Is Windows XP finally on the way out?
Based on the latest Net Applications analysis, that certainly seems the trend: Microsoft's aging warhorse now occupies some 49.69 percent of the operating system market, a slight tumble from majority status that nonetheless sparked a mighty buzz among tech publications and pundits.
Meanwhile, the research firm places Windows 7 market share at 27.92 percent, Windows Vista at 9.27 percent and Mac OS X 10.6 at 3.76 percent.
Those stats are somewhat mirrored by StatCounter, which gives Windows XP some 44.4 percent of the market, followed by Windows 7 with 35.94 percent, Windows Vista with 11.02 percent and Mac OS X with 6.31 percent.
Microsoft wants businesses and consumers to give up XP in the worst way. But after a decade in the wild, the operating system is stable and patched, with an interface and applications familiar to virtually anyone who works with computers on a daily basis. Moreover, a relatively anemic economy means less cash for businesses and consumers to spend on hardware and software upgrades, meaning more aging desktops and laptops running XP.
Microsoft Download Center even offers a Windows XP End Of Support Countdown Gadget, which ticks off the days until the operating system s official support ends in 2014. The company s latest browser, Internet Explorer 9, won't run on XP.