Windows XP Remains the Most Popular OS

There’s a saying about old dogs and new tricks that may be apt here, but it’s interesting to note that in a world of ever increasing, brand new, cutting edge technology and software, that the ten-year old Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows XP is still not only the most popular OS but has actually seen something of a resurgence.

Investing Insights: Apple Becomes Top PC Producer Worldwide in Q4.

In data released by NetApplications, WIndows XP is utilized by about 47.19 percent of all users, up from 46.5 percent about a month ago.  Windows 7, Microsoft’s newer entry in the Windows line, was actually down slightly, to 36.4 percent from 37 percent.  The actual numbers may seem largely insignificant in the big picture as Microsoft still owns 92 percent of the market in comparison to Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) MAC OS X’s 6.39 percent.  But it does become significant in the face of two things: continued sales of home computers, and the willingness of Microsoft’s customers to upgrade their OS.

In regards to the second point, Windows 7 usage is up significantly from 23 percent one year ago, which indicates that people are either upgrading their OS or simply purchasing new computers on which the OS is standard.  Microsoft has been encouraging many businesses and users to upgrade, and have implemented a cut-off of 2014 for Windows XP.  This means that past that point, there will be no new upgrades or security patches for the OS.  All told, this gives users plenty of time to upgrade to Windows 7 or even Windows 8, which will be launching in beta form this month. Nevertheless, Microsoft is pushing for many to complete their upgrade sooner rather than later, and despite the slight blip, it seems most are listening.

However, back to the first point, what the number may also indicate is that sales of new computers may be gradually seeing a decline, thus skewing the Windows XP share upward. Decreases in personal computing in favor of smartphones and especially tablets remains a concern for computer sales going forward.  This is especially true for Microsoft, as Apple and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating systems are currently dominating the marketplace for those particular products.

Here’s how these stocks are reacting to the news:

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT): MSFT shares recently traded at $30.00, up $0.47, or 1.59%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $23.65 to $29.95. Volume today was 19,108,344 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 54,974,100 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 10.87, while trailing earnings are $2.76 per share.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): AAPL shares recently traded at $456.13, down $0.35, or 0.08%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $310.50 to $458.24. Volume today was 4,403,941 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 12,748,300 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 12.98, while trailing earnings are $35.14 per share.

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG): GOOG shares recently traded at $582.06, up $1.95, or 0.34%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $473.02 to $670.25. Volume today was 941,814 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 3,048,230 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 19.56, while trailing earnings are $29.76 per share.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Morris at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com