Windows 7 was released on 22nd October last year. Meant to be the real successor to the extremely successful XP, Windows 7 added features like Superbar (overhauled taskbar), multi-touch support and better networking. But the most significant new thing about W7 was the smooth performance and reliable driver support.

750px-Windows_7

Today, Microsoft announced on their official Windows blog that Windows 7 is the fastest selling operating system in history. As of last month, it has sold 240 million licenses (almost a quarter of a billion) and is running on 93% of “new consumer PCs” as well as having 17% global OS market share.

Matt Rosoff of San Francisco Chronicle has something very interesting to say, though:

I’ll give Microsoft credit where credit’s due. Windows 7 is mostly a pleasure to use. It’s unquestionably better than Vista, and makes my five-year-old Windows XP system feel a little stale.

But apart from a few upgraders who can’t wait to install the latest and greatest, most people don’t buy Windows. They buy new PCs. About 93% of those PCs in the consumer space come with Windows. And the latest version of Windows is Windows 7.

In other words, Windows 7 rode the PC run rate to 240 million in sales. If PC sales continue to grow, as they’ve done almost every year with only a couple interruptions during recessions, then every version of Windows is going to be the fastest-selling version of Windows ever. Microsoft bragging about Windows licenses is sort of like a tire manufacturer bragging about sales of tires on new cars.

Whether you look at it that way or not, the fact of the matter is: Windows 7 has been a roaring success for Microsoft. They needed it after the disaster that was Vista. And Microsoft deserves the success too; for Windows 7 is one heck of a magical operating system. [via Windows Team Blog]

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