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Windows 7 ups lead over XP as top OS

The current flavor of Windows continues to outpace XP after winning the top spot last month, according to the latest stats from Net Applications.

Net Applications

Windows 7 scooped up more market share last month at the expense of Windows XP.

For September, Windows 7 carved out 44 percent of all Web traffic among operating systems, as recorded by Net Applications. Windows XP took second place with 41.2 percent. Those numbers showed a wider gap between the two since August when Windows 7 finally grabbed the lead over XP by a fraction of a percentage point.

More than ten years after its release, Windows XP has proven its strong staying power. Many users and organizations bypassed Windows Vista, which held just 6 percent of the market last month, and remained with XP. But over the past three years, more people have gradually migrated to Windows 7.

Microsoft has been making it tougher for users to stick with XP, and even Vista. Internet Explorer 9 doesn't support XP, while IE10 won't run under XP or Vista. The upcoming Office 2013 will require either Windows 7 or Windows 8. Extended support for XP will run out in April 2014, at which time updates and bug fixes will no longer be available.

XP is maintaining a tight grip, but Windows 7 should continue to outpace its ancestor, especially with Microsoft's push.

Among other operating systems, Windows 8 usage inched up slightly last month, reaching 0.3 percent from 0.23 percent in August. The new operating system entered the RTM (Release to Manufacturing) phase in early August.

Overall, Windows dominates the OS landscape with a share of almost 92 percent, leaving Mac OS X with a little more than 7 percent and Linux with just over 1 percent.