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Windows 7 continues to gain ground on Vista

Usage of Microsoft's Windows 7 outpaces that of Vista for the second month, though XP remains the dominant operating system, Net Applications says.

Nearing its first birthday, Microsoft's Windows 7 is starting to grab more customers than its predecessor, Vista, according to new stats released Wednesday by Net Applications.

For the month of August, Windows 7 grew to take in a 15.87 percent share of devices accessing the Internet, while Vista dropped to 14 percent. That's only the second month in which Windows 7 started to outshine Vista. In July, the newest flavor of Windows grabbed 14.46 percent of the market, compared with Vista's 14.34 percent share, according to Net Applications.

Microsoft's push to convince customers to upgrade may be working for Vista users, but has a ways to go for those still using XP. Among all operating systems, both Microsoft and non-Microsoft, Windows XP continues to hold the leading share, installed on 60.89 percent of the devices tracked for August. That's only a percentage point less than in July and around twice that of Windows 7 and Vista together.

The data shows that Windows 7 usage has climbed from a little more than 2 percent when it was released last October to its current level of almost 16 percent. Over the same period, Vista has dropped 5 percentage points from almost 19 percent last October, while XP has fallen around 10 percentage points from close to 71 percent almost a year ago.

Among non-Microsoft systems, the latest versions of Mac OS X collectively captured around 5 percent of the market in August as tracked by Net Applications, while Linux declined to 0.85 percent following a surge in May.