In the five months since its release, Microsoft's Windows 7 has captured twice the usage share than did Vista in the same time period, a Web metrics company said today.
According to NetApplications.com of Aliso Viejo, Calif., Windows 7 accounted for 9 percent of all operating systems in use online for the month through last Sunday. By comparison, Vista had a 4.5 percent share five months after its late-January 2007 release to retail.
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Microsoft shipped Windows 7 on Oct. 22, 2009.
Windows 7's trajectory has been faster than Vista's ever since the former's release, with the newer operating system beating Vista to the 4 percent mark by several months. By the end of January 2010, Windows 7's usage share was 7.5 percent, also double the 3.75 percent that Vista enjoyed by the end of its fourth month.
"Looking at the trends, the [Windows 7] growth rate seems to be strong and consistent, with no visible decline," said Vince Vizzaccaro, executive vice president with NetApplications.
Vizzaccaro also noted that the difference in Windows 7's weekend and weekday scores has been increasing, a sign that, "personal usage is growing faster than corporate usage, which fits the expectations," he said. In the past, Vizzaccaro has explained that the usage share of newer versions of Windows climbs on weekends as a greater percentage of computers online are home machines. Enterprises traditionally lag behind consumers in the uptake for new versions of Windows.
Microsoft's operating systems accounted for a combined 92 percent of all OSes powering computers that went online last month. The bulk of that, 66.3 percent, was Windows XP, with Vista at 17.4 percent. Apple's Mac OS X controlled just 5.1 percent of the usage market.
If the trends of the last three months persist, Windows 7 will overtake Vista as the second-most popular operating system -- and grab the No. 2 spot behind XP -- by June.
NetApplications measures operating system usage by tracking machines that visit the 40,000 sites it monitors for clients, which results in a pool of about 160 million unique visitors per month.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed.
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