Here at Maximum PC, we love Windows 7. Its snappy, riddled with handy new features, and is the most stable version of the OS to ever come out of Redmond. Regardless of how much fame and positive press it racks up however, we know it will take years for the majority of consumers and businesses to fully make the switch. Overall market share numbers pegged the OS at around 3.6% in November, with a slow but steady climb to around 6% in December.
We know these numbers will continue their march upwards over the next few years at a fairly health rate, but one demographic is breaking the adoption mold, that group is PC Gamers. According to the December Steam hardware survey, Windows 7 accounts for nearly 23% of all Steam users when you add up both the 32 & 64 bit varieties. Vista by comparison sits at around 31%, but that gap is pretty small when you consider that it has a three year head start over Windows 7. As for trusty ole Windows XP, it continues to hold the lead with a commanding 45% share, but is losing ground even faster than Vista.
If you haven't checked out the Steam hardware stats before, it gives a really interesting insight into the PC Gaming hardware landscape, and is definitely worth checking out. For example, a quick glance at the spread shows the average processer speed is 2.5Ghz, and despite ATI's commanding price/performance lead, Nvidia holds over 65% of the market share compared to ATI's 30%. Its a quick and easy way to see where your system ranks against your fellow gamers.
Vista almost seems to be an anathema, for about 3/4th of the enterprises are so unequivocal in their dislike for Vista that they don’t even intend to adopt the OS three years down the line. Around 28% envisage a move to the OS anywhere between late 2008 and 2010. Half of those surveyed are not fazed by the end of XP’s retail sales and OEM distribution.
Lesson for Microsoft: The Mojave Experiment hasn’t been able to fool incredulous enterprises and it's time that MS devoted more time to addressing Vista’s glaring performance issues. Address their grievances, the tide will surely turn.