Comment : The First 100 Days Of Windows 7

Windows 7 has been launched exactly 100 days ago on the 22nd of October 2009 and has quietly secured itself as the most successful version of Microsoft's Windows family ever.

Not only was it the biggest pre-order of all times on Amazon, besting Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on the UK website, it also managed to sold out massively worldwide and has attracted rave reviews from a number of publications globally.

Its appeal was so huge that it managed to eclipse sales of Windows Vista, the much-loafed predecessor of Windows 7, which is still the second most popular OS of all times, behind Windows XP within days of its release.

Since its launch 100 days ago, its market share has more than tripled going from 2.15 percent of the global pie to more than 6 percent according to Netapplications.

If this trend continues, Windows 7 will surpass Vista by the end of June 2010 and may reach 20 percent of the worldwide OS market in its first year. To put those figures in perspective, it is already more popular than all the versions of Mac OS X put together.

Another survey, carried out by Steam as part of its Hardware Survey, delves even deeper into the adoption of Windows 7 and shows some very important trends. Steam is representative of the gamers community, the cream of the cream, in other words, trend setters.

It shows that 64-bit technology has become mainstream with twice as many Windows 7 64-bit installations recorded compared to 32-bit. What was even more exciting was that the portion of Steam users installing 64-bit Windows 7 was growing at around 20 percent per month.

This is not surprising given that Microsoft has decided for the first time to bundle two versions of Windows in the same box. Furthermore, many manufacturers, like Dell, are offering Windows 7 64-bit by default on their computers. Amazon figures confirm that 64-bit Windows 7 are better sellers than their 32-bit counterparts.

Moving forward to 64-bit is an integral strategy of Microsoft as it looks forward to shed the legacy of 16-bit and improve performance as it is the ideal complement for any 64-bit processor either from Intel or AMD. This is a field where the OS is significantly lagging behind the hardware.

Then there's also anecdotal evidence that Windows 7 could be contributing a lot to the sale of new computers and computer hardware in general since a significant portion of Windows 7 OS sold happens to belong to the so called OEM or system builders software.

Of course, the fact that Microsoft chose to reduce the price of Windows 7 by some margin well before its launch did help tremendously. The company did introduce a number of scheme including the Windows 7 Family pack which provides with three licenses for the (full) price of one.

So what does the future entail for Windows 7? There are already talks of a first service pack to be released soon, although it would be the first time ever that one is released so early in the development cycle of the OS.

Then there's Windows 8 (or whatever the successor of Windows 7 will be called) which promises to be different from Windows 7 and whose destiny will be shaped by a resurgent Linux competition, the rise of Google's own Chrome OS and web-based OSes and the increasing popularity of low-power computing.

Windows 7 is already recognised as being much more resource friendly than Windows Vista and performs better on older platforms. Our own experience showed that Microsoft's latest OS can be run comfortably on a Pentium 3 equivalent system provided that there's enough memory.