It has been a matter of when, not if, Windows 7 would pass Vista in usage market share, and that day has arrived (see below). Windows 7 has been somewhat redemptive for Microsoft. Vista never got any respect from individual users, and corporations virtually shunned the operating system. So, there’s been a pent up demand for the next great version of Windows, and 7 is it. For years, Windows overall has been losing market share slowly to Mac OS, but now the bigger threat on the horizon is mobile and tablet devices.

Apple’s iPhone and iPad have claimed leadership positions in their respective segments. In mobile, Windows Phone 7 is due before the end of 2010, and it will have a huge uphill battle to take on the iPhone and Android based devices. But, it’s a segment Microsoft must compete in, as we are seeing mobile’s growth accelerating. The iPad basically has a monopoly in the tablet segment. The only competition is from Amazon’s Kindle, which isn’t truly a tablet so much as just a digital book reader. Windows 7 has been built touch enabled, but has not been optimized for the tablet format. But, Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer has been publicly saying that they realize what a huge market segment the tablet is becoming, and that Microsoft will be going after it.

Keep checking in with, as we’ll be keeping track of these market segments as well.

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