updated 10:35 am EDT, Thu October 21, 2010
Microsoft at 240m Windows 7 licenses sold in year
Microsoft preceded the one-year anniversary of Windows 7 by noting that it had sold 240 million licenses of the OS over that timeframe. The OS is both Microsoft's and by nature the industry's fastest-selling OS. It was helped by overcoming much of the negative reputation earned by Vista, as every Windows PC builder was using 7 within half a year where 30 percent had avoided Vista in its first six months.
The company still sells the vast majority of licenses attached to new computers and has still faced a level of opposition from corporate buyers and the developing world. Both are often dependent on computers too slow to run the more demanding OS or on software that still needs XP or earlier to run. About two thirds are still using XP, according to Net Applications' web traffic. Roughly 17 percent of Windows owners are using Windows 7, however, putting it ahead of Vista.
A key to its rapid spread has been its improved performance on netbooks and low-end systems, where Vista rarely ran well. Much broader backwards compatibility also proved an edge by dodging the lack of support that plagued Vista for much of its life.
With about 13.8 million Macs sold worldwide, Apple isn't large enough to compete in sheer new OS installs but has had much faster adoption of its latest OS version. According to the same data, about 63 percent of Mac owners are using Snow Leopard where almost all others are just one version back, with Leopard. A decision to price the upgrade at $29 has been a major factor.