Windows 7 already used on 1% of PCs

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New figures show Windows 7 is already the world's fourth biggest operating system - and it hasn't even launched yet

Windows 7 is already installed on more than 1% of the world's PCs, even though it hasn't been officially launched.

The figures come from net metrics company NetApplications, which shows that the forthcoming Windows OS broke through the 1% barrier for the first time in August.

It's already the world's fourth most popular operating system behind Windows XP, Vista and Mac OS X 10.5.

Microsoft's decision to open the Windows 7 beta to anyone who wanted it has clearly paid dividends for the software giant. On the assumption that the majority go on to purchase the software, the company will already have tens of millions of customers hooked before the October launch.

Browser battle

The latest NetApplications stats aren't all good news for Microsoft, however. Internet Explorer's demise appears to be accelerating despite the release of the much improved Internet Explorer 8.

The various versions of Internet Explorer commanded 66.97% of the browser market in August, down from 67.68% in July and more than 8% down on the same month last year.

Firefox, by comparison, continues to climb steadily. It claimed 22.98% of the market in August, a marginal improvement on July, and a 3.8% increase since last August.

Safari's market share remained absolutely flat at 4.07% in August, while Google's Chrome edged up to 2.84% of the market.

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