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Windows 7 on majority of PCs for the first time

Figures from StatCounter show Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows 7, is now on the majority of all PCs, overtaking Windows XP after three years.

Windows 7 has taken the majority of the global operating system market for the first time, according to figures from web analytics company StatCounter.

Microsoft's latest operating system till the impending arrival of Windows 8, Windows 7 had 50.2 percent of the OS market for the month of June, while Windows XP -- the second most popular OS -- trailed behind at 29.9 percent of the world's PCs, the figures show.

Figures suggest Windows 7 is now on the majority of all PCs. StatCounter

Windows 7 was launched close to three years ago in October 2009 but, despite receiving a warmer reception than its predecessor Vista, it's been slow to achieve the level of popularity enjoyed by XP. Many businesses have chosen to cling onto the legacy decade-old operating system due to its stability or for reasons of application stability, or simply to avoid an upgrade to Vista.

The stats will likely bring a sigh of relief for Microsoft: it's set to end support for Windows XP in April 2014, and has warned businesses and schools to upgrade to Windows 7 as soon as possible.

But it goes without saying, "beware the math." Fellow market share analytics company Net Applications paints a similar, but slightly different, picture of the numbers using its own methodology.

Meanwhile, the gap is converging but the two operating systems have yet to cross paths. Net Applications

According to Net Applications, Windows XP still has 43.6 percent of the market share, while Windows 7 has 41.6 percent, according to the rival firm. The trend line shows an approximate 1 percent rise per month for Windows 7, and around the same in decline for Windows XP.

At this rate, it is fair to assume by Net Applications' figures that by the time Windows 8 is released into the wild this fall, the positions of the old and new operating systems will be reversed.