Windows XP Still The Most Widespread Windows OS

After the reasonable success of Windows 7 and long after the train wreck that was Windows Vista, PC users are keeping it old school, sticking with Windows XP as their operating system of choice. Microsoft’s most recent operating system, Windows 7, came out of the gate flying and by late June of this year, the OS laid claim to over 150 million licenses being sold. However, even with such strong numbers, Microsoft has had a challenge convincing XP users to upgrade their OS to Windows 7.

This is according to a report for Netmarketsharing, which shows Windows XP use is still double that of Windows Vista and 7 combined. Although the number of XP desktops is slowly declining, this still group represents 62% of the user base while Windows 7 and Vista retain about 15% each.

Despite Windows 7's Strong Sales, Windows XP Still Dominates IT Market

If you use a computer for anything other than gaming or to see how many hertz you can squeeze the last drop out of the latest Intel CPU, you know the pain of change. Change means uncertainty, and the one thing people want from a device their business or personal communications rely on is certainty. A lot of big businesses do not want to incur the cost of upgrading all their PC’s at one time and are slowing upgrading the PC’s to Windows 7 as they are decommissioning/replacing older PC’s.

On another hand, as of Oct 1st 2010, Dell and HP are no longer selling computers with the Windows XP downgrade option. (As per my HP and Dell vendors emails to our IT department, yes I’m in the IT department), which also means you will start seeing IT departments forced to start using Windows 7 in their networks. So these figures could quickly change.

The sales of Windows 7 were great, however for it to surpass Windows XP as the most widespread operating system, it will still be another 2-4 years as the older computers get replaced.

XP is light, basic and quick. I use all my old copies in place of Linux for testing or when setting up basic/general purpose PCs for those that have zero interest in gaming. XP still makes sense for a lot of people doing business work as an OS that meets most needs and can often be gotten for free from an old PC or someone who’s upgraded.

As a nerd, Windows 7 is a modern, attractive and capable OS but people still uses Windows XP on their systems because, even if its not pretty it still gets the job done.

XP is actually a victim of it’s own circumstance. Microsoft kept XP around for five years before introducing Vista. But when Vista floundered, XP gained strength, making it all the way to Service Pack 3. And now Microsoft seems to be struggling to convince its XP users to upgrade to Windows 7 and thus save some lost revenue!


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