November 2, 2009
Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system is growing quickly in popularity, according to a market watcher.
Windows 7 screen shot (Click for larger image and for full photo gallery) Though it's been available to consumers for just over a week, the software's share of the operating system market has jumped from 1.89% on Oct. 22nd, the day of its release, to 3.67% as of Tuesday, according to data from Net Applications. All versions of Windows, including XP, Vista, and Windows 7, continue to dominate the computer operating system market, with a total share of 92.5%. Apple's Mac OS is a distant second, with a 5.3% stake. The open source Linux OS is third most popular, with a market share of about 1%. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer formally introduced Windows 7 last month at an industry event in New York City. Ballmer said Windows 7 is simple to use, responsive, and unobtrusively secure—all things Vista was not. The OS "makes everyday use of a PC better," said Ballmer. Microsoft worked with 3,000 engineers and 50,000 tech industry partners to build Windows 7, a product the company hopes will eventually make its way to 8 million customers. Computer users knocked Windows Vista for its intrusive security features, heavy horsepower requirements, and incompatibility with many older software programs. To boost compatibility in Windows 7, Microsoft added to some versions an "XP mode" that emulates Vista's predecessor, which is still used by most businesses. Windows 7 also provides native support for new input modes, such as touch-screen computing. The full version of Windows 7 Professional is $299, with upgrades going for $199. Windows 7 Ultimate is priced at $319, with the upgrade version at $219. The full version of Windows 7 Home Premium is priced at $199, with an upgrade from Vista or XP costing $119.
InformationWeek has published an indepth report on Windows 7. Download the report here (registration required).
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