Windows 7 begins the long process of replacing Vista and XP

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sisyphusWith all the launch parties, cute ads, and reviews going on, you could be forgiven for thinking that the whole world was suddenly going to turn over to Windows 7 on the day of release. Unfortunately, that kind of instant turnover (hmm… sounds delicious) isn’t really feasible in the real world. Some people are getting 7 when they get a new computer. Some want to see it on a friend’s PC before they drop the bills on it. Others are still using the RC. And there must be some like myself who are just waiting for the initial hiccups to be worked out — something I’m waiting on with Snow Leopard as well.

So what kind of gain is Redmond looking at? Round-about a 1% increase in October. Now before you put your flaming hats on, Mac-lovers, that’s a 1% absolute increase, meaning that the percentage of computers running 7 in the world went from 1.75% to 2.82%. That’s a pretty significant gain, though I admit it is ripe for mockery by the ignorant.

The 1% gain, indicated by statistics collected by StatCounter, is accompanied by a 1.2% drop in Vista and .5% drop in XP installs. It’s worth considering that since these are based on computers browsing around the internet, a lot of business PCs and servers are probably left out of the count — though they too will take a while to ramp up as IT departments figure out just how they want to go about it.

OS X gained half a point during October too, so they’re not standing still either. 7 represents a bigger threat than the divided XP/Vista front. In a year that 2.82% will probably have the decimal point moved right one place, and its user-friendly features and critically-acclaimed status may actually put a bit of pressure on Cupertino. We’ll soon see, though.

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