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Microsoft shifts 350 million Windows 7 licenses in 18 months, XP still king

windows-7-logo-pcsMicrosoft’s “Windows Team Blog” proudly announced in a post on Friday that in its first 18 months, more than 350 million licenses of the Windows 7 operating system have been shifted, making it possibly the fastest selling operating system of all time.

In the post, Microsoft employee Brandon LeBlanc wrote, “The momentum we’ve seen and continue to see with Windows 7 is incredible.”

The computer giant will have also been heartened by figures published on Friday by web analytics firm Net Applications, which show Windows 7 continuing to increase its market share. Indeed, Net Applications’ report shows that since May 2010 (the earliest date listed in the report) the market share of Windows 7 has increased every month. As of March 2011, its share stood at 24.17 percent.

XP, meanwhile, still remains extremely popular, though this is mainly because many people simply don’t bother to instal a new operating system, preferring to stick with what they know (and what they’re given). Businesses are more likely to make the switchover, as LeBlanc highlighted in his post: “Analyst firms like IDC estimate that more than 90% of businesses are currently in progress with their Windows 7 migrations.” XP currently enjoys more than half the market share at 54.39 percent.

So what of Vista, you may well ask. Well, in the Microsoft-dominated theater of competing operating systems, Vista looks like it’s about to quietly exit stage left, with its paltry (and falling) 10.56 percent share of the market.

Apple’s group of loyal followers are ensuring that the latest Mac operating system (Mac OS X 10.6) enjoys a small but steadily increasing 3.5 percent share of the market, understandably less than Microsoft’s pre-installed-on-all-PCs offerings. Other operating systems, such as Linux and Unix, have a combined share of 6.08 percent.

Microsoft techies are currently working on Windows 8, though no date for its release has been officially announced (possibly 2012). Apple, meanwhile, is expected to be releasing its latest operating system, Lion, in the coming months.

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