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Windows 7 is the new king of the OS market, passing Windows XP.  (Source: Take Two Interactive)
Microsoft hopes to follow up resounding success with slick Windows 8

StatCounter, a top market analytics firm, recently announced that Microsoft's Windows 7 had attained a milestone accomplishment, surpassing Windows XP to become the most used operating system in the world.  

While "market gurus" and financial pen pushers tend to dwell on Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) recent misses, they tend to miss that in the operating systems business, the company is relishing the greatest sales success in its history.  Selling faster than any other version of Windows -- or any other operating system in the history of the world, for that matter -- Windows 7 soared to a 40.21 percent (appr.) installation rate in under 2 years, bumping the much beloved Windows XP to second place (38.64 percent).

Windows 7's success was bred of one of the company's most maligned efforts to date, Windows Vista.  Vista, launched in late 2006, tried unsuccessfully to replace the popular five-year -old XP.  Many of its biggest problems were due to issues outside Microsoft's control -- including glitchy support peripheral driver support from its hardware partners.  Other issues -- like the bloated memory and processes footprint -- were certainly pinned solely on Microsoft.

But for the shortcomings of Vista, it debuted many of the features including the gaudy Aero graphical interface, which would reinvent Windows.  They just needed a polished package.

That package arrived with Windows 7.  The biggest story of this operating system came well before launch, with Microsoft giving away millions of free beta copies in the largest OS beta test in world history.  The builds had their issues and could be buggy at times -- but customers understood this -- after all, they were using a test product.  And the innovative approach yielded great rewards.  Microsoft caught over 2,000 bugs during the test cycle and used its telemetrics to drastically slash the processor and memory footprint to the point where the new OS could be run on a lowly Pentium II.

Microsoft also benefited from the learning experience of Vista, warning hardware partners not to dare pull a Vista, when it came to driver support.  The crackdown paid off.  By launch time it was relatively rare to find a incompatible peripheral.

The new face of Windows launched Oct. 22, 2009, to much excitement.  Lean and stable in performance, familiar yet more stylish graphically, Windows 7 managed to pass its predecessor in nine months (July 2010).  It sold 240 million licenses in its first year, according to market research firm Gartner, Inc. (IT).

Today it has sold 450 million licenses.  And that total is expected to rise to 635 million by the year's end, with 94 percent of new PCs currently shipping with Windows 7.

Looking ahead Microsoft is eyeing a fall launch for Windows 8.  The new operating system has a tough act to follow, given the mega-success of Windows 7.  But Microsoft -- about to enter its 37th year -- continues to show it has some tricks up its sleeve.  With Windows 8 it will add support for ARM architectures CPUs, opening the gates to a host of power-savvy system-on-a-chip driven designs.  

And Windows 8 will also add the vibrant Metro UI found on Microsoft Windows Phone line.  Developers will be able to create their own chic animated Metro UI tiles, bringing a new level of touch-friendly and visually striking interaction to end users.

And with its market of over 1 billion Windows PCs at stake, Microsoft isn't about to take any chances with stability or performance.  It recently launched a public preview test build to work out the various bugs in the trial build.  And it has cut the memory footprint and number of processes from the already lean Windows 7, despite running built-in antimalware protection and Metro UI for the first time.

Whether Windows 8 turns out to be a hit or miss in sales, Microsoft can take comfort in what it learned in the Vista-Win7 arc -- that even a "failed" effort can breed a new market leader.  But for now the story is Windows 7, and it seems only appropriate to conclude by honoring Windows 7's accomplishment with a quote from a familiar Windows video game character -- "Hail to the king, baby!"

Source: StatCounter

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By Dr of crap on 10/17/2011 12:50:34 PM , Rating: 2
Well yea.
Because Vista had the black mark people stayed away. After the many years inbetween the early years of XP to Win 7 there had to be an upgrade, and I'm sure Microsoft knew that. It's like a given. The next OS after Vista had to be a better product and then the masses needed to either get a new PC or upgrade to Win 7.
Win 8 will get sales from new PCs, but the real increase is from leaving XP to go to something newer, be it Win 7 or Win 8.

RE: Well
By augiem on 10/17/2011 1:16:38 PM , Rating: 3
I doubt too many win 7 users will feel the need to upgrade to 8. That is unless ms pulls another crippleware trick like xp being capped to ie7 and dx9... Buy vista if you want the latest updates! That's fair now 10 years out, but the dx cap was put in place many years ago.

I for one have ZERO intention of using or supporting Metro. I'm sorry, you can throw around "post pc era" all you want, real computers used for productivity can never be replaced by dinky touch and swipe toys. Its a mistake for ms to try to force this dummy mode on all users, especially business and productivity users. I predict they'll end up having to branch windows again because of metro... Windows Serious and Windows Dumb@**. Put Windows Dumb@** on the recipe touchscreen in your microwave and leave the real computer users alone.

god I hate touchscreens!!1 It took me about 10 minutes to write this on this Touchpad! What a joke. These dinky consumption boxes aren't useful for much of anything. Post pc era my foot.

RE: Well
By cjohnson2136 on 10/17/2011 1:34:39 PM , Rating: 2
The nice thing about Win 8 though is you still have your Win 7 when you pick Desktop. So you can run all your programs that you can now. But I do agree that the whole post-pc era thing is not really here yet.

RE: Well
By Mitch101 on 10/17/2011 4:31:06 PM , Rating: 2
If they can speed up the Voice to Text option thats in the Windows Phone 7.5 into the tablet who needs a keyboard. It really does a great job sometimes a little slow in figuring out what was said but overall its come a long long way.

RE: Well
By augiem on 10/17/2011 5:01:37 PM , Rating: 2
To me the post PC era will only really happen when we all have Star Trek's computers. Voice regcognition is only the tip of the iceberg. Most importantly a real AI that can understand us and actually DO the work for us (Iron Man movie computer comes to mind). Either that or some neural interface.

I shudder to think of writing programming code, using a spreadsheet, or doing 3D modeling/animation on a touch screen or voice interface!

RE: Well
By cjohnson2136 on 10/17/2011 5:07:15 PM , Rating: 3
I can't imagine writing C# with voice controls. A bunch of developers talking to their computers and all their code is getting messed up because it picks up little pieces of what others say. Or sitting there saying "if left parenthesis x plus one right parenthesis carriage line..."

RE: Well
By UnauthorisedAccess on 10/17/2011 10:24:48 PM , Rating: 3
...and you can bet someone in the office will sneak up and shout the equivalent of format c drive into your microphone.

Huge difference between media consumption devices and real PCs imho.

RE: Well
By Samus on 10/18/2011 3:15:35 AM , Rating: 3
Considering Vista was virtually unusable on most PC's sold at its launch due to improper hardware configurations (not enough RAM, 4200-5400RPM hard disks in laptops, driver problems...especially 64-bit) it carried that stigma throughout its very short run.

By the time Windows 7 rolled through, mainstream retail computers had 2-4GB RAM, and SSD's were finally inexpensive (compared to 2006 prices) so it didn't even have to improve performance. And it didn't. Windows 7 was less bloated, but is basically the same thing as Windows Vista.

RE: Well
By retrospooty on 10/17/2011 1:50:44 PM , Rating: 2
"Its a mistake for ms to try to force this dummy mode on all users, especially business and productivity users. I predict they'll end up having to branch windows again because of metro"

That interface is not forced on anyone... It's designed for tablets. For your PC, you will have the normal familiar interface. Relax, all is well in the world.

RE: Well
By augiem on 10/17/11, Rating: 0
RE: Well
By cjohnson2136 on 10/17/2011 4:08:57 PM , Rating: 2
Except remember this is a developer preview, not even beta. A lot can still change from now to release. If enough people ask for it they could add a setting to allow for changing of the default.

RE: Well
By retrospooty on 10/17/2011 5:03:15 PM , Rating: 2
"Disabling it may be possible, but not default, which shows MS's intention to migrate away from the icon-based desktop into Metro in the long term. It's an experiment, but doomed to fail. "

The whole point of this dev preview is so that developers can see the new UI and prepare for it. That by no means makes it default on the release version... and if it is, so what? Its actually good for newbs and non-techies. Anyone technical enough to want the old UI is surely technical enough to find the control panel and turn it off. Its nothing to be upset about, sheeat, if you dont like it, don't use it.

Do you pay for cable TV and get angry because you hate the lifetime channel and HGTV? No, you just dont watch those channels.

RE: Well
By augiem on 10/17/2011 5:51:44 PM , Rating: 2
I don't agree this is good for the non-technical. Metro is pretty much a mess. It's like throwing everything in a big grab bag. It's very much like Windows Media Center which is a PITA to find anything if you have a library larger than 20 items. It's clear they want the Metro UI to become the primary go-to guy for all tasks, therefore even for basic users, it's going to get cluttered beyond imagination. They even encourage you to pin websites to it. Even non-techies like my dad have hundreds of bookmarks. And yes, they can still use the IE bookmarks system, but you know these basic computer users will do what's easiest and just plop everything onto metro (like they do with the desktop now).

Like I said in my first post, I will not use it or support it, so yeah, I'm already doing what you're suggesting. If it's forced on us, I'll disable it. I still don't like it or agree with the design. A big step backwards in UI design IMO and very poor use of screen space.

RE: Well
By augiem on 10/17/2011 5:54:03 PM , Rating: 2
Let me qualify that as saying a very poor use of screen space for a desktop/notebook PC. For a tablet or smartphone, it's fine.

RE: Well
By kleinma on 10/17/2011 8:52:35 PM , Rating: 2
It is just a new glorified start menu. Other than the start menu, the desktop works just like Windows 7. How often do you go into the start menu anyways?

RE: Well
By borismkv on 10/17/2011 10:34:14 PM , Rating: 2
About a thousand times a day...

RE: Well
By augiem on 10/18/2011 2:00:45 AM , Rating: 2
And if MS has their way, every single time I boot my PC.

RE: Well
By Da W on 10/17/2011 1:51:21 PM , Rating: 3
It took about 10 minutes and the hacking community disabled Metro and re-enabled standard Start menu on Windows 8 devlopper preview.
I agree we got to voice our concerns to Microsoft so they can act. I think the only flaws are starting in Metro by default and having a metro start page instead of standard start menu / application launcher. While it's a good idea to have both paradigms, there's got to be another way to switch between the two. And i want my desktop to boot on standard desktop mode.... correction, i will certainly hack my way out of it, but as a stockowner, i want the masses to be able to boot on standard desktop mode.

RE: Well
By cjohnson2136 on 10/17/2011 1:56:40 PM , Rating: 3
Or why not give MSFT the suggestion to change the settings. Some people could like it starting in Metro while others would prefer the standard desktop. I for one would prefer it starting as a split screen with weather on the side and the desktop view on the big side. If MSFT could give you the option of how it looks when it boots it would satisfy more customers

RE: Well
By Mitch101 on 10/17/2011 4:14:20 PM , Rating: 3
Just use the Windows 8 Tweak UI.

Metro UI Tweaker for Windows 8 Released

Tweak Windows 8 with the 'Metro UI Tweaker for Windows 8'

RE: Well
By augiem on 10/17/2011 4:33:02 PM , Rating: 2
The split screen idea is essentially a slightly modified version of what Windows Vista / 7 have by default -- Windows Sidebar. Live widgets on the right and a desktop on the left.

RE: Well
By cjohnson2136 on 10/17/11, Rating: 0
RE: Well
By augiem on 10/17/2011 4:19:26 PM , Rating: 2
The fact that it had to be hacked in the first place to disable Metro says a lot. Microsoft is so confident in Metro as the future of the GUI they don't even have a mechanism for disabling it. I suspect this will change by the time it comes out, but it still shows their underlying thought process, which is troubling.

Metro will work splendidly for you as long as you don't have more than 20 or 30 things on your system (including programs, shortcuts, links, etc). It's a super simplified interface designed for use on devices that don't do squat, and to even consider making this the default interface for all PC's is ludicrous. Someone at the company is either seriously underestimating their customers or is just forging ahead, eyes closed, ears plugged, with his own idealistic and naieve vision of the future.

RE: Well
By cjohnson2136 on 10/17/2011 4:31:16 PM , Rating: 2
Except your forgetting its still in development what they released just recently can drastically change from its final release.

RE: Well
By augiem on 10/17/2011 4:39:09 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not forgetting at all. I do hope they get away from this idea by the time it's done. But Metro is the most trumpeted feature of Windows 8, so I doubt it will fall to the background by the time it comes out. The stark difference of Metro vs the Windows desktop is a very obvious interface feature MS can and will use as a marketing tool to convince users to upgrade. Its their hook this time around. Can you really see that as becoming an optional, manually enabled choice by release time? The best I can hope for is an easy way to disable it, which I'm sure we'll get. But what I'm saying is its illogical to put a phone/tablet/media center pc interface as the default.

RE: Well
By cjohnson2136 on 10/17/2011 4:45:11 PM , Rating: 2
No but I also don't see this as being the next major OS going on every PC with Windows. I see it going on tablets and PC of that that nature. I still think MSFT will over Win 7 on its desktop and laptops

RE: Well
By augiem on 10/17/2011 4:57:30 PM , Rating: 2
Hmm, that's interesting. That's the first I'd heard of that concept. Possible, but I don't believe that will be the case for several reasons:

1. Microsoft will have to be maintaining 3 separate, current OS's simultaneously (7, 7 phone, 8) along with its other aging yet supported OS's (Vista, Windows 6.5 phone), not to mention Server and Media Center versions.

2. I've not heard anything about Windows 8 not supporting the full set of hardware/drivers Windows 7 does, not supporting Direct X, etc. (But it is supposed to have a smaller memory footprint).

3. It seems like it would be a very bad marketing move to sell tablets and other consumption devices with an OS braded at version 8 while selling desktop PC's branded at 7. Consumers would very likely feel like they're buying an old OS.

I don't know. It's all speculation at this point.

RE: Well
By cjohnson2136 on 10/17/2011 5:04:06 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed also they are trying to integrate WP7, Win 8 and Xbox so they all work together. All of them are going with the Metro theme.

At the same time if they do move Win 8 as the primary desktop computer, which to me wouldn't make sense since it is very touch oriented, people experimenting with the Developer Preview and beta need to let it be known we want that setting to change the default start up

RE: Well
By augiem on 10/17/2011 5:38:44 PM , Rating: 2
From everything I read it looks like they indeed do intend for Windows 8 to replace Windows 7 on all devices:

"We tried with Windows 8 to re-imagine how you work with a PC," Sinofsky said on stage during an interview with D9 host Walt Mossberg.

He says it will work on laptops, desktops, and tablets, and that everything that worked with Windows 7 will work with the next-generation OS as well. When using existing desktop applications, the interface goes to a very Windows 7-like desktop.


Windows 8 is the next version of Microsoft Windows, a family of operating systems produced by Microsoft for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops, netbooks, tablet PCs, servers, and media center PCs.

The first quote from Steven Sinofsky says it all. They tried to reimagine how you work with a PC. Not a tablet or phone or set top box, a PC. So this is clearly the next PC OS and the successor to Windows 7.

Ugh. Reinventing the wheel for reinventing the wheel's sake always turns into a disaster. Designers who don't put functionality as the ultimate an unequivocal #1 are failures in my book. Form follows function, not the other way around. The function of a PC is to do everything the user may want to do, from entertainment, to productivity, to experimentation, etc. They're putting a square peg in a round hole. This is a phone/tablet UI. They just don't get it.

RE: Well
By captainBOB on 10/17/2011 10:20:33 PM , Rating: 2
Ugh. Reinventing the wheel for reinventing the wheel's sake always turns into a disaster.

Yep, the GUI was a total disaster. Because terminal gurus of yore weren't say the same thing you are now. (and still are saying)

Whether or not metro will pay off is still up for grabs, for one thing Microsoft better utilize the significantly higher resolutions of PCs well (which is something Apple forgot to do with launchpad on Lion), otherwise yeah, its just a tablet interface being bolted on a PC.

For now I am waiting till the public beta for further judgement. Perhaps Microsoft is crazy like a fox and knows something we don't yet.

I see great potential in Win 8, its just up to Microsoft and the OEMs to not let me down.

RE: Well
By augiem on 10/18/2011 1:58:15 AM , Rating: 2
History has FAR, FAR more examples of failed reinvention than success when its done not out of necessity but simply out of desire to be different. And Metro is already complete on Win7 so it's not like we have utterly no idea of what's coming even if they change a few things.

Change is good when there's a valid reason behind it and it helps achieve something beneficial (think evolution). Sweeping change for change's sake is 9 times out of 10 nothing more than a "look at me" attention grab and will be forgotton and paved over in time. Having a BFA have gone to an art design college, I know that 100% of design students out there want to make their mark by completely wiping the slate clean, starting over, and reinventing the wheel. They honestly think they can do it... they can swoop in and change the world and solve problems nobody could ever solve before. 100% fail, get real, and realize that progress is made through EVOLUTION, not REVOLUTION.

RE: Well
By augiem on 10/18/2011 2:18:07 AM , Rating: 2
edit: "Metro is already complete on Win7 Phone"

RE: Well
By ekv on 10/18/2011 4:55:36 AM , Rating: 2
They're putting a square peg in a round hole.
Methinks thou dost protest too much. Come on, admit it, you're really Eric Schmidt 8)
Schmidt said he believes Microsoft is “not driving the consumer revolution.” He doesn’t count Microsoft’s Xbox business because it’s “not a platform at the computational level.”
You can discount all you want. You certainly have every right to be concerned over Microsoft's execution of their business plan. Ballmer is not confidence inspiring. Etc.

Everybody likes to point to Minority Report, but Quantum of Solace shows better tech integration (naturally, and better chicks too). How do you connect all that stuff together?

RE: Well
By augiem on 10/18/2011 1:52:16 PM , Rating: 2
Methinks thou dost protest too much.

I happen to be a very opinionated person when it comes to things I care about. Is that so bad?

Microsoft's track record over the years has been so full of bumbling and half attempts in so many varied areas that I'm always amazed at how successful they still are and wonder how big they'd be if they actually ran a tight ship. I see Metro as another bungled attempt at revolution in an area that really needs to revolution. PC/Mac GUI's have been refined to death! They're NOT hard to use, even for the technologically challanged, unless you start getting into file management. It bothers me because they want to make PC's more like smartphones. I think that's a seriously bad idea, but Joe Q. Public will decide in the end by purchasing what he wants and I will be left in the dust. I also happen to think Joe Q. Public is a moron who has taken too many things I am or used to be an enthusast in to the brink of hell with his buying choices (game industry, movies, much of TV). Joe/Jane Q is responsible for giving us reality TV. 'nuff said.

Come on, admit it, you're really Eric Schmidt 8)


RE: Well
By augiem on 10/18/2011 1:53:53 PM , Rating: 2
edit: "I see Metro as another bungled attempt at revolution in an area that really needs NO revolution"

RE: Well
By ekv on 10/18/2011 3:01:18 PM , Rating: 2
You wish you were Eric Schmidt? Guy's a jerk. I've always heard that money is simply an amplifier. Like, if you hit the lottery, what's already there is still there character-wise, you'd just have more money to carry it all out.
it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

My question was rather Socratic. And quite relevant, if you're a software developer, or even a so-called "power user". If you'd rather rant ... it's your tale 8)

RE: Well
By augiem on 10/18/2011 7:22:16 PM , Rating: 2
I wish I had his bank account, that's about it.

I voiced my opinions point by point on questions/comments made by people to my posts. By calling that a rant you, with one swoop, brush off everything I've said without the effort of any sort of discussion/counterargument/commentary. Nothing anyone ever says on a comment board is ever going to make any difference to the world. So what? Why point out the obvious?

RE: Well
By cjohnson2136 on 10/17/2011 5:13:18 PM , Rating: 2
Hell they could even change the name nothing says it has to stay as Windows 8 they could change it to Windows Tablet 7 or something similar to WP7 lol

RE: Well
By NellyFromMA on 10/18/2011 3:22:58 PM , Rating: 3
I extremely doubt this. XP's time limit had been reached. It got a little extension due to the bungle that was Vista (pre SP1, all that counts I guess) but otherwise, its not in anyones best interests to keep it around. Windows 7 is the superior platform and so there is no reason for the company to endlessly support both. This is just common sense. All software companies do this in some way or another, Microsoft obviously has the hardest time doing this because people rely on their system so much. So, you should actually appreciate that they want to spend as much time as possible refining it instead of being distracted supporting old technology.

Also, I don't think Windows 8 is about replacing Windows 7. Sure, most of it probably will although its too early to tell, but the real driver here is tablets.

If you're happy with Windows 7, keep it. I'm pretty sure they aren't going to force away their biggest marketting success yet two years in. Look how long XP has been around. Stop freaking.

RE: Well
By augiem on 10/18/2011 11:28:26 PM , Rating: 2
Was this message intended for me? (you replied to my post) Because if it was, I'm baffled. Where do you get the idea I'm advocating continued support of XP? XP is WAY beyond its prime and I know that. It's largely unsupported.

What I said:
Windows 7 users will not likely upgrade to 8 unless MS pulls tricks like they did with the XP/Vista transition trying to force upgrades (like discontinuing DirectX updates and IE updates for XP arbitrarily).

How is that some sort of advocacy for continued support for Windows XP? I'm complaining about Microsoft's past forced upgrade tactics.

Also, I don't think Windows 8 is about replacing Windows 7.

You're the second one to suggest that, but that's clearly not what MS has lead people to believe. Windows 8 is about replacing Windows 7. See my links below.

RE: Well
By Aenslead on 10/23/2011 4:36:28 PM , Rating: 2
god I hate touchscreens!!1 It took me about 10 minutes to write this on this Touchpad!


I cannot stop thinking: "what on God's green Earth would those dumbass HP engineers be thinking when they launched their touchscreen AiOs." - just imagining all those thumbprints in the screen make me shiver.

They are a must for Tablets/smartphones, but definitely a NO-GO for desktop/enthusiast/workstations.

I dislike Apple PC clones, no matter how shiny. But His Jobness and Acolytes knew one thing: what people use and how they use it (mostly). And somehow, they were smarter and concluded that any touch-screen laptop/desktop would be a complete failure.

RE: Well
By Argon18 on 10/18/2011 4:33:20 PM , Rating: 2
How sad to be locked in to this crap. So glad I dumped Microsoft and their broken proprietary incompatible garbage years ago!

"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il

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