Microsoft's ten percent marketshare goal looking unrealistic as XP remains strong

Microsoft is due to cut off official support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014, or just over eight months from today. However, the latest worldwide desktop operating system market share numbers from Net Applications still show a lot of PCs are using the 12-year-old Windows XP.

The numbers released for July show that Windows XP still holds 37.19 percent of the OS market share. That's actually slightly higher than the firm's numbers for June, which showed Windows XP with 37.17 percent. Microsoft reps recently said that their goal is to get Windows XP down to less than 10 percent by the support cut off date but these new statistics show that Microsoft will have to work very hard to reach that goal.

Microsoft has actively been informing Windows XP users about the support cut off date for over two years now.  However, it would appear their efforts have not been enough to convince a large percentage of those owners to upgrade to Windows 7 or 8. August 2011, Net Applications showed that Windows XP had 52.46 percent of the OS market share. That's a drop of just 15.27 percent in two years.

If Microsoft is to reach its goal of getting Windows XP down to below 10 percent, it will definitely need to step up its efforts. That might include sending Microsoft IT workers directly to major businesses that still use Windows XP to help them with the upgrade process or bringing in third party IT companies to do the same.

Of course, Microsoft could extend the Windows XP support cut off deadline once again, but so far the company has shown no interest in doing that. However, we have recently seen Microsoft change its mind on more than one occasion and it's possible that the company could do so again in this case.

In related news, Windows 7 is firmly in the number one spot, with 44.49 percent of the OS market share, up from 44.37 percent in June. Windows 8, which reached the RTM stage a year ago today, is third with 5.40 percent, up from 5.10 percent in June. Windows Vista is fourth with 4.24 percent, but is still higher than any other Mac or Linux OS on the chart.

Windows 8.1, which launched as a preview version in June, is only taking up 0.02 percent of the OS market share in July, according to Net Applications.

Source: Net Applications | Image via Net Applications

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Wouldn't work. Most Win XP users don't have the gpu and ram to run Win 7 at an acceptable speed. They would have to add a free computer to make the deal work.

Besides, Microsoft is having a hard enough time pushing Win 8 as is, even without having to compete against a free Win 7.

kayan said,
Wouldn't work. Most Win XP users don't have the gpu and ram to run Win 7 at an acceptable speed.

Memory is very inexpensive if it's even needed (people here seem to assume that everybody running XP only has 256MB or something..), and you don't need a fancy GPU to use it. One of my junker systems is using a Riva TNT2 video card with Windows 7 just fine. No Aero obviously as the card only supports DX8 if I recall, but zero issues with desktop applications and really really old games.

Max Norris said,

Memory is very inexpensive if it's even needed (people here seem to assume that everybody running XP only has 256MB or something..), and you don't need a fancy GPU to use it. One of my junker systems is using a Riva TNT2 video card with Windows 7 just fine. No Aero obviously as the card only supports DX8 if I recall, but zero issues with desktop applications and really really old games.

You can run XP acceptably with less than a 1GB of RAM and old integrated graphics. Upgrade the same computer to Win 7, and you're going to have a bad time. It might "work" but it will be much slower. Because it was already low hardware specs, that's a jump from old but still useful to not useful. You can disable Aero and tweak it all you like, if you know what you're doing, but the best it will get is almost as quick as the same computer with XP. The hardware requirement differences between for those OS's are just that stark.

kayan said,
You can run XP acceptably with less than a 1GB of RAM and old integrated graphics.....

XP with say 512MB nowadays is just as painful to use as well, open a program or two up and watch it beat your swap file to death as it thrashes like mad, unless of course your running equally antiquated software on it. And again.. adding a gig or two of memory to an older system is very inexpensive.. even if I were in the mood to stick with something that old and risk the loss of support from not just Microsoft but third party developers, I'd still want to upgrade the thing to something a tad more usable, with that little memory its not much better than a doorstop. And as far as graphics goes, I did mention that system in question is using a TNT2 based video card.. originally released in 1998.

volodoscope said,
If Microsoft really wants to make that 10% they should make upgrades to Win 7 for free.

Or they should have kept windows 8 pro at $40

The fact that windows 8 has barely inched past vista a year after it hit rtm says it all.

Users want something to upgrade to that has as good as or better user experience than xp.
Windows 7 is a great upgrade from xp however vista was a failure and now we have windows 8 which is even more of a failure.

A consistent and successful upgrade path is needed if you want people to leave xp but its just not there and Microsoft can only blame themselves.

Vista was partially an issue of 3rd party drivers and laptops that shouldn't have had Vista on them.

Win 8 is almost entirely MS's own start screen footbullet.

Yeah, vista really wasn't that bad. There were two major things that caused its bad reputation:

1. Poor release drivers. The changes in the driver architecture between vista and XP were massive, and device manufacturers had a hard time getting the drivers to a good state, and it was one of the major things that made vista seem "buggy/slow" compared to XP.

2. Hardware manufacturers selling "vista ready" machines with only 512mb of ram, that is the bare minimum for running vista and its no surprise these machines ran like crap. with 1-2 gigs of ram vista ran fine.

I wonder how much will Windows XP marketshare be without Windows 7? Probably over 70-80% and for a OS that is over 12 years old, that is not bad.

Proves people don't care about upgrading their OS. =P

How many of those are bootleg copies in China or people who can't use any version of Windows newer than XP RTM because that's the only version their 2001 Activation-free Enterprise ISO copy will allow?

Upgrade programs usually aren't very effective against the pirated base. Really all they care about is share of supported systems, since that's all that matters for their costs.

I bought something at Staples last week and every single one of their checkout computers was running Windows XP. Pretty embarrassing for a technology store to be running on a 12 year old OS. If MS can't even get major front facing partners like Staples to upgrade once in 12 years, then they have a serious challenge.

Avatar Roku said,
I bought something at Staples last week and every single one of their checkout computers was running Windows XP. Pretty embarrassing for a technology store to be running on a 12 year old OS. If MS can't even get major front facing partners like Staples to upgrade once in 12 years, then they have a serious challenge.

it's very common for ATMs and checkout machines to run windows xp embedded.

as long as they are administered properly (i.e: running on an isolated network), it's not a problem to continue to use them after 2014.

windows xp is still much more common than win7 embedded on that kind of machine.

not for long
with their policy of stop selling older windows 18 months after a new release

guess that would mean by April 2014 they would stop selling Windows 7 as well right?

No surprise there. It is a good, solid OS that does what people want it to do with their hardware and applications. Maybe, step it up a notch with Windows-7. Regrettably, Windows-8 is hardly a step forward, especially when on considers the huge hardware costs to use its "flash and sizzle," converting applications to use the "flash and sizzle," and training.

...but Windows 7 and 8 have nearly identical specifications except for screen resolution where the reccomended for 8 is 1366x768?

My Local Council (UK) has just upgraded from XP to Win7... Windows 8.x is at least 2 or more years away.

Don't know what British Telecom is like now, but they used take several years of assesment before upgrading to a new OS!

I upgraded us at home to Windows 8 just because the offer was so cheap, but we have disabled ALL touch, Metro and Apps, and we've installed Start8.

The more I hear about the way Microsoft is going though, the more I am tempted to go back to Windows 7. We have no use for touchscreen, Apps or The Cloud so Apart from a few bug fixes and tweaks Windows 8.0 is pretty much the same as Windows 7 (just duller looking). But by the sounds of Windows 8.1 things are getting worse rather than better (no we don't use the StartScreen either).

Still rocking XP here at work :-/
For a forward thinking company we are very backwards in this regard... though we're going to 8 or 8.1 at the end of this year, thank christ.

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