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Microsoft Clears a 10-Year Hurdle

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Everyone at Microsoft can take a long, deep, cleansing breath. We're finally beyond 2001.

According to the web analytics company StatCounter, Windows 7 has finally surpassed Windows XP as the dominant Microsoft operating system in the US. Within the last 10 days, Windows 7's average daily share was 32.2%, topping XP's 30.7%.

Although Windows 7's usage share hasn't hit Vista's August 2009 peak of 35.6%, XP's average daily share was far ahead as the most widely used OS at 46.8%. This is the first time Windows XP has been knocked out of the top spot stateside.

Coming in at third and fourth are Windows Vista -- the buggy OS that could -- with 19.5% and Mac OS with 14.8%.

Since its wildly successful debut, Windows 7 has earned a few sales records, including Microsoft's claim that it was the fastest selling operating system ever. In January, Redmond claimed it sold over 300 million Windows 7 licenses.

That's a far cry from Vista -- an OS so bad, it needed a marketing campaign that blamed the public for its abysmal reviews.

Worldwide, however, is a different story. StatCounter's global estimates puts Windows 7's usage share at 31.5% and XP still way ahead at 46.8%. Added to that, metrics vendor Net Applications estimates that Windows 7 worldwide share is even lower (24.2%) and XP even higher (54.4%). But as Computerworld's Gregg Keizer indicates, that could be due to Net Applications' methodology of weighing the China's XP-centric users higher than the US.

Regardless, Windows users' grip on the beloved and relatively stable XP is beginning to loosen as we all have to bite the bullet and accept the fact that the OS is approaching its tenth birthday.

(See also: Will Apple Fall to Windows Phone 7 in Four Years? and Microsoft Wants to Bury Apple in Retail Space)

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