Windows 7 breaks through 20% market share
Windows XP still holds 56.7% market share
Windows 7 broke the 20% market share barrier last month, according to web analytics company Net Applications.
Statistics from Net Applications put Windows 7's online usage share in December 2010 at 20.9%, up from 19.69% in November.
The unpopular Windows Vista fell to 12.1%, dropping half a point from November. This is Vista'slowest market share since July 2008 and well below the 18.8% it registered in October 2009, when Microsoft launched Windows 7. Market share for Vista has never passed the 20% mark.
Windows' total usage share slumped by half a point to 90.3%, this figure reflects a total fall of nearly two points during 2010.
The losses Windows felt translated into gains for both Apple and Android mobile operating systems. Apple's iOS boosted its market share by three-tenths of a percentage point in December 2010 and Google's Android system saw an increase of one-tenth of a point.
Windows XP fell the furthest in market share in December, dropping 1.2 points to an end-of-year figure of 56.7%.
The system's losses continued to worsen, its share value sagged 3.3 points in the fourth quarter of 2010, 2.4 points in the third quarter of the year and two points in the second quarter.
Microsoft has been urging customers still using the XP system to swap to the new Windows 7 OS, analysts say this message has got through to consumers and is reflected in the 2010 results.
Despite the slump in market share, Windows XP is likely to remain on computers for some time to come. Net Applications' newest data shows that if Windows XP continues to lose its share at the same average pace as the last three months, it won't fall below 50% until the third quarter of 2011.
Net Applications data showed that Windows XP will still account for 12.6% of all OSes in the second quarter of 2014, when it's set for retirement from support.
According to Net Applications, Windows XP had an 83.6% market share in November 2007. This was the first month that Net Applications followed Windows XP after re-engineering its numbers to weight ratio by each county's online population.