Microsoft celebrates Windows 7's 1st birthday

Microsoft Thursday said more than 240 million Windows 7 licenses have been sold during the first year of the operating system's availability, a record the company says makes it the fastest selling OS in history.

Microsoft says in a blog post that six months after Windows 7's launch, all 18,000-plus of its OEM partners were selling Windows 7 PCs whereas only 70 per cent did so for Windows Vista in the first six months after it launched.

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And OEMs have basked in the glow of positive Windows 7 reviews, scoring higher on customer satisfaction surveys themselves.

In July, Windows 7 passed Windows Vista in global usage share and now has roughly a 17 per cent share (Windows XP still leads the way), according to market watcher Net Applications.

More than 10 per cent of enterprises have completed Windows 7 migrations, and most others will at least start the process this year or next, according to a Sept. 30 poll of 115 IT decision makers who are clients of analyst firm Directions on Microsoft.  Early adopters of Windows 7 say that using virtualization technology is key to making a smooth transition.

Microsoft has offered an ROI calculator to entice potential Windows 7 shops with potentially big savings.

Meanwhile, job opportunities could open up for those with Windows 7 migration expertise.

Windows 7 has also been embraced by developers. In a survey of 606 respondents conducted in May, Embarcadero found 54 per cent were developing apps for Windows 7 and another 25 per cent planned to do so within the next year.  Gartner also warned attendees at its Symposium/ITExpo event this week to get moving away from Windows XP, as application developers will increasingly ignore it when rolling out new apps.

Windows 7 isn't just for PCs either. The OS is finding its way into a slew of tablets ready to take on the Apple iPad.

All this isn't to say Windows 7's ride has been entirely smooth. Like its predecessors, Windows 7 has started to show up regularly in Microsoft's monthly Patch Tuesday list of software fixes.

Follow Bob Brown on Twitter at www.twitter.com/alphadoggs

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Bob Brown

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