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Windows XP’s share below 50% for first time in recorded history


It’s time to pour something out and revel in some misty eyed nostalgia, because Windows XP is officially on the way out. According to Web statistics company Net Applications, XP finished July with less than half of the operating system market share for the first time since Net Applications began tracking OS usage.

 Windows XP lost 1.3 percent of the market during July, ending with 49.8 percent in total. Which, when you think about it, is still pretty darn impressive for an OS that’s a decade old (and that’s survived two successors, assuming you’re willing to make the stretch of calling Vista one). So while it’s not time to throw a wake yet, it might be time to talk to your less tech-savvy friends to try to wean them off XP.

 Net Application’s metric is one of the last to have still given XP a majority market share. According to ComputerWorld, who accessed the Net Applications report, Irish company StatCounter said XP had 43.9 percent share in July after slipping under the 50 percent mark in January. Net Application’s metric may be more accurate, however, because the company weights data by country, which helps give a better picture of countries like China that have low statistics gathering but high PC use.

XP’s market share has dropped by 12 percent over the last year after controlling around three-quarters of the market a few years ago. Microsoft has already announced it will stop providing updates to the OS in 2014, and has been steadily ushering users away from the system and onto newer offerings. It seems to be working, as the decline in XP usage has meant more users switching over to Windows 7. According to Net Applications, Windows 7 has gained 13.4 percent share in the last year to finish July at 27.9 percent share globally, which has easily beat XP’s decline. It’s a good sign for Microsoft as businesses, usually the slowest to make changes, start to switch over. Supporting multiple operating systems is expensive, and surely Microsoft will be happy to finally put XP to rest.

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