Thursday, February 25, 2010

(Trends): Windows 7 Drives RAM Size Surge

The latest data from the exo.repository shows Windows 7 driving a measurable surge in average RAM configurations across the nearly 24,000 registered contributors. According to repository snapshots taken in the weeks following the Windows 7 launch, the average RAM configuration for PCs running Microsoft’s newest OS has increased from 3.15GB on November 30th, 2009, to 3.76GB on February 25th, 2010 – a surge of nearly 17%.


Figure 1 – Average RAM Sizes – 11/30/2009

By contrast, average RAM sizes for PCs running Microsoft’s Windows Vista and XP have remained flat at 2.7GB and 1.7GB, respectively.

Figure 2 – Average RAM Sizes – 2/25/2010

The lack of movement on these legacy OS platforms reflects the rapid influx of Windows 7 PCs into the exo.repository. An analysis of the most recent 1000 network registrants shows a phenomenal uptake in Windows 7 adoption, with 62% of newly registered PCs running Microsoft’s latest version vs. 28% running Windows XP and a meager 8% still running the much-maligned Windows Vista.

Figure 3 – OS Adoption Rates – Last 1000 Registrants

Bottom Line: Windows 7’s influence is increasingly being felt across the exo.repository, with nearly 2 out of every three newly registered systems running Microsoft’s latest and greatest. And along with this uptick in Windows 7 adoption comes an increase in the average RAM configuration for PCs participating in the, and by extension, a significant cross-section of the general Windows system population. This is good news for software developers who have been waiting for average RAM configurations to increase before adding new, potentially memory-intensive features and capabilities to their application designs.

Note: The above statistics were generated from the over 230 million process records collected from the nearly 24,000 registered, active users. If you’d like more information about the, including how to reproduce the above chart object(s) on your own site or blog, please visit


James said...

Have you considered the possibility that more people are going with 64-bit versions of Windows 7, making 4GB+ machines actually worthwhile? Or have you considered that most people running Windows 7 are running it on a new machine, while most people running XP are running it on at least 3 year-old machines?

Also, RAM size installed in machines has always increased steadily. That has nothing to do with the OS and everything to do with declining costs per GB.

Randall C. Kennedy said...


No, it has everything to do with the OS, because Windows 7 is driving new PC sales and/or existing PC upgrades.

Please don't confuse the issue. We're not trying to paint Windows 7 in some negative light here. Rather, we're simply pointing out that the influx of Windows 7 systems - many of them newer models with more base RAM across their various configurations - is shifting the composition of our repository.

In essence, it's raising the overall average RAM configuration for the entire community by introducing more PCs with larger memory configurations into the equation. We're just reporting on an observation we've made and how it might impact a specific segment of the marketplace (developers), something we do regularly as we sift through the latest numbers.