If you want people to adopt your platform, make it free.
That's the lesson in this month's web usage statistics from NetMarketShare, which measure worldwide usage share of desktop and mobile operating systems and browsers.
Microsoft's Windows 8.1 clocked usage of 1.72 percent, doubling its share from the previous month. That gives the Windows 8.x family a total usage share of 9.25 percent after one full year on the market. (Historically speaking, it appears that Windows 8 is following the same adoption patterns as Windows XP, whose share of the installed base was also just under 10 percent after its first year on the market.)
Usage of Windows XP, which celebrated its 12th birthday in October, continues to drop precipitously in NetMarketShare's measurements as it heads toward its end-of-support date less than six months from now. For October, XP usage dropped to 31.24 percent, a new low. Windows 7 usage is virtually unchanged from the previous month, with just under half of all PCs running that flavor of Windows.
Source: ZDNet, via Ed Bott