Windows 7 Shows Signs of Early Gains

During slightly more than a week after Windows 7’s consumer release on Oct. 22, the new operating system’s market share rose 1.68 percent to 3.67 percent in daily tracking surveys, according to Net Applications.

As of Sunday, Nov. 1, Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) Windows 7 held 2.15 percent of the total operating system market worldwide, the Web analytics tracking firm said.

Meanwhile, all versions of Windows held a combined total market share of 92.51 percent. Of that, Windows XP held 70.48 percent market share and Windows Vista had 18.83 percent.

Prior to its commercial debut, Windows 7 had already picked up some early adopters, including beta testers and subscribers to Microsoft’s TechNet and MSDN services,as well as early corporate adopters.

For example, in daily tracking surveys, Windows 7 already had a 1.99 percent share on launch day.

Those figures rose steadily from Oct. 22 to 2.96 percent on Oct. 26, slid slightly to 2.59 percent on Oct. 28, before rising to 3.67 on Sunday, Nov. 1.

Consumer interest appears to be driving most Windows 7 adoption so early in the process. Computer retailers and e-tailers are hoping that the holiday sales season, which by tradition is expected to kick into gear on “Black Friday” — the day after Thanksgiving — will be a green one. Green, as in the color of money, that is.

“The trend line looks extremely strong — to jump to over 3 percent in less than nine days is impressive,” Vince Vizzacarro, executive vice president of Net Apps, told

Net Apps’ figures show a trend by consumers to move quickly — reinforcing early anecdotal evidence that the uptake rate for Windows 7 among consumers is likely to be like night and day when compared to the debut of Windows Vista in January 2007.

“We didn’t see that kind of adoption rate with Vista, so I think we’re seeing a lot more confidence that we didn’t see with Vista,” Vizzacarro added.

Additionally, technology analysts and some financial analysts in recent weeks have begun predicting that enterprise IT shops will also likely take an aggressive stance by adopting Windows 7 more quickly than previous editions. Typically, corporate IT begins migrating to a new Windows release 12 to 18 months after launch.

The open question is which of the older Windows releases, Vista or the still more-popular Windows XP, will take the hardest hit from Windows 7. Given that XP has the largest share — 70.48 percent, according to Net Apps’ latest figures — that seems like a relatively safe forecast.

“I expect to see Windows XP take a dive pretty soon,” Vizzacarro agreed.

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