Data released by web metrics company Net Applications indicates that the release of Windows 7 to the general public has put a significant dent into Windows XPís usage share.

For the November period, web usage of XP dropped by 1.45%, while Vistaís usage share only dropped by 0.2%. At the end of the month the state of play was as follows:

XP: 69.03%
Vista: 18.60%
Win 7: 3.98%
Overall, a good month for Windows 7.

In other OS usage share news, Mac OS X usage share dropped slightly, down 0.16% to 5.11% (the third time this year that Mac has lost market share). The number in of itself isnít all that significant, but the lost ground is. Also, Linux managed to claw back market share to end November with a 1% usage share, a spot it hasnít held since July.

On the browser front, Firefox 3.5 the biggest winner in November, grabbing 1.26% usage share, up to 15.16%. Internet Explorer 8 is also seeing usage gains, up 1.19% to 19.31%. usage share for both IE6 and 7 slipped.

Browser state of play:

IE: 63.61%
Firefox: 24.74%
Safari: 4.36%
Chrome: 3.92%
Opera: 2.31%
Net Applications measures operating system usage by tracking computers that visit the 40,000 sites monitored for clients, which represents a pool of about 160 million unique visitors each month. This data is then weighted based on the estimated size of each countryís Internet population.