Just nine months after its launch, Microsoft’s Windows 7 is already more popular than its predecessor, Windows Vista, which was widely reviled as a bloated, bug-ridden PC operating system.

According to figures released Monday by research company Netmarketshare.com, Windows 7 had 14.46 per cent of the global market last month compared to Vista’s 14.43 per cent. Neither of the PC operating systems comes even close to Microsoft’s trusty old warhorse, Windows XP, which first came out in 2001 and still runs 61.87 per cent of the world’s PC’s.

Overall, Window’s share of the world PC market has dropped marginally over the last year from 93.04 per cent to 91.32 per cent at the end of July, the report said.

Apple’s Mac OS edged up from 4.86 per cent of all operating systems to 5.06 per cent, while Linux was down 1.05 per cent to 0.93 per cent.

The fastest growth in this category came from smartphones, with the iPhone up from 0.3 per cent last July to 0.7 per cent; Java Mobile Edition jumped from 0.29 per cent to 0.78 per cent; and the “other” category, which includes Android, BlackBerry and Palm jumped from 0.46 per cent to 1.2 per cent.