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Windows 7 use continues to climb

It now makes up 4 percent of Web-accessing computers, a mark that took Windows Vista nearly seven months to reach.

Adoption of Windows 7 continues to grow, with the weeks-old operating system accounting for 4 percent of PCs accessing the Web over the past weekend, according to Net Applications.

By contrast, it took Windows Vista seven months to reach that level, the Web-monitoring firm said in a report.

"The early anticipation and high expectations for Windows 7 seem to have been warranted," Net Applications Executive Vice President Vince Vizzaccaro said in an e-mail.

One of the key questions, though, is whether Windows 7 will help Microsoft regain share from Apple, Vizzaccaro said. "Can Windows 7 stop the slow Windows decline, or even reverse it? I think we'll see that answer develop in the next few months," he said.

A week ago, Net Applications noted that Windows 7 use had topped 3 percent. The new operating system tends to do better on weekends, the time when consumer use accounts for more of the market and then share dips back somewhat as the work week starts.

Windows 7 went on sale October 22, though it was already topping 2 percent market share in Net Applications' daily tracking statistics even before its official debut.

Market researcher NPD said last week that boxed copy sales of Windows 7 were also outpacing those of Windows Vista in its initial days on the market.

Microsoft has also said it is seeing strong interest from businesses, although typically corporations take many months to test a new operating system before deploying it widely.

At TechEd Europe, Microsoft talked about enterprise adoption of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, highlighting some early customers of the two products.

"We remain just pleased and humbled by the very warm reception we're seeing," Windows Vice President Tami Reller said in a Webcast on Monday.