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Windows 7 passes Vista in usage

Latest version of Windows inches past its predecessor in active use, though Windows XP is still used on most PCs, according to market researcher Netmarketshare.

In less than a year on the market, Windows 7 is now being used more than predecessor Windows Vista, according to market researcher Netmarketshare.

For July, Windows 7 was used on 14.46 percent of devices accessing the Internet, compared with Windows Vista's 14.34 percent, marking the first time the newer version surpassed its predecessor. Microsoft has said that 175 million copies of Windows 7 have been purchased since the product was released last fall.

Windows XP is still the most-used operating system, used by more than twice as many users as Vista and Windows 7 combined. Windows XP was used by nearly 62 percent of devices accessing the Web.

As for other devices, Macs accounted for about 5 percent of Internet usage, with the iPhone, Linux, and Java-based devices accounting for less than a percentage point of market share apiece.

Usage of Windows 7 has been growing quickly since its release. Within a month on the market, Windows 7 was being used by 4 percent of Net-accessing devices, a level it took Vista seven months to reach. Windows 7 topped 10 percent usage by March.

Netmarketshare also found that Internet Explorer use gained for a second consecutive month after many, many months of declines. IE gained 0.42 percent market share, topping 60 percent usage for the second month in a row after dropping below that level for May.