Reality – Windows XP is still king, and mixed households are the new norm

The reality is that technology adoption doesn’t change overnight, despite hype, millions of dollars of advertising & marketing, and the best efforts of experienced experts. A case in point is the installed base of personal computers and their operating systems.

XP is still the dominant operating system in households in 2008. Vista is present in 23% of the households while XP still holds strong with 81%. Older versions of Windows are in one out of 20 households.

Households that have upgraded to Vista are more likely to have their Primary Home PC set up with this operating system, while half of the second and third PCs are set up with XP.

Vista households have two-thirds (69%) of their primary PCs operating Vista and one-third (28%) of their primary PCs set up with XP.

  • Half (45%) of the Vista households with a second PC are running XP while the other half (47%) are running Vista.
  • Half (50%) of the Vista households that have a third PC are running XP while 4 out of 10 (39%) are running Vista. One in 20 (5%) are Apple or Macintosh OS.
  • Only one in 20 (6%) Vista households with a second PC is running an older Windows OS (i.e. 2000, 98, NT, ME).
  • One in 10 (7%) Vista households with a third PC is running an older Windows OS (i.e. 2000, 98, NT, ME).

XP households tend to standardize on XP, and have other operating systems on their other PCs, but at a very low level.

Nine out of ten (91%) XP households have their primary PCs running XP and only 1 in 20 (6%) operating Vista.

  • Eight out of ten (81%) XP households with a second PC have it set up with XP while one out of ten (11%) have Vista. One out of 20 (5%) are an older version of Windows OS.
  • Eight out of ten (76%) XP households that have a third PC are running XP and only one out of ten is running Vista (11%). One out of ten is likely to be an older version of Windows (7%) and one out of 20 is an Apple (5%)

Older Windows Households have a unique mix of Microsoft operating systems. More than half (54%) of the Older Windows Households have an older version of Windows OS (i.e. 2000, 98, NT, ME) running their Primary PC. While a little less than half (45%) of the Primary PCs in these households have a newer version of Microsoft OS; XP accounts for 35% while Vista accounts for 10%.

  • Over half (54%) of the Older Windows Households that have a second PC have it set up with an older Windows version. Four out of ten (38%) have XP on their second PC and only one in 20 (6%) have Vista.
  • Six out of ten (57%) Older Windows Households that have a third PC have it set up with an older Windows version. Three out of ten (34%) are set up with XP and one in 20 (5%) are Vista.

Households that have at least one Apple PC and have more than one PC may have those other PCs running a Window OS.

  •  Seven out of ten (67%) have the Primary PC with an Apple-based OS. One out of 10 (7%) have a Vista on their Primary PC; two out of ten (23%) have XP on their Primary PC.
  • For Apple Households that have more than one PC, half of the second and third PCs are Windows-based PCs, while the other half are Apple-based PCs.

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Other findings in the MetaFacts Operating Systems Profile Report include:

  • Operating System Landscape
    • Multi-PC and Multi-OS Households
  • Home Operating Systems and Demographics
    • Having children in the household does make a difference for Vista
    • Household employment and operating system
    • Education level and operating system within the household
    • Annual household income and operating system
    • People age 18-34 are using more Apple primary home PCs than older people
  • Purchase Channels
    • Apple gets a bigger share of direct sales than Windows PCs
  • PC Brands & Operating Systems
    • New PC brands bought by operating system
    • Total installed base for all primary home PCs shows some movement from the big brands in the new PC market
  • Changes in PC Form Factors – Laptops are coming on strong as new primary PC form factor
  • How Different Operating Systems are Used Differently
    • Email is the most frequent activity of users on all primary home PCs
    • New primary home PC user activities
  • Operating Systems and Other Consumer Electronics
    • Handheld device use and operating system of the household
    • Imaging behavior and household operating system
    • Television viewing habits and operating system in the household
    • Convenience is the key for households that have at least one Apple Home PC
    • Some Older Windows Households are planning to upgrade while still taking advantage of older technology
  • Technology Attitudes and Operating Systems
    • Attitudes of adult PC users vary with operating system

MetaFacts releases ongoing research on the market shifts and profiles for Windows Vista, Mobile PCs, Workplace PCs, Home PCs, Broadband, Digital Imaging, and many other technology industry topics. These Profile Reports are in a series on specific topics utilizing the Technology User Profile Annual Edition study, which reveals the changing patterns of technology adoption and use in American households and businesses. Interested technology professionals can sign up for complimentary TUPdates, periodic snapshots of technology markets.

About MetaFacts

MetaFacts, Inc. is a national market research firm focusing exclusively on the technology industries. MetaFacts’ Technology User Profile survey is the longest-running, large-scale comprehensive study of its kind, conducted continuously since 1983, the year before Apple released the Apple Macintosh. The detailed results are widely recognized as a primary marketing resource for Fortune 1000 companies providing consumer-oriented technology products and services, such as PCs, printers, peripherals, mobile computing, and related services and products. For more information, contact MetaFacts at 1-760-635-4300 or www.metafacts.com

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Filed under Consumer research, Market Research, TUP 2008

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