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Windows 7 has been sold 300 million copies

In addition to the great news announced concerning the success of Xbox LIVE in 2010, Microsoft have revealed this week that Windows 7 is installed as the operating system of 20% of all computers connected to the web.

Microsoft has sold 300 million copies of Windows 7 to date, officials said on January 27, the day the company is reporting its Q2 FY11 earnings.

That’s over 300 million PCs, laptops and netbooks – pretty impressive stuff from the software giant and confirmation that Windows 7 is the operating system that the failed Vista really should have been.

According to Microsoft’s Brandon LeBlanc on the Windows Team Blog, 300 million equates to the number of houses in Europe and North America, and crazier still, 300 million boxes of Windows 7 would stretch almost 1 and a half times around the planet.

windows-7-sold-300-million

That’s up from the 240 million figure we last heard in October 2010. Microsoft execs also said that Windows 7 is now on 20 percent of all Internet-connected PCs. According to a copy of Microsoft’s earnings report, which went out ahead of the close of the financial markets, Microsoft earned $19.95 billion for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2010.

Of course, Windows 7 is just as common in corporate locations as it is in the home, so take these comparisons as nothing more than a bit of fun.

Operating income, net income and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $8.17 billion, $6.63 billion and $0.77 per share, respectively. The quarter really “Kinected” for Microsoft, as my blogging colleague Larry Dignan noted.

This success should come as no surprise to anyone who has used Windows 7 on a suitable, high-end PC; yet the operating system is cruelly unsuitable for most netbooks where installation of Windows XP or Ubuntu 10.10 (or even Mac OS X…) would result in a more stable and attractive system. Surely some of Windows 7′s success has come at the expense of a reasonable user experience…?

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