updated 02:50 pm EDT, Fri April 22, 2011
Windows 7 hits 350m licenses in 18 months
Microsoft celebrated another milestone for Windows 7 on Friday by reaching 350 million copies sold, either with PCs or as upgrades. The tally was reached one and a half years after Windows 7 went on sale in October 2009 and just six months after the 240 million mark from its anniversary. Web traffic also just recently suggested that Windows 7 overtook XP as the most popular version of Windows and therefore the most popular OS in the US.
The pacing managed by the company would have Windows 7's growth rate slightly behind that from its first year, hinting that it was still healthy but that most adoption was still coming from those who were replacing computers on their usual upgrade cycles rather than deliberately stepping out of cycle to get the OS early.
The software's success is still noticeably stronger than for Windows Vista. An early reputation for a lack of hardware support, slow performance, an intrusive security layer and other drawbacks led to many PC builders and even some institutions deliberately avoiding Vista for as long as Microsoft would allow. Many netbook manufacturers kept using XP until Windows 7 or even until the developer stopped preinstalls of XP in October last year.
Windows 7 helped recover from Vista's issues by producing much faster performance on low-end systems as well as including more meaningful interface changes, though some like the unified app status and shortcut icons were borrowed from Mac OS X.