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Windows 7 Overtakes Windows XP As World’s Most Popular Operating System

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It’s taken nearly two years to claim the title, but Windows 7 is finally the world’s most popular computer operating system, having overtaken its predecessor, Windows XP. The latest Microsoft OS now accounts for 40.21% of all desktop computer usage throughout the world.

According to data from StatCounter, Windows XP usage dropped to just 38.64% during the first half of October and was finally overtaken by Windows 7. Since its launch back in October 2009, Windows 7 has continued to gain popularity, while XP usage has been declining consistently.

It’s no surprise that Windows 7 has been a huge success for Microsoft. The operating system was met with open arms upon its launch following glowing reactions from early beta releases, and having taken over from the disappointment that was Windows Vista, it was a very welcome update.

In just two weeks on the market, Windows 7 managed to surpass the market share held by Apple’s Snow Leopard operating system; and in just three months, the OS has already claimed 10% of the market. On its first birthday, Windows 7 had achieved a staggering 240 million sales.

Research firm Gartner claims that by the end of the year, a whopping 42% of PCs will be running Windows 7, with 635 million PCs running the latest OS sold during 2011.

However, Microsoft isn’t about to rest on those laurels and take it easy for a while. It’s already focusing its efforts on the successor to Windows 7: Windows 8. The upcoming OS does away with the traditional Windows user interface and adopts a new “metro” UI, similar to that on its Windows Phone OS, that makes the system friendly for both PCs and tablets alike.

Are you running Windows 7 on your machine, and will you be upgrading to that metro UI with Windows 8?

[via WinRumors]

Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...