Windows 7 is perhaps Microsoft's best operating system out the gate. Its relative lack of traditional compatibility issues and slick features come thanks to a disciplined program of public beta testing and stricter hardware partner requirements. Amazingly few people have much bad to say about Windows 7. Even rival Apple has been forced to turn down the rhetoric andembrace Windows 7 on Boot Camp.
The operating system is already the key factor driving Microsoft profits over the last two quarters, and the fastest selling operating system in history. Now it has reached a very impressive mark. Windows 7 has passed Windows Vista after only 7 months.
Denver-based technology research firm Janco Partners, Inc. reports that Windows 7 has achieved a 14.8 percent share of the international computer market. To contrast that, consider this -- Windows Vista never passed its predecessor, Windows XP.
Growing at over twice the speed of Windows Vista in its early months, Windows 7 seems destine to pass Windows XP, an operating system which, after a couple of Service Packs became one of Microsoft's most popular operating systems of all time.
Janco CEO Victor Janulaitis comments, "There are now more users of Windows 7 than Vista. That is a major factor in their improved record earnings. The last OS that was accepted as quickly in the market was XP. Vista's market share has peaked, and is in the process of being decommissioned in most enterprises."
If there was one rain cloud marring Microsoft's rainbow fantasy-come-true, it's the topic of browser market share. Janco says that between Jan. 2005 and April 2010, Internet Explorer dropped from 90.61 to 67.73 percent in global market share.
Mozilla's Firefox and Google's Chrome have been the biggest emerging threats to Microsoft's browser dominance. The European Union's decision to force Microsoft to let users choose their browser upon installation of Windows 7 reportedly has hurt the company's market share further, sending it to the lowest levels since 1998.