Microsoft's Windows 7 passed Windows Vista in terms of total users, according to analysis firm Net Applications, but Windows XP continues to dominate the overall operating system market.
Microsoft has finally washed the taste of Windows Vista out
of its mouth, at least according to analysis firm Net Applications, which
estimated that Windows 7's market share for July passed that of its much-maligned
Windows 7's market share for July reached 14.46
percent, according to the firm, compared to 14.34 percent for Windows Vista.
That represents a significant change from October 2009, when Windows 7 was
released into a market where Vista ran on 18.83 percent of personal computers.
, however, that "Windows XP is still the leading operating
system by far, with double share of Vista and 7 combined." The firm estimated
Windows XP's market share at 61.87 percent.
Meanwhile, Apple's Mac OS X 10.6 held 2.48 percent of the
market, with Mac OS X 10.5 at 1.82 percent.
Microsoft seems determined to transition its customer base
from the nearly decade-old Windows XP on Windows 7, with the company claiming
that customers will benefit from the newer operating system's increased
security and shinier user interface-although it also stands to make a
substantial amount of money from such a move. Nonetheless, a number of
businesses seem equally determined to preserve an operating system that, no
matter how aged, is a well-integrated part of their IT infrastructure.
In July, Microsoft announced that Windows XP Professional
users could keep their downgrade rights throughout the life cycle of Windows 7.
Previously, those rights had been due to expire on July 12 with the
availability of the Windows 7 SP1 beta.
"Our business customers have told us that removing end-users
downgrade rights to Windows XP Professional could be confusing," Brandon
LeBlanc, a spokesperson for Microsoft, wrote
July 12 on The Windows Blog
, "given the rights change would be made for new
PCs preinstalled with Windows 7 and managing a hybrid environment with PCs that
have different end-user rights based on date of purchase would be challenging
To compensate for that, Microsoft extended the downgrade
rights. "The OEM versions of Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate will
continue to include downgrade rights to similar versions of Windows Vista and
Windows XP Professional," LeBlanc wrote.
Microsoft's Windows franchise continues to drive a large
part of the company's overall revenue. During a July 22 earnings call,
Microsoft executives reported that 175 million Windows 7 licenses have been
sold thus far, helping buoy the Windows division's bottom line to $4.5 billion,
up from $3.2 billion during the same quarter last year. Overall, Microsoft
posted stronger-than-expected revenues of $16.04 billion for the fourth fiscal