Windows 7 adoption surpasses Vista use, Mac OS flat

Usage of Windows 7 has eclipsed that of its predecessor Vista for the first time, data from research firm NetApplications indicates. Regardless, Windows XP remains the most commonly used operating system.

Share of Windows 7 in July hit 14.46 percent, a hair above Vista's 14.34 percent share for the month. This was nowhere close to Windows XP, which saw a 61.87 percent share, which has declined slowly over the past year as adoption of Windows 7 rises.

Mac OS share essentially remained flat in July if not ever so slightly downward at 5.06 percent. Apple's slice of the computer market has remained generally around the five percent mark for much of the last year after showing considerable growth in the year previous.

The fact that XP is still holding strong after being on the market for nearly 10 years shows Microsoft's challenge in getting its customers to upgrade to Windows 7. In the company's defense however, it does appear anecdotally that the newest version of Windows is seeing a faster uptake than its predecessor.

It could be due to the fact that Microsoft is beginning to phase out support of Windows XP, which eventually could lead companies to be using a potentially insecure operating system. Official Microsoft support on XP is currently slated to phase out by 2014, although XP SP2 support ended last month.

Whether this strategy works for the company in getting IT deployments to finally upgrade to newer versions of Microsoft's operating system remains to be seen.

In related news, NetApplications found Microsoft also saw share of its Internet Explorer web browser rise slightly to 60.74 percent, its second month of share gain. Safari use also rose as well, above five percent for the first time in the history of the survey, and Firefox and Chrome both saw their share decrease slightly.

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