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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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RE: Well what do you expect?
By cjohnson2136 on 10/18/2011 2:42:06 PM , Rating: 2
Just cause you won't admit it does not make it a fact.

RE: Well what do you expect?
By augiem on 10/18/2011 3:32:53 PM , Rating: 2
Okay guys... I'm tired of this. Argue with Microsoft will you?

Windows 7 System Requirements (
1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

Windows XP System Requirements: (
Pentium 233-megahertz (MHz) processor or faster (300 MHz is recommended)
At least 64 megabytes (MB) of RAM (128 MB is recommended)
At least 1.5 gigabytes (GB) of available space on the hard disk
CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive
Keyboard and a Microsoft Mouse or some other compatible pointing device
Video adapter and monitor with Super VGA (800 x 600)or higher resolution
Sound card
Speakers or headphones

RE: Well what do you expect?
By Reclaimer77 on 10/18/2011 4:28:39 PM , Rating: 2
Ummm that's minimum system requirements. It's not ANY indication of how "fast" something will run on a modern system. Hello? Your logic is laughable. Obviously 10 years ago, when XP came out, things like Core2Duo's and i7's didn't exist.

Try playing a DX11 game or running a 64bit app and tell me XP is "faster". Ooops! So much for your theory.

The only way to properly do this is to benchmark speed tests on the same rig running both OS's. Yeah if ONLY someone did this....oh wait!

"Bottom line: Windows 7 build 6956 beats Windows XP SP3 in each of the tests."

You're done augiem.

RE: Well what do you expect?
By augiem on 10/18/2011 11:17:33 PM , Rating: 1
Oh my god, you are blowing my mind. I'm literally in shock at how illogical your arguments have become. But now that I read back, I actually don't see any logical arguments in your entire "discussion", just a bunch of screaming and personal attacks at everyone:

Ok you're an idiot.

It sounds like you're just posting a bunch of incoherent FUD. Ignorant ass.

But I can see I'm wasting my time, you're ignorant. You don't understand the basics of the computers.

Just stop with the bullshit.

Wtf are you talking about?

So I guess if there's one thing I can say for you is you're consistent.

Try playing a DX11 game...

You're trying to compare running DX11 on Windows 7 (obviously with a DX11 card) vs XP which is locked at DX9 and tell me THAT's why Windows 7 is faster?! Wow, you are REALLLLY digging to try to be right here -- this discussion is no longer about facts and frankly it never was on your end. It's like you have no clue what I even said.

#1) Let's get one thing straight right now. I never once said Windows XP was faster than Windows 7 in ALL SITUATIONS. Go ahead. Read all my posts again. Did you find it? No! You did not because I did not say it.

#2) Let's look at what I DID say. (And what you seem to take such great offense to.)

XP really is still a more than capable OS. I installed Win7 on an older Core2Duo machine and was surprised at how much slower it ran than on XP.

Okay, there you have it. Core2Duo machine. Did I mention Core i7's, SSD's, Quad GPU's? Nope! You're inferring statements that are simply not there. But in your desperate to be "right", you start making counterarguments against things I did not even say.

You are arguing that cutting edge systems loaded to the max run cutting edge games and software faster on Windows 7 than XP. Well DUH! You know full well DX11 is not supported in XP, a decision made by microsoft to drive sales to Vista. By this logic, you'd be comparing Gran Turismo 5 on the PS3 and XBox 360... Oh wait! GT5 is a PS3 exclusive! 360 loses because it runs at 0 fps. Your comparison is fundamentally flawed.

The latest crop of games isn't supporting DX9 anymore, so you cannot use a cutting-edge game as a speed comparison. But if the game does support DX9, you know what will happen when you play a DX11 game on it? The game will run in DX9 mode. Will it be slower? Nope. Will it have fewer shader effects and no support for hardware PhysX among other things? Yes. Regardless, this is irrelevant to my original point.

or running a 64bit app and tell me XP is "faster". Ooops! So much for your theory.

Since you obviously didn't know, Windows XP 64-bit did exist. Embarassing.

Ummm that's minimum system requirements. It's not ANY indication of how "fast" something will run on a modern system.

You think this is an illogical point? I'm really sorry you don't have the ability to get from A to C without having B spelled out for you. Okay, here's why it is relevant to this "discussion":

Two of thisisaname's original comments were as follows:

It seems with every iteration of Windows, it takes more and more resources to do the same thing. That's not progress, that's a step backward.

I can do everything in XP that I can do in Seven, with less resources...I stand by my statement, that it does require more resources to accomplish the same task.

He may not be able to do everything one can do in Windows 7 on XP such as run DX11 games or run an SSD, but that's not what I'm talking about. He mentions MORE RESOURCES twice. I agree.

If you paid any attention to the discussion, you'd see that I was talking about OLDER hardware (Core2Duo), but then you start throwing in talk of SSDs, DX11, and Core i7's in an attempt to resuscitate your failed argument and find SOMETHING you can win on. I'm going back to my original point -- older hardware.

Windows XP has far less overhead than Windows 7 will ever have, as evidenced by the system requirements. XP min = 64MB, Win7 min = 1024MB ... I'll do the math for you. That's 16 TIMES the minimum memory requirements as prescribed by Microsoft. Do you think they suggest you use 16X the memory because they have stock in RAM manufacturers?

Resource usage has a TREMENDOUS impact on the overall speed of the system if you don't have immensely more resources available than the system wants to use at one time. What happens in a Windows system when you run out of free physical memory? Ever heard of Virtual Memory? It's really fast isn't it. So, let's see, on an OLDER system with 1-2GB RAM, the OS that eats up fewer resources with its own needs will be less likely to run out of memory during daily use.

And finally, here's the B for you:
System runs low on resources, SPEED decreases. Illogical? Really?

The only way to properly do this is to benchmark speed tests on the same rig running both OS's. Yeah if ONLY someone did this....oh wait!

Wow that's showing some initiative there! Those are Windows 7 beta benchmarks from a full 10 months before it was even released. But I'll play along...

Beta benchmarks:
XP and 7 trade win/loss -,2817,2355729,
Oops, XP wins by large margin -
XP wins again -
Most other benchmarks of 3D rendering show Win7 is faster.

Retail Version benchmarks:
HOMM6: Virtually no difference among the OS's -
Rage: XP is faster -
Blackops: XP is faster -

THIS IS POINTLESS. I only posted those to make a point that I can show benchmarks where XP wins handily. Benchmarks are useless. When I posted that my Core2Duo was slower in Win7, I was talking about system speed DURING ACTUAL USAGE (multitasking, etc), NOT benchmarking.

I'm going to go to the extra trouble do an informal benchmark. I set up a fresh copy of Windows 7 Pro SP1 and Windows XP Pro SP3 and did a boot time comparison:

(Boot is complete when the HD light stops thrashing and all items in tray have appeared.)
Win 7 Pro sp1 : 51-54 sec
Win XP Pro sp3: 20-24 sec

On this system, XP sp3 is CLEARLY faster at booting. There. Hey cjohnson2136, Windows XP IS faster on my system than Windows 7 for one aspect of every day use. I am simply not going to waste any more time on this to prove to you guys that XP is better on an older machine. I've put far more effort into this than any of you and I'm confident I made my case.

You're done augiem.

You have turned this discussion into a total farce. The fact that you can be SO wrong and SO arrogant while doing it astounds me.

But you know what? That's actually the first thing you've gotten right this entire time. Yes Reclaimer, I'm done with you.

RE: Well what do you expect?
By augiem on 10/19/2011 7:39:41 PM , Rating: 2
Not that I think anyone's reading this thread anymore, but I wanted to add one more startup test to the mix. For lack of time, my original benchmark was using XP Pro 32-bit SP3 and Windows 7 Pro 64-bit SP1. In fairness, I just did it again using Windows 7 Pro 32-bit SP1.

Windows 7 Pro 32-bit SP1: 42 seconds

RE: Well what do you expect?
By geddarkstorm on 10/18/2011 5:12:40 PM , Rating: 2
If you were talking about Vista, you'd be dead on. There's more reasons it was a terrible OS than just messed up third party support.

RE: Well what do you expect?
By Reclaimer77 on 10/18/2011 7:16:29 PM , Rating: 2
Actually if you check my link, Vista after the service pack is still faster than XP ever was.

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay

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