back to article Windows 7 passes XP, Mac OS X passes Vista

Two aging Windows operating systems slipped a ranking each in the market share race this August, with Windows 7 overtaking Windows XP as the world's most popular desktop operating system, and Apple's OS X overtaking the late, lamented Windows Vista. This news comes to us from Net Applications' monthly Net Market Share survey, …

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Facepalm

What amazes me...

... is that 0.03% of sys admins are stark raving lunatics.

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JDX
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Re: What amazes me...

I don't remember NT being too terrible (I'm a dev not a sysadmin); what was so bad? Our software ran for weeks of uptime easily which back then seemed pretty good!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What amazes me...

What amazes me is that anyone still uses Windoze!

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Re: What amazes me...

Back in the day, NT4 was pretty good and certainly the most stable version of Windows at the time. But that day was a long, long time ago. It doesn't have any plug-and-play hardware support, security updates didn't apply in a terribly reliable fashion so you'd rarely find a box more patched than the last Service Pack (or excitingly, half "service packed" because someone had installed a printer or looked at a control panel or something else which had conveniently replaced half the patched files with vulnerable originals). And if you go back and actually try to configure the darn thing, it's horrible compared to a modern OS. I guess back in the day we didn't know better!

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Alert

Re: What amazes me...

NT?

Which one

3.1, 3,5, 3.51, 4.0, 5.0, 5.1, 5.2, 6.0, 6.1 or win 7 which is really approx 6.2

I suspect they mean 4.0, but it should say so

So even though you get Win7 pretty much automatically if you don't buy an overpriced Mac, it's only 0.3% ahead of the 11 year old OS?

written on

Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]

(C) Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.

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Re: What amazes me...

What amazes me is that anyone still thinks "Windoze" is witty.

At least you didn't call it "Window$" I suppo$e.

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Re: What amazes me...

@JDX,

"Our software ran for weeks of uptime easily which back then seemed pretty good!"

Not bad, but the Sun/Solaris servers/workstations I was using back then had up times measured in years... Admittedly we did have some NT servers too that pretty much just sat there doing their job with not much trouble. Still are for all I know.

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Re: What amazes me...

Three words....

Incompatible Legacy Applications.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What amazes me...

@bazza: Your sun Solaris servers weren't that reliable in the mid 90s, probably aren't that reliable now, even mainframe or tandem doesn't have an uptime measured in years. NT however cost less than a tenth the amount of sparc/solaris, even on top of the range proliant hardware.

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Re: What amazes me...

Back in Netware 3.x/4.x days an average uptime of approaching a year wasn't that unusual across our server estate. Nowadays patching schedules make that more or less impossible. I can't remember off hand what the longest uptime I recorded was, but I think I have screen shots of something over 1,000 days.

But that was in the days when an OS only had to do a few things well, instead of a lot of things badly.

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FAIL

Re: What amazes me...

Windoze, for all its' faults, has greater market penetration than LinSux.

Microsloth Winblows was another "hilarious" one.

Yes folks, this is what nerds spent their time doing before the graphical web browser was invented...

Quote from the Jargon File:

"A thirty-two bit extension and graphical shell to a sixteen-bit patch to an eight-bit operating system originally coded for a four-bit microprocessor which was written by a two-bit company that can't stand one bit of competition."

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Re: What amazes me...

Perhaps suggest an alternative?

The alternatives that I see out there are so damned awful they make even the crap from Microsoft seem appealing.

Linux is unusable - even if you are a computer bod you actually want to use your computer to achieve something, this just isn't possible with an OS so full of holes, problems and with a 'community' intent on making sure you learn the ins and outs of every processor instruction possible before you surf el-reg.

Mac does at least have the advantage of working. It is somewhat expensive and harder to write applications for so has less available for those who are slightly more adventurous than just doing their blogs.

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Re: What amazes me...

"Linux is unusable - even if you are a computer bod you actually want to use your computer to achieve something, this just isn't possible with an OS so full of holes, problems.."

I don't recognise any of this !

It's certainly totally usable for me and mine, we don't use anything else. It was usable ( in fact essential) for the major pharmaceutical company I worked for and that was 8-9 years ago.

This is the usual ignorance or FUD

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" world's most popular desktop operating system"

Not sure I'd use the term "popular". Most common, perhaps. I have it on my laptop because I need it for work applications. I have it on my home PC (or one of them at least) because I need it to play games. It's far from popular with me. XP wasn't great but at least you could strip out the bloatware. With Windows 7 you get a ton of shit you don't want or need.

If they'd just fixed XP then it would have been fine. Not great, but fine.

And why the hell does backspace do what the same as alt-left in explorer windows, yet do the same as every other version of Windows in file dialogues? (apart from Vista, which doesn't count). That and all the other stupid bugs and annoyances.

At least I'm pretty confident I'll never have to use Windows 8. I only went to Windows 7 to get a 64-bit Windows OS with decent driver support.

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Anonymous Coward

Are there people around who really don't know all the meanings of popular?

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I agree with the sentiment that common != popular.

However the comment about Windows 7 coming with a ton of shit that you don't want or need I'm not so sure about. If you've bought windows pre installed on a computer that you've bought then there may well be a ton of 'scrapeware' on it, but that's nothing to do with Windows. I've found windows 98, XP and 7 to be as you describe, OK but not great. I didn't dislike ME and Vista as much as some people, but for me they struggled performance wise.

I too am confident that I'll never need to use Windows 8, because I've jumped ship to Mac OS - here come the down votes, but I have to say I haven't been this happy with an OS since my Amiga days.

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Yep, I did mean popular and common aren't the same thing. It's common for people to breathe in and out, and one could describe it as a popular activity, but I expect that if we weren't compelled into doing it it wouldn't be as popular as it is.

It's about choice, in other words. Many people have no choice but to use Windows, and often particular versions of Windows.

I wasn't talking about the laptop manufacturers' crapware (first thing I ever do to a new computer is trash it and install from scratch). More about Windows itself, although to its credit Windows 7 does let you uninstall things like Media Player and IE. I don't have the slightest problem with these programs, other than the fact that they're installed by default, and you get no choice. If you could select the packages you want to install, or choose which window manager you want, without having to install those you don't, then that would be fine. It's all those extra files you neither want nor need. When I installed XP it was a few hundred MB. 7 is tens of gigabytes. Why can't they give you a basic install and let you add things as you need them?

MS can do it when they want to. Security Essentials is an excellent piece of software which isn't forced on you, and does what it's supposed to in a pretty efficient manner.

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Anonymous Coward

The flip side is for many people...

...why do I have to install everything one at a time, can't they just load everything and I'll remove what I don't want.

See works both ways.

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Re: The flip side is for many people...

What'd be nicer would be an option in the installer that lets you make choices. OSX has a limited one, where you can choose not to install some language packs, or printer drivers that you'll never need. I'd like to see more choice, so you can really tailor the install to your needs.

With post-install slimming, my core OS was under 3GB, rather than the 7GB for a basic one. And that could have gone lower.

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I know this may be hard for you to accept...

... But there are many people who actually DO like Windows 7, myself included. Maybe that is why even Windows 7 retail sales were hugely successful.

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Anonymous Coward

Ugh

"I agree with the sentiment that common != popular."

"Yep, I did mean popular and common aren't the same thing."

Well you're wrong, you idiots. That is precisely one of the meanings of the word 'popular', which is presumably the point that the other anon at 20:05 was making. Well done for letting it fly over your brainless heads and embarrassing yourselves further though.

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Re: Ugh

Er, no. You're wrong and you've backed this up yourself by saying "one of the meanings", not "the one and only undisputed meaning". I picked up on one of those meanings you mentioned and elaborated on it in my response. This may or may not have been how the author had intended (I suspect not). You may not have discovered this in your years of trolling, but some words have more than one meaning. They're called homonyms.

Whether you agree with my sentiment is entirely up to you. I'm not a huge fan of certain aspects of Windows 7, as I explained. Others clearly love every thing about it and I wouldn't dispute that someone has a different opinion on what personally appeals to them. That would be daft. They're welcome to downvote. That's what it's for. Disagreement is the essence of debate.

You, however, have managed to embarrass yourself by accusing others of having done so, and you have managed to back this up and make a fool of yourself with the only sentence in your anonymous comment which wasn't a personal insult for something you clearly know very little about.

Perhaps you'd like to find a dictionary definition which backs you up. I can certainly find plenty which don't. Or maybe you should just crawl back under your bridge.

Then again, I doubt anyone's still reading these comments still as the article's getting on.

You're still a knob. Downvote that :-)

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Re: Ugh

Yeah, Cheryl Cole is popular, but she's not....

Hang on, I need to re-think this argument.

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The XP demise slowly becomes inevitable,

mainly, I think, due to its memory limits.

While we here are all aware that our favourite windows also had a 64-bit version, Joe Public mainly replaces it with Windows 7 for the reason of having more than 3.5GB of RAM in their box. Gamers also miss the latest DirectX.

Other than that, it would probably still be the most used OS worldwide; actually, I believe it probably is. A lot of companies who deal with confidential data and don't let their employees tweet every bowel movement would not show up on web statistics and probably have sysadmins that by for the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." rule.

XP will be with us for quite a while yet.

Has anyone got an idea how the share of Linux changed? Did MacOS carve anything out of that as well?

A comparison to last years data would have been nice...

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Re: The XP demise slowly becomes inevitable,

There is, of course XP x64 edition, whcih is fully 64-bit and based on the Windows Server 2003 kernel. Best (well, least bad) windows to date.

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Re: The XP demise slowly becomes inevitable,

It's a pain getting drivers for a lot of devices though, particularly at the consumer end of the market.

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Re: The XP demise slowly becomes inevitable,

If you want 64-bit, you are far better off with 7.

Better driver availability and infinitely better at running older applications than 64-bit XP for a start.

64-bit 7 is the best windows to date by far IMHO. Better than both flavours of XP in all regards.

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Re: The XP demise slowly becomes inevitable,

XP's memory limits are less of an issue than you might think. It is fairly easy (and for corporates with enterprisey licences, quite legal) to bung XP in a VM and have it running blisteringly fast on machines with many gigs of RAM and a clutch of SATA SSDs. (You may also find that backups and root-kits are easier to deal with once you do.) Such a machine might run almost any OS on the host and which of the two actually showed up in an OS usage survey would depend on the survey's methodology.

So, yes, XP will be with us for quite a while yet, even if pollsters can't see it.

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Re: The XP demise slowly becomes inevitable,

Not really. I've never had any issues with driver availability for XP x64. I don't tend to buy unbranded garbage-grade hardware often, so this may have helped, but I don't think that is the sole reason. Every time I've heard somebody complain about the lack of a driver for XP x64, a quick search turned up the required driver, so this opinion seems to be largely based on FUD rather than fact.

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Re: The XP demise slowly becomes inevitable,

I've never found any compatibility issues with old 32-bit applications on XP x64. All of my old games (gems like Total Annihilation, original Command and Conquer, etc.) work just fine.

I dislike Windows 7 UI that it inherited from Vista. Even if I switch it into "classic" mode, the menu-bars still disappear until you hit the Alt key, and there are all sorts of things that are unnecessarily complicated (and this is coming from someone who uses Linux most of the time and only boots into Linux once a week or so for gaming purposes).

Vista and 7 also have a bizzare network issue that renders them unable to connect to the external network if the router does NAT-ing for the Windows machine and external access over the same physical port. XP, Android and Linux have no such issue. It's an obscure issue, granted, but it's often the best you can do with some ADSL/Ethernet/WiFi routers (e.g. Thompson SpeedTouch series) that can't be OpenWRT-ed.

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Re: The XP demise slowly becomes inevitable,

"Every time I've heard somebody complain about the lack of a driver for XP x64, a quick search turned up the required driver, so this opinion seems to be largely based on FUD rather than fact."

That's true for most things but it's more difficult for less common hardware. Things like old keyboards or other audio hardware are often troublesome. I use my PC as a DAW and tried XP64 a while back but couldn't get drivers for everything I needed. 64-bit Windows 7 drivers were available so I made the switch.

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Headmaster

Mac OS9 --> OSX

Apple's jump from OS9 to OSX was a complete change of operating system, as big a jump as Windows was to NT.

On the other hand, Microsoft's upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8 is incremental as far as the desktop is concerned. However they are releasing a completely new OS in the form of Windows RT which runs on a totally different platform, ARM, which they've never supported before, i.e. it's not an upgrade, it's something new.

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Re: Mac OS9 --> OSX

I don't think the move to ARM is that big a deal. There's almost nothing in the Windows code that is Intel specific. NT used to be available (briefly) for PowerPC and DEC processors.

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Re: Mac OS9 --> OSX

And MIPS, too, back in the NT4 days.

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Re: Mac OS9 --> OSX

I would say that Windows 7 is more of an incremental release, I sometimes call it Vista that works.

Windows 8 adds the not-Metro interface to try and cross promote their tablet things, and don't include anyway to turn it off. That is a much bigger change then Vista -> Win7.

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Re: Mac OS9 --> OSX

"There's almost nothing in the Windows code that is Intel specific. NT used to be available (briefly) for PowerPC and DEC processors."

Windows code may not be Intel-specific, but the applications people already have are. That is the reason the PowerPC and MIPS ports of NT never took off.

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Re: Windows 8 ... is a much bigger change then Vista -> Win7.

I've put Class Shell on my Win8 test box and I'm hardly aware of Metro. As a result, I regard Win8 as a very minor revision of 7. (The biggest change is that most of the .NET bloat is gone, but it will be re-installed as soon as you wave a .NET app at the system, so the improvement here is only temporary.) The big change was between Vista and 7 because that's when they halved the footprint and doubled the performance.

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Linux

Re: Mac OS9 --> OSX

Havent tried OSX OS9 scared me off Mac products (Well that and the price tag the fanboys etc...).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Mac OS9 --> OSX

"I would say that Windows 7 is more of an incremental release, I sometimes call it Vista that works.

Windows 8 adds the not-Metro interface to try and cross promote their tablet things, and don't include anyway to turn it off. That is a much bigger change then Vista -> Win7."

They're both incremental updates, Vista > Windows 7 was spit and polish and some minor UI changes, Windows 7 > Windows 8 is WIndows 7 with a Start Screen that normal (i.e. non nerd) users won't care about or notice after a few days usage.

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Re: Mac OS9 --> OSX @MacroRodent

Microsoft bought (or at least licensed) Insignia Solutions' SoftPC to allow non-native code execution. The original plan was for NT on platforms other than 386/486 systems to use this technology to run binaries on other platforms. The facility was called Windows-on-Windows.

This capability disappeared without a trace when MS pulled support from these other platforms.

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Happy

I remember four years ago, I saw Barclays had Windows 2000 machines in their branches. I only have Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit because it was installed on my laptop. It allowed me to get 8 Gigabytes of RAM. :D

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FAIL

Net Applications?

Seriously - people still take any notice of what the MS shill's figures say?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Net Applications?

in case you've forgotten, your handle is 'big nosed pengie' it hardly points to an unbiased viewpoint.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Net Applications?

Ahhhwadda matter, Linux STILL at only 1.2%, Oh boo hoo.

Still at this current rate, should be at Windows level of desktop usage in about ooo several decades or so...

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Linux

Re: Net Applications?

Like I care. As long as my laptop is 100% Linux I have no concern at what the rest of the world does.

Not having a bash shell would drive me nuts. What's that? You say others don't care about bash? As I said, like I care.

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Re: Net Applications?

bash? You for real, dos shells were better and the batch file far superior to .sh

But then, I don't care what you have on your machine any more than you need to worry about what is on mine :)

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Re: Net Applications? @Dave 15

What are you comparing to what?

PowerShell might have some advantages, but I can't imaging that you really mean that Command or CMD is better than bash or ksh (or even csh if you are really talking about batch files).

For goodness sake, even the OS/2 shell was better than the standard Windows command processors.

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Holmes

The reading of the comments !!!!

<------- Sherlock, whispered to me that there is as much information, or lack of, behind the comments as there is within the figures.

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