Based on actual usage by 7,000 users, we examine the truth about Vista market share growth and service pack adoption.
It's been about three months since I last looked at Windows Sentinel community market share numbers for Windows Vista. During that time, our user base has more than doubled -- we now have just shy of 7,200 contributing sites across dozens of countries. Given the sudden influx of new users, I wondered if an updated analysis pass against the exo.repository would reveal any significant change to the status quo.
For example, would Vista finally start gaining market share at the expense of XP? And would the adoption rate for Vista Service Pack 1 continue to rise at the previous dizzying rate?
The answer to the first question is a qualified "yes." According to our latest community snapshot, Vista has clawed itself an extra 5 percent share of the installed base, for a total share of 36 percent. Meanwhile, XP use has dropped 4 percentage points, for a total share of 60 percent.
At less than 2 percent month over month, this is far from going gangbusters. However, the trend is definitely heading in the right direction for Vista, and by extension, Windows 7, which is looking like a no-brainer upgrade for most Vista customers.
In response to my second question, Windows Vista Service Pack adoption has now reached near-saturation levels. Fully 89 percent of sampled Vista systems sported either Service Pack 1 or a flavor of the currently circulating Service Pack 2 beta.
Interestingly, it's customers with Vista Business (84 percent) and Ultimate (86 percent) that are lagging the most behind in terms of adoption. Meanwhile, Microsoft's volume license customers are leading the charge, with 95 percent of sampled Vista Enterprise edition customers sporting SP1 or higher.