It’s been ten years in coming, but Windows XP market share has finally dropped below 50%.

The venerable desktop operating system has been hovering around the halfway point for a few months now, with some metrics counting it higher and some lower. But with Netmarketshare.com’s version data for the first of August showing 49.84%, the OS has lost its last lingering metric over 50%.

In just a few weeks (August 24th), Windows XP will see its 10th birthday. While 2007 was the high point for Windows XP, the operating system has been dominant since shortly after its release.

Windows XP has seen its share of criticism, mainly on the issue of security. Undoubtedly its large market share was itself a leading cause, accounting for a more-than-representitive share of exploits and malware and providing hackers with an irresistible target. Windows XP shipped with the Internet Explorer 6 browser, which has since become notorious for vulnerability (having been called “the least secure software on the planet”).

Later versions of Windows XP saw significant refinements in the form of “Service Packs”, which especially improved the operating system’s security and added support of newer hardware. SP2 in August of 2004 was the most significant of these, adding a number of new functions to the operating system itself, rather than simply fixing bugs or providing better performance. Further developments of Internet Explorer also helped the company’s struggle to regain security credibility.

Microsoft’s Windows XP has been a phenomenal success for the company, but with that success eventually came a very specific headache: users refusing to give it up for newer operating systems. The latest Microsoft OS, Windows 7, has consistently climbed in the rankings and well exceeded the performance of its predecessor Vista. However, at 27.92 percent, Windows 7 is still falling well short of Redmond’s goal.

The top competitor, Apple’s Mac OS, has been enjoying a slow but steady climb, usually in fractions of a percent. This latest round of data is fairly typical for the operating system, going from 5.37 percent to 5.59 percent.

 

James Lee Phillips is a Senior Writer & Research Analyst for IBG.com. With offices in Dallas, Las Vegas, and New York, & London, IBG is quickly becoming the leading expert in Internet Marketing, Local Search, SEO, Website Development and Reputation Management. More information can be found at www.ibg.com. Adam Kutner is a Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney. He represents people who have been seriously injured in Nevada and the Las Vegas Area, not to mention Adam Kutner Summer Cooking.