Windows 7 Consumer Usage Officially Surpasses Windows XP

Brad Chacos

A lot of the talk these days – and heck, even the cover of our October issue – goes to Windows 8 guesses, predictions, tidbits and rumors. It makes sense; Microsoft’s making a lot of changes in their shiny new operating system. But don’t forget that the one we have now got a whole lot of things right, too. At the BUILD conference in California today, Windows Prez Steve Sinofsky beat that fact into our heads by dropping some jaw-dropping stats about Windows 7 in anticipation of the Windows 8 unveiling going on today.

First and foremost, let us announce: the king is officially dead. The consumer usage of Windows 7 has finally passed the old standby, Windows XP, at least in consumer usage (Let’s, um, not talk about Vista).  How’d they do it? By selling 450 million licenses for Windows 7 since its launch in late 2009. TechCrunch broke down the numbers , and that works out to a rate of 650,000 licenses sold day in and day out. If that’s not the definition of “Selling like hotcakes,” we’re not sure what is. By contrast, Windows XP sold just 210 million licenses in 2.5 years, an even longer timespan.

Another quick tidbit: Sinofsky claims that 542 million folks use Windows Live services worldwide. If the amount of Windows Live Messenger spam we get is any indication, a lot of those accounts belong to bots and scammers, but it’s an impressive feat nonetheless.

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