Windows 7 Now the Fastest-Selling OS in History

Dennis Faas's picture

Although it continues to languish well behind Windows XP in overall usage, Windows 7 is now the fastest-growing, most widely-adopted operating system in history. A new study has found that a vast majority of new PCs ship with Windows 7 pre-installed, helping it vault past its immediate predecessor.

Microsoft proudly announced earlier this year that Windows 7 had surpassed Windows Vista. That was expected: Windows 7 has been part of Microsoft's crusade to redeem itself for Vista's many problems, which included -- amongst other things -- compatibility issues and overall poor performance.

In the first six months after Vista's release, however, only 70 per cent of PC makers were selling Vista pre-installed. In contrast, Microsoft is reporting that virtually all of those producers are using Windows 7 after the same period. (Source:

Windows 7: 240 Million Licenses and Counting

Now, Microsoft can point to some very impressive numbers as proof of the early success of Windows 7. The operating system, which is a year old as of October 22, 2010, is now pre-installed on an incredible 93 per cent of personal computers, according to a recent report from industry analyst Net Applications.

The study also found that an estimated 17 per cent of computers worldwide -- representing about 240 million licenses -- are now running Windows 7. Discussing the findings in a blog on Thursday, Microsoft spokesperson Brandon LeBlanc noted that his company's products had scored higher on consumer satisfaction polls than industry rival Apple.

It's not clear where LeBlanc is getting those numbers, however. Less than a month ago the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ASCI) reported Apple with a score of 86 and Microsoft at 78 -- an improvement for the world's biggest software firm, but not quite yet up to Apple levels.

Windows 7 on Tablet PCs a Necessity

Still, there's reason for Microsoft to look forward with optimism.

Windows 7's growth on laptop and desktop computers could translate into impressive slate/tablet PC sales by the end of the year. CEO Steve Ballmer not long ago promised consumers that several such devices would be available before Christmas, and just last week saw hardware maker CTL release its 10.1" 2goPAD. A short battery life indicates this may not be the ultimate Win7 tablet, but if reports are correct, it's selling regardless. (Source:

That's good news for Microsoft, which saw its share values downgraded earlier this month by Goldman Sachs analyst Sarah Friar, who cited a lack of Windows 7 tablet activity as a reason for the move. Friar noted that Windows 7 needed to break ground in this space in order to fend off threats from rival Apple, which has virtually owned the market since the spring release of its iPad. (Source:

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