Microsoft has been doing its best to get users of Windows XP to update to Windows 7. Now, just weeks away from the launch of Windows 8, Windows 7 has finally overtaken XP, according to the latest figures from Net Applications.
This milestone for Windows 7 has been a long time coming. We were originally persuaded it had happened, on the basis of figures from StatCounter, in October 2011. Then on the basis of more reliable evidence, in January 2011 we reported that XP was still the dominant version of Windows. At that time we anticipated that Windows 7 could outstrip XP within 3-4 months. It has actually taken eight more months to happen as this chart shows:
For August 2012 Windows as a whole has a 91.77 percent share of the desktop OS market. This is a quarter percentage point lower than in July when it had a 92.01 percent share. This is distributed as show in this chart which shows Windows 7 ahead of XP by just 0.2 percent:
This leaves a large number of XP users but, even though the time until the end of support for XP has been on the horizon for quite a while, there's still over 80 weeks to go - and even then some diehards will no doubt cling on to what has been the most popular operating system to date.
The next question is, will history repeat itself with Windows 8? Will users stick to the previous version (i.e. Windows 7) rather than embracing the new?