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One year on: Windows 7 now on 93% of new PCs, 240 Million Licenses Sold

Microsoft said on Thursday that Windows 7 is running on 93% of new consumer PCs and has over 17% global OS market share.

Windows 7 was released a year ago tomorrow, on October 22, 2009. The OS originally released to manufacturing over a year ago. Microsoft announced that Windows 7 is the fastest selling operating system in history, selling over 240 million licenses to date. The company is projected to sell 300 million by the end of 2010.

Microsoft's success with Windows 7 began before the product was even widely available. Released in October 2009, the operating system has received praise from consumers, businesses and the media. In November 2009, Windows 7 managed to surpass Apple's Snow Leopard market share in just two weeks. In early February it was revealed that Windows 7 had reached 10% market share in just three months.

Windows 7 has also driven an uptake of 64-bit computing. According to ChangeBASE research, conducted with senior IT decision makers, more than 65% of businesses hoped to migrate to Windows 7 within 12 months of its release. Over 50% of those migrating will be choosing the 64-bit route. Microsoft confirmed in July that nearly half of all Windows 7 PCs run 64-bit versions.

Screenshots of a Windows 7 post-RTM build showed up on the web in February, fueling speculation that Microsoft is compiling early Windows 8 builds. The successor to Windows 7 will likely be available in 2011 as an ex-Microsoft worker penned July 2011 as the RTM date for Windows 8. Microsoft is expected to build a 'Windows Store' app store into Windows 8 and Kinect-like functionality.

Microsoft is currently readying its first Service Pack for Windows 7. A public beta version was made available recently with a final release expected in the first quarter of next year.

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