Windows 7 overtakes XP as Mac OS X passes Vista

More than three years since its release, Windows 7 is finally the world's most popular desktop operating system, according to new figures.

Windows 7 has overtaken Windows XP as the world's most popular desktop operating system, marking the end of the venerable OS' reign over the PC world.

Net Applications

Windows 7's market share stands at 42.76 percent compared with Windows XP's 42.5 percent, according to figures from Web-tracking company Net Applications for the month of August.

Microsoft has seen Windows 7's share rise by roughly 1 percentage point month-on-month for around the past year -- about the same level of decline seen in Windows XP -- while Vista's share has remained static at around 6 percent over the past quarter.

Not all web tracking companies agree on when Windows 7 became the dominant OS: StatCounter reported Windows 7 overtaking XP almost a year ago, and now puts Windows 7's overall market share at over the 50 percent mark.

Windows 8, which was made available as a pre-release preview earlier this year, has a 0.23 percent market share, according to Net Applications.

Overall, Windows' share of the desktop market stands dwarfs that of its rivals at 92 percent.

However, there's also good news for Apple in the August stats: the total Mac OS X user base now outstrips that of Windows Vista. Apple's combined share of the desktop market -- counting versions 10.4 and after of OS X -- Apple has a 7.11 percent share, while Windows Vista takes 6.1 percent.

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