Is Windows 7 tops in the U.S. OS market? Maybe, maybe not.

The XP and Windows 7 operating systems are duking it out for the lead spot in usage rates, but who the winner is isn't so clear cut

For the first time since its release in October 2009, Windows 7 has surpassed XP in U.S. market share, according to one source.

According to the Dublin, Ireland-based aggregate data collection company, StatCounter's analysis from March 2010 to April 2011 showed thatWindows 7 increased its usage rate to 31.98 percent, surpassing XP's 31.2 percent for the same time frame.  

As for the rest of the top five, Vista still holds a 19.23 percent usage rate, while the MacOSX has 14.79 percent of the market. Holding in the rear is Linux and its .7 percent of the U.S. market share, which has been relatively unchanged in the past year.

Source: StatCounter Global Stats - Operating System Market Share

StatCounter said it receives its results by analyzing the usage rate of more than 3 million global sites, with an average of 15 billion hits per month. It then can determine which browser and operating system each individual is using. It's worth noting that only desktops are included in the company's figures, which excludes laptops netbooks and other mobile devices.

Concerning worldwide usage numbers for the same time period (March 2010 to April 2011), XP is still in the lead with 47.7 percent of the market, while Windows 7 is sitting at 31.17 percent.   

While StatCounter's figures are good news for the newest Windows OS, they contradict that of rival Ariz.-based online data analytic company Stat Owl. According to the company's tracking system, Windows XP still has a commanding lead in the U.S. marketwith 51.56 percent of usage, while Windows 7 is actually in third (behind Vista's 23.45 percent share) with 23.21 percent.

The contradicting figures can stem from the fact that Stat Owl says it predominately tracks U.S.-centric Web sites and has a user tracking base of 28 million -- 25 million more than StatCounter.

About the Author

Chris Paoli is the associate Web editor for 1105 Enterprise Computing Group's Web sites, including,, and

inside gcn

  • A framework for secure software

Reader Comments

Wed, Apr 13, 2011 Rick FL

Faulty study, "It's worth noting that only desktops are included in the company's figures, which excludes laptops netbooks and other mobile devices." I would believe the study mentioned at the end of the article as desktops are becoming less and less common.

Wed, Apr 13, 2011

Maybe in corporate world. For home use, XP will likely be around another decade. For people that just want an internet terminal, current machines are more than powerful enough, so unless they break it or suddenly get a case of hardware lust, no reason to upgrade. Very few home users (other than geeks or wanna-be geeks) ever upgrade their OS other than by buying a new machine.

Wed, Apr 13, 2011

Windows XP and 2000 are still in use because 10 year old PC can not run the new systems. In times of tight budgets why replace equipment that is still working just to have the newest OS. With over 60 PCs and no budget for new equipment XP and 2k will be around for a while.

Wed, Apr 13, 2011 KingMel

Major reason for trend is attrition of old Windows computers. XP share will be < 5% within a couple of years, and Vista will follow right behind. This is expected of a 10-year old OS and its would-be successor.

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group