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Windows 7 already stealing market share from Vista

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We knew Windows Vista was unpopular, but this is downright funny. A survey by Net Applications found that Vista is already beginning to shrink in terms of market share and those loses are to the gain of Windows 7.

Net Applications is a site monitoring and analytics provider. It gathers data from 40,000 Web sites around the world using an analytics package called Hitslink. Among the many things it gathers are the browser and operating system of each visitor.

Now how can that be when Windows 7 won't be on the market for 17 days, you ask. Simple. The Net Applications survey counts both the Windows RC1 that has been out since May as well as the final Windows 7 code, which has been on MSDN for developers to download since August.

The most recent survey from Net Applications puts Windows 7 at a total installed base of 1.18 percent, mostly because of the RC being so widespread. The company estimates Windows 7 grew by 0.3 percent in August, when the final code became available, and Vista lost 0.2 percent.

Big surprise.

It's a pretty pitiful showing for Vista, which never managed to go beyond 19 percent market share in its maligned three-year history. Windows XP, as creaky, old and downright ugly as it is, still holds 71.5 percent of all operating systems that connected to servers monitored by Net Applications last month.

Figure on both numbers going down fast. There is palpable excitement on message boards over this release, something I've never seen before. People are actually psyched to get Windows 7 and put Vista and XP out to pasture once and for all. For once, the widespread betas worked in Microsoft's favor.

Some stores are already getting their Windows 7 product, which means you can probably figure on someone somewhere blowing the release date and selling early. In some cases, that may be legitimate, as Microsoft is letting system builders pull the trigger early.

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