Microsoft’s first attempt at replacing XP with Vista failed miserably, since Vista had many initial issues and was so poorly received, that the brand was irrevocably tarnished. However, Microsoft’s second attempt with Windows 7 has been very successful, since it has always worked very well, even during its development phase and is well liked. Now, if figures from Stat Counter are to be believed, then Windows 7’s share of the market has climbed to 41.64%, while Windows XP has dropped to 37.20% - still a hefty percentage and one that Microsoft will be keen to see drop to zero as soon as possible. This means that Windows 7 is now finally the most popular Windows version after almost two years since the retail version was released on October 22nd 2009, with Windows 8 due out likely in summer 2012.
From a relative high of 16.88% in September 2010 and continuing a gentle decline, Vista has actually picked up a tiny bit and now sits at 11.73%. This is most likely because it’s still on sale, which is surprising. Apple’s Mac OS X has remained quite stable at around 6-7% market share and looks set to continue the trend, so shouldn’t threaten Microsoft’s dominance, at least not yet.