

It certainly isn't a representation of the servers currently serving up websites online that run it. Neither is it a representation of non-commerical users that use Linux.

That said, who cares? If you use Linux and you like it, you know how good it is. If you don't use it and you prefer something else, thats cool too, since we use what we feel is most suitable, and that differs from person to person.

As for Viruses, I don't even run a virus checker anymore, I just use common sense and I haven't had a virus in a very very very long time... in fact, I don't think I have EVER had a virus, so the old "Use windows instead of Linux and you'll be plagued by viruses" is a crock...

Common sense is a large part of it, but not running an AV is risky on an OS that can be infected.

I'm also curious to know how you've never had a virus in years when you've not had an AV to find them in years? If you don't have an AV you aren't going to know now are you?

example1013 said:

Maybe an upgrade would be more appealing if it didn't require a hard drive reformat and Windows 7 full license didn't cost so damn much. I still haven't activated my copy, and I don't plan to.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Maybe an upgrade would be more appealing if it didn't require a hard drive reformat and Windows 7 full license didn't cost so damn much. I still haven't activated my copy, and I don't plan to.

I am curious example, How long have you been using XP for?

aj_the_kidd said:

Guest said:

That's why you should consider LINUX - Linux only has about 1 % of the market but 1 % is a lot of people using LINUX.

There always one guy pushing linux Personal use maybe but for corporate use, nope!

Guest said:

Win 7 has got to be the best OS i have ever used. i recommend it to everyone

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

Guest said:

"Windows in general is slowly slipping as well: between June and July, it fell 0.63 percentage points (from 88.29 percent to 88.76 percent)"

That looks like a gain to me.

I lol'd

Guest said:

What do you mean, "UPGRADE now, you will have to sooner or later"-

It is like saying, DIE now, you will have to sooner or later.

As for me, I rather die later instead of now, same as upgrading

heck by then win 8 will be out maybe even win 9 or 12 so what's the rush

lopdog lopdog said:

I guess this percentage is a lot higher in developing countries, like south america. Here in Bolivia I'd say 90 % are still using Windows XP (without having exact numbers, of course). There are internet cafes on every corner, and they all run Windows XP (and usually a very virus-infected version... ). The only exceptions are new laptops that comes with Vista or Win 7 pre-installed.

Guest said:

Linux on the desktop PC?

(walks away laughing out loud)

g4mer said:

Guest said:

I have a problem with this article because it doesn't tell what method was used to arrive at these numbers? I have a feeling that Linux has a larger market share since it is difficult to pin down the exact numbers when it doesn't require a serial number. This article seems more like an advertisement for Windows than a serious discussion about market share.

Nobody cares about Linux market, and this topic is about Windows 7 vs XP, not Windows vs Linux because it's obvious who will win.

Guest said:

And if Linux is 1%, what are the "Others" that account for almost 6%?

Guest said:

Oh my god! You obviously work for Microsoft! This is such a ridiculous attempt at advertising. There's a reason why Microsoft is such a horrible company, and this is it.

Guest said:

Actually we are talking about the operating system, and not the company... I have installed Windows 7 since last June (replacing my older XP which I used for the past 4 years). It actually performs better.

Fighting the good fight meant using Mac OS or Linux? How did you arrive at that conclusion?

A Mac OS X is good, but it is only restricted to one type of hardware, the Macintosh. Which is why the Market share is low, there are lot of Personal Computers out there that can use the other Operating Systems.

As for Linux, it's good as a server or for doing specialized computations, but not really for home use. I think most of the desktop linux users are developers or programmers, who spend most of the time compiling the Kernel or tinkering for optimization. You cant ask my mom to run a sudo command from the terminal you know, or ask my 14 year old niece to install a program from the command line.

I think for the home users, Windows XP will continue to persist, unless newer programs will start not to support it.

Guest said:

just use the damn 64 bit version of windows xp , runs great here , can see up 128 gigs of ram ;)

Guest said:

"it fell 0.63 percentage points (from 88.29 percent to 88.76 percent)."

That's an increase on 0.47% unless you meant a decrease to 87.76% as opposed to 88.76% which would be a 0.53% drop...

Joe Blow said:

Interesting how the NSA wants people to upgrade. This must be because their surveillance of the population is dependent on the backdoors built into Window Vista and higher. Hence more of the drive to get people away from a perhaps more "secure" XP. Again, secure because they have more difficulty hacking your system.

You have to ask yourself why such the drive to shift the population. There's no real need for people to have the latest and greatest or 'be like the Jones.' Who benefits? Obviously not the consumer.

Riker Riker said:

I, too, would like insite to the statistics. I personally own 2 AT towers and 2 laptops; only 1 runs Windows 7, the other 3 run Windows XP. My local area hospital (and the nearest 2 cities) use Windows Servers with Windows XP workstations and laptops. They are 'paperless' with all patient notes being entered via laptop or portable tablets. The county and state legal services and law enforcement, also use Windows XP. So, who's using Windows 7 or even Windows 8?

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

"it fell 0.63 percentage points (from 88.29 percent to 88.76 percent)."

That's an increase on 0.47% unless you meant a decrease to 87.76% as opposed to 88.76% which would be a 0.53% drop...

That's why we have, (and need), computers! To do the FLOP-erations for us...

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