Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system has now hit 25% market share across all operating systems.
Windows XP, released nine years ago, is seeing a sharp decrease in use, down 14.44% from December 2009 according to figures from stats counter via Neowin. Windows XP now accounts for 50% of market share. Microsoft’s Windows Vista is also seeing a steady decline, down 6.14% from 2009. Windows 7 has quadrupled its market share since December 2009. Windows 7 now accounts for 25.1% of operating system market share worldwide.
It has been an incredibly successful year for Windows 7. Microsoft has confirmed that it has now sold over 240 million licenses of Windows 7 and that figure is expected to hit 300 million before the end of the year. Microsoft’s success with Windows 7 began before the product was even widely available. Released in October 2009, the operating system has received praise from consumers, businesses and the media. In November 2009, Windows 7 managed to surpass Apple’s Snow Leopard market share in just two weeks. In early February it was revealed that Windows 7 had reached 10% market share in just three months.
Windows 7 has also driven an uptake of 64-bit computing. According to ChangeBASE research, conducted with senior IT decision makers, more than 65% of businesses hoped to migrate to Windows 7 within 12 months of its release. Over 50% of those migrating will be choosing the 64-bit route. Microsoft confirmed in July that nearly half of all Windows 7 PCs run 64-bit versions. Forrester Research revealed in November that 1 in 10 PCs within North America and European companies are powered by Windows 7.
Screenshots of a Windows 7 post-RTM build showed up on the web in February, fueling speculation that Microsoft is compiling early Windows 8 builds. The successor to Windows 7 will likely be available in late 2011. The software giant is keeping any Windows 8 plans close to its chest. According to company insiders that have spoken to WinRumors, Microsoft is currently readying Windows 8 and is betting big on cloud computing. Microsoft is expected to build a ‘Windows Store‘ app store into Windows 8 and Kinect-like functionality. The software maker will also integrate social networking and cloud features into the heart of Windows to finally realize its vision of software+services. A number of cloud related Windows adverts will air over the next year to seek consumer awareness on the cloud.