Report: Windows XP market share went up in January 2012

Did Windows XP, a PC operating system that's over 10 years old, actually gain some new users in January? That's what the newest report from Net Applications claims. The report shows that Microsoft's OS is not only the world's most used PC operating system but in January 2012 it had a worldwide market share of 47.19 percent. That's higher than December 2011's 46.52 percent.

While the report does claim that it is based on preview data that has not been reviewed by the company's Quality Assurance team, the fact that the data even suggests a rise in Windows XP is interesting.

Microsoft's latest OS, Windows 7, lost some market share in January. The report claims that Windows 7 is now used by 36.40 percent of PCs worldwide, down compared to 36.99 percent in December 2011. Windows Vista had 8.22 percent of the PC OS market share in January, followed by Mac OS X 10.6 at 2.95 percent, Mac OS X 10.7 at 2.18 and "other" operating systems at 3.06 percent.

Microsoft has been trying to get the message out that it will be shutting down its official Windows XP support in less than 800 days from now. It has been urging businesses to upgrade to Windows 7 as soon as possible, not only because of Microsoft's support deadline but also because of security concerns that could enable hackers to attack the older OS.

Microsoft still plans to launch its latest Windows OS, Windows 8, before the end of 2012, with a public beta release planned for the end of February.

Image via Net Applications

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If I were the copyright holder of a product in such high demand by corporations and consumers alike, I would certainly find a way to make it secure, supportable, and profitable without changing the essence of what it is that makes it so beloved by so many. There's certainly room for more than just one type of user experience in the vast install base of Windows. And after all, happy customers are loyal customers. Microsoft risks marginalizing the Windows brand by forcing upon the world a single vision of how people should interact with Windows-based computing devices.

Has anyone considered that the numbers come from OS registrations and NOT PC sales?
the stats - if they are in fact from OS registrations - would show XP increase is probably because of virtual machine installs. I find myself installing VMs for remote desktops in a "sudo-cloud" environment (Private Cloud)
7 would be cool to use - for a VM but when the users only need access to a few basic apps remotely - 7 is overkill. dont need all the eye-candy desktop elements, not using the better muiltimedia aspects of 7 - just serving up a few apps like Office and a proprietary application for Police departments. also - for VMs you can use as little as 512megs of RAM - and still run ok in VM --- dont recommend ess than 1-2 gigs for 7

Have absolutely nothing against anyone still using XP as it is supported for another 2 full years. Don't have any XP machines left here, but still nothing wrong with it any more so than any OS with a nimrod operating it!!

Still a a relatively shocking story!!

As I said Windows 8 has no place, freaking waste of time. MS needs to stick with Windows 7 with all enchancements in Kernel and not visible to human eye through some sort of big ass Service Pack. We don't need new OS until Windows 7 becomes dominant in range of 80%

techguy77 said,
As I said Windows 8 has no place, freaking waste of time. MS needs to stick with Windows 7 with all enchancements in Kernel and not visible to human eye through some sort of big ass Service Pack. We don't need new OS until Windows 7 becomes dominant in range of 80%

you know people said the same when XP was introduced? That people wouldnt need a new OS ever?

Shadowzz said,

you know people said the same when XP was introduced? That people wouldnt need a new OS ever?

We do need new OS but i think it is too early for Windows 8.

Tilt090 said,
buyers can stay irrational longer than microsoft can promote windows 7/8.

Microsoft did not show a single valid point why people should move from Windows XP because XP does everything, even runs on latest X79 motheboard with i7 6 Core CPU. At least Windows 7 has certain reasons but Windows 8 None. Moms and Pops like many like to say will love Metro...NOT. Moms and Pops moved to iPhone 4 and Droid to do their little things. At home they have sitting trusty XP which is just enough.

I should do Market research for Microsoft, probably would do better than their complete team.

Irrelevant and doesn't matter because new hardware won't have XP drivers so EVERYone will have to eventually move anyways whenever some of their old PC hardware components stop working. You have no choice. Resistance is futile.

xpclient said,
Irrelevant and doesn't matter because new hardware won't have XP drivers so EVERYone will have to eventually move anyways whenever some of their old PC hardware components stop working. You have no choice. Resistance is futile.

True. I also blame big push for XBOX 360 by Microsoft which is pile of crap system but MS is milking money out of it. Perhaps you don't see how those two are related but it has to do a lot with each other. Windows wouldn't be where is now if there wasn't Gaming Community and all the Entertainment with it. With push of XBOX 360, PC Gaming in general slowed down a bit and hardware available there is not being pushed at all. A lot of people moved to console for gaming which is huge chunk of Market therefore they stayed with Windows XP which is good enough for basic stuff. Another reasons are these mobile devices which let's same people not even to bother with Windows but do those little things on their Pads, Phones and there is PS3 or XBOX for gaming. Case closed. Microsoft needs to bring Windows and PC as ultimate gaming, and entertainment platform not some pile of crap called XBOX. I do professional work and gaming but for my professional work i don't need Windows, Linux is just great. However i am on Windows because of Gaming side of it. Now i had big hopes for DX10, DX11 and only reason i went from XP to Windows 7 is because of these two APIs. Unfortunately MS dropped big ball with these two and if i knew i would never upgrade to Windows 7. This would be one example, personal one. Similar experience will share number of other people holding 47% of market share with XP.

microsoft is going to start its marketing layoffs. maybe this has something to do with it. maybe the numbers are worse, more in favour of xp.

Once I went to Windows 7 I never looked back. XP was good to me for the most part but Win 7 blows it away. It is faster and yes like you said smooth.

I love it! I may even skip 8 but would like to use it to see how it feels

Well also take into account the following which may apply to others besides myself. After my PSU failed in my Windows 7 x64 system I am forced to use my roommate's/friend's computer that has an AMD64 K6 single core processor, Geforce 6100 and Windows XP 32-bit (ugh) until Corsair ships me a replacement. I had almost forgotten how dated XP is, Windows 7 does a lot of stuff better than XP and is overall more smooth.

very suspicious numbers that call in to question the validity of the stats. oh wait, their stats are not scientific....

Time out...

Does this report differentiate between hardware installed WinXP instances and virtualized ones? Running WinXP in MED-V, VMware or some other virtualization tech to move users to Windows 7.

I'm sorry, but if this does not differentiate between the 2 the report is useless in my opinion.

xp works fine.. runs my media center perfectly... runs 1 of my kids older laptop perfect too, could upgrade it... but if it isn't broken, why should i fix it?

rippleman said,
xp works fine.. runs my media center perfectly... runs 1 of my kids older laptop perfect too, could upgrade it... but if it isn't broken, why should i fix it?

Let's apply this to all of technology AND FREEZE IN TIME.

Victor V. said,

Let's apply this to all of technology AND FREEZE IN TIME.

Maybe you should phone up NASA and ask them what CPUs they're using for their current space shuttle designs?

Victor V. said,

Let's apply this to all of technology AND FREEZE IN TIME.

The problem is that Windows XP perfectly runs all latest hardware. Your point is invalid.

n_K said,

Maybe you should phone up NASA and ask them what CPUs they're using for their current space shuttle designs?

Which would be relevant if they still flew shuttle.

n_K said,

Maybe you should phone up NASA and ask them what CPUs they're using for their current space shuttle designs?

You do realize how much it would have costed to constantly upgrade the space shuttle computers, right? Billions and billions.
Very very bad comparison.

Victor V. said,

Let's apply this to all of technology AND FREEZE IN TIME.

No, let's all upgrade to an OS just because it has higher version number irrespective of the fact that it has an interface that reduces productivity, bloats hard disks and takes days instead of hours to install all updates and service packs.

xpclient said,

No, let's all upgrade to an OS just because it has higher version number irrespective of the fact that it has an interface that reduces productivity, bloats hard disks and takes days instead of hours to install all updates and service packs.

LMAO! When does it take "days" to install updates? Are you still running a 286?

rippleman said,
xp works fine.. runs my media center perfectly... runs 1 of my kids older laptop perfect too, could upgrade it... but if it isn't broken, why should i fix it?
Because if you don't run the latest Windows nightly build you aren't popular on Neowin

techguy77 said,

The problem is that Windows XP perfectly runs all latest hardware. Your point is invalid.


You lose allot of performance using XP over Vista/W7 on current hardware. XP is NOT optimized even the slightest to use more then 1 core. Or to use more then 1GB of RAM properly. Why waste money on a fancy new PC and lose more then 30% of its performance due to running an OS that is designed for 10 year old hardware?
xpclient said,

No, let's all upgrade to an OS just because it has higher version number irrespective of the fact that it has an interface that reduces productivity, bloats hard disks and takes days instead of hours to install all updates and service packs.

You do know you can chance back most of the Vista/Win7 interface to look like XP right? And using the start menu of XP or 7, the current start menu alone blows away the crappy XP start menu in productivity?
And my drive is filled with crap, I havent updated my system for more then 3 months after a fresh install, i installed god knows how much updates, service pack and what not yesterday and on my 2 year old drive, fragmentated as hell and with a winsxs folder over 40GB, with a nasty registry i also havent cleaned for 1,5-2 months. It just took a staggering 35minutes to do all the missing updates and SP1. And my machine is an old piece of crap AMD Dual core ~.~

And bloat hard disks, LOL, in a world where 1-2tb drives are the standard, whats the issue of a 100GB windows size? NOTHING.
Remember Win95-98 days, where the OS took almost half the space of your harddrive, where now its less then 5% of your drive thats reserved for the OS?
Its like crying that Windows uses 1GB of ram in a world where 4GB is the MINIMUM of current day machines.

Shadowzz said,

You lose allot of performance using XP over Vista/W7 on current hardware. XP is NOT optimized even the slightest to use more then 1 core. Or to use more then 1GB of RAM properly. Why waste money on a fancy new PC and lose more then 30% of its performance due to running an OS that is designed for 10 year old hardware?
You do know you can chance back most of the Vista/Win7 interface to look like XP right? And using the start menu of XP or 7, the current start menu alone blows away the crappy XP start menu in productivity?
And my drive is filled with crap, I havent updated my system for more then 3 months after a fresh install, i installed god knows how much updates, service pack and what not yesterday and on my 2 year old drive, fragmentated as hell and with a winsxs folder over 40GB, with a nasty registry i also havent cleaned for 1,5-2 months. It just took a staggering 35minutes to do all the missing updates and SP1. And my machine is an old piece of crap AMD Dual core ~.~

And bloat hard disks, LOL, in a world where 1-2tb drives are the standard, whats the issue of a 100GB windows size? NOTHING.
Remember Win95-98 days, where the OS took almost half the space of your harddrive, where now its less then 5% of your drive thats reserved for the OS?
Its like crying that Windows uses 1GB of ram in a world where 4GB is the MINIMUM of current day machines.

No you don't XP x64bit support 6 Core CPUs just fine as well as up to 128Gb of RAM and XP is not any slower in benchmarks than Windows 7. Where did you get your info from?

techguy77 said,

No you don't XP x64bit support 6 Core CPUs just fine as well as up to 128Gb of RAM and XP is not any slower in benchmarks than Windows 7. Where did you get your info from?

Who the heck uses XP x64? Honestly, he's right, Xp on current hardware might seem faster, but in all honestly, it can't utilize that hardware like Windows 7 can.

tuneslover said,
some idiots still use Windows XP..uffff :@ :@ :@
Don't forget, the majority of people don't know the difference, or even care for that matter!

warwagon said,
I blame Metro

Metro will never go through, it will be epic failure. Windows 8 wont pass 15% market share before is being replaced by something else. I predicted these numbers before Vista got released. I said that if MS continues with its completely wrong philoshy and dishonesty it will take at least three Windows iterations before Windows XP significantly falls down on Market Share.

I'm curious as to how Windows 7's marketshare has gone down slightly. Every new PC you buy comes with Windows 7, so it should be going up and up every day.
The XP share should be going down because I'm sure there are a hell of a lot more businesses upgrading from XP to 7 than 2000 to XP. Same goes with the average user.

Sounds to me like there's a big loophole in how these numbers are collected.

Astra.Xtreme said,
I'm curious as to how Windows 7's marketshare has gone down slightly. Every new PC you buy comes with Windows 7, so it should be going up and up every day.
The XP share should be going down because I'm sure there are a hell of a lot more businesses upgrading from XP to 7 than 2000 to XP. Same goes with the average user.

Sounds to me like there's a big loophole in how these numbers are collected.

No error. Many businesses and home users downgrade to XP with new PCs. In Business only 33% use Windows 7.

alexalex said,

No error. Many businesses and home users downgrade to XP with new PCs. In Business only 33% use Windows 7.

Practically no home users downgrade. It's just a sampling error.

mrp04 said,

Practically no home users downgrade. It's just a sampling error.

They do, i had plenty of people asking me to rebuild their X79 Machines with 6Core CPU to use Windows XP x64. MS Research on what people want from Windows is wrong, always has been.

oliver182 said,
LOTS OF NEW NETBOOKS WITH XP TO!

Since when? Any netbook you buy from a store will have Windows 7 Starter. Same goes with all the big online computer stores.

techguy77 said,

They do, i had plenty of people asking me to rebuild their X79 Machines with 6Core CPU to use Windows XP x64. MS Research on what people want from Windows is wrong, always has been.


you dont inform them that WinXP's kernel is not optimized for even 2 cores, that the 6 cores arent optimized to run for at all. That even Vista knows how to use these cores allot better?
That current day hardware is to fast for XP. That they actually lose allot of performance by using XP instead of Win7 or even Vista?
If they want XP, why not just make 7 look like XP? most wont know the difference but do see a major improvement in performance.

If you explain users they lose a bucket load of performance by using XP on a machine like that instead of W7, the security is allot better, and its better suited for future changes and upgrades. Then they wouldnt even want XP on their machine

I really hope this is just margin of error, because putting XP on new machines at this point would be outright irresponsible from a security standpoint.

Chris123NT said,
I really hope this is just margin of error, because putting XP on new machines at this point would be outright irresponsible from a security standpoint.

Security standpoint? How is that, please do tell me as its still 2012 not 2014 and patch tuesday keeps on rolling until then. Another pointless flame.

+ Being a dumbuser ain't XP's fault, its the users fault.

alwaysonacoffebreak said,

Security standpoint? How is that, please do tell me as its still 2012 not 2014 and patch tuesday keeps on rolling until then. Another pointless flame.

+ Being a dumbuser ain't XP's fault, its the users fault.

You're not serious, right?

kavazovangel said,

You're not serious, right?

I am actually. All this factless flame is already ****ing me off. I'm running a secondary PC on XP as a home server and there's nothing wrong with it, not a virus since I dont wonder around on pages where I shouldn't be and don't give me the "backdoor" bull****, the buy a legit XP.

Also the outdated bs is the only fact that you XP haters got, nothing else so please, just be quiet.

alwaysonacoffebreak said,

I am actually. All this factless flame is already ****ing me off. I'm running a secondary PC on XP as a home server and there's nothing wrong with it, not a virus since I dont wonder around on pages where I shouldn't be and don't give me the "backdoor" bull****, the buy a legit XP.

Also the outdated bs is the only fact that you XP haters got, nothing else so please, just be quiet.

It's "outdated" because at this point, XP is considered legacy. Microsoft is no longer actively developing for it.

alwaysonacoffebreak said,
I am actually. All this factless flame is already ****ing me off. I'm running a secondary PC on XP as a home server and there's nothing wrong with it, not a virus since I dont wonder around on pages where I shouldn't be and don't give me the "backdoor" bull****, the buy a legit XP.

Also the outdated bs is the only fact that you XP haters got, nothing else so please, just be quiet.


Google should give you plenty to read about how NT's security model was significantly enhanced in NT 6.

Aethec said,

Google should give you plenty to read about how NT's security model was significantly enhanced in NT 6.

Certainly it was enhanced but it was also enhanced significantly in XPSP2. NT6 doesn't mean Windows XP became dangerously unusable for those who know how to keep their PC clean. Idiots still manage to get their NT6 machines infected. Security is classic example of FUD spread to get people to upgrade from XP.

xpclient said,

Certainly it was enhanced but it was also enhanced significantly in XPSP2. NT6 doesn't mean Windows XP became dangerously unusable for those who know how to keep their PC clean. Idiots still manage to get their NT6 machines infected. Security is classic example of FUD spread to get people to upgrade from XP.

XP's lack of security is no FUD. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that XP was attacked left, right, up and down. Go ahead an use a fresh install of XP with SP3 (Which for some reason still comes with IE6), and a fresh install of Windows 7 or Windows 8, and see which one falls victim first. My money is on the XP machine.

Chris123NT said,
I really hope this is just margin of error, because putting XP on new machines at this point would be outright irresponsible from a security standpoint.

Dumbest comment of the year.

Why the hell would it be running in the white house if you were right ?

And yeah there is no subsitution for intelligence.. you AV software can't compensate for that.

I hate to break it to you but newer OS's don't run very well on ALL computers and what are people suppose to do if the have an old machine that can't run Win 7 but it can run XP flawlessly ?
I'll make sure to let them know they are irresponsible..

johnporter29 said,
all we have to do now is wait for the xp lovers hear about this for a flood of comments on how great xp is!

All we have to do now is wait for the *insert os here* lovers and xp haters to hear about this for a flood of comments on how outdated it is.

There, fixed it for you.

johnporter29 said,
all we have to do now is wait for the xp lovers hear about this for a flood of comments on how great xp is!

10 years and still going !! XP 5ever! <3

articuno1au said,
Either that or the deviation is MARGIN OF ERROR.

ARE YOU TELLING ME THAT A .59% RISE IS NOT STATISTICALLY RELEVANT? HOW DARE YOU!

I'm guessing it was caused by a large order from a company that still uses WinXP as it's default environment. Where I work they're working on migrating to Win7 (was supposed to be done over a year ago but they're slow) and any new PC that came with Win Vista/7 was downgraded as soon as we got it

I'm sure now most people can get a copy of Windows XP for free. And with so many people out there that have crap PC's, its the most viable option.

este said,
I'm sure now most people can get a copy of Windows XP for free. And with so many people out there that have crap PC's, its the most viable option.

I also suspect that this is the effect of lots of netbook's being sold with XP~

Deviate_X said,

I also suspect that this is the effect of lots of netbook's being sold with XP~


Every new netbook I see these days has 7 Starter installed,