Windows 7 keeps growing in popularity over XP

More people continue to adopt Windows 7 as its market share rises over that of XP, according to data from Net Applications. Still, a new rival looms in the form of Windows 8.

Lance Whitney
Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
2 min read
Net Applications

Windows 7 increased its lead over XP in October.

As recorded by Web tracker Net Applications, Windows 7 scored a market share of 44.7 percent last month, a slight gain from September's 44 percent. Over the same time, XP's share fell from 41.2 percent to 40.7 percent.

Though the gap between September and October is hardly earth-shaking, the numbers show that Windows 7 is slowly grabbing more users from the now 11-year-old XP. After years of XP holding the dominant position, Windows 7 finally won the top OS spot in August, according to Net Applications.

Just a year ago, XP's share was 48 percent, while Windows 7 was resting below 35 percent.

Microsoft had been on a kick to convince consumers and businesses alike to upgrade from XP to Windows 7.

The company has often reminded users that extended support for XP will expire in April 2014. After that point, security patches and other updates will no longer be available, meaning people will be running XP at their own risk.

Microsoft has also been phasing out application support for XP. Internet Explorer 9 and 10 will not run under XP. Office 2013 will work only under Windows 7 or Windows 8.

The just-launched Windows 8 itself is still a blip on the radar as seen by Net Applications, with its pre-launch versions grabbing a share of 0.41 percent last month, compared with 0.3 percent in September. Because the new OS officially debuted just last week, it will be interesting to see the share it captures over the next several months.

Overall, Windows was king of the OS market last month with a share of more than 91 percent, leaving the Mac OS with 7.1 percent and Linux with a little more than 1 percent.