Windows 8 has surpassed OS X Mountain Lion in market share

In early December, we reported that Windows 8 users of Valve's Steam service had already jumped ahead of all Mac OS owners. Now there's evidence that Windows 8 is outpacing all of the Mac OS owners around the world for the more mainstream PC audience.

Net Applications' web site shows that for the week of January 20th, Windows 8 was installed on 2.45 percent of all PCs worldwide. That's equal to the most used, and most recent, Mac OS version, Mac OS 10.8. However, when you add in the stats for Windows 8 Touch (their wording, not ours) at 0.08 percent, it gives Windows 8 a market share of 2.53 percent.

Windows 7 still has the highest market share in this latest update with 45.77 percent, followed by Windows XP with 38.18 percent. Windows Vista is third with 5.01 percent. Windows 7 gained some market share in Net Application's data, while Windows XP and Windows Vista's percentage went down. The data that's shown still might change as Net Applications says the information has yet to be reviewed by its own Quality Assurance division.

The next major data update for Net Applications will come on Friday when it releases its PC market share numbers for all of January 2013.

Source: Net Applications | Image via Net Applications

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Detroit and Honolulu getting prepped for new Microsoft Stores

Next Story

New Nokia Music+ video shows Windows 8 and RT clients [Update]

69 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Once more people become comfortable with Touch devices, Windows 8 market share will continue to increase, and at a bigger pace.
More so when The Surface Pro is released

It maybe "junk," but thousands of critical applications in financial and health care institutions are still based on XP. Windows-7 may be their next upgrade; as Windows-8 is not really suitable for their keyboard/mouse based hardware (unless, of course Microsoft issues a major SP to bypass the default touch-centric Metro UI).

these use it because it just works.
i work for a consulting company, and on my contract we look after 21,000 TATA Steel employees, all running Windows XP. for them to upgrade to Windows 7/8 would be a mammoth task, which would be near impossible to do without a massive funding behind it. which is pointless, as Windows XP does a good enough job.

I think the reason the COA check vanished from the Windowsupgradeoffer site was to allow the pirates to 'go legit' affordably, rather than continue using their illegal prior OS.

Edited by deadonthefloor, Jan 29 2013, 2:06am :

Remember that when Windows 7 came out there was a mad dash to replace Vista (despite the fact that 7 is more or less Vista but improved upon). Thing is, 7 is a great OS. There isn't going to be a mass exodus over to 8. Just not gonna happen. Enterprise is still moving over TO 7. Not many will be going to 8. Windows 8 is in a weird spot because 7 is actually good.

The market uptake will be slow not because 8 sucks but because 7 is still really good.

I do think 8 runs a hell of a lot better though. I rarely even see the start screen on my desktop. Learn2shortcut.

Studio384 said,
All 8-haters said that this would never happen!

Are you kidding? I'm pretty sure not even the biggest "8-haters" assumed its marketshare would be permanently lower than that of the latest version of OS X.

You people are aware of the fact that Windows as a whole has 13x the marketshare of the Mac...right?

CSharp. said,

Are you kidding? I'm pretty sure not even the biggest "8-haters" assumed its marketshare would be permanently lower than that of the latest version of OS X.

You people are aware of the fact that Windows as a whole has 13x the marketshare of the Mac...right?

It was a joke...

As most people that repair computers, they see lots of XP machines but more and more newer versions of Windows, especially Windows 7. Businesses still use XP, for example there are tons of XP machines used in hospitals. The local number one news station in our area still use XP as can be seen on their weather reports at news time.

The most astonishing thing in this chart to me is at 38% of people are using XP
WTF!?!?
Why would you use such an old OS?
Places I've worked used it, but I understand that its a major operation for them to upgrade so they've always put it off. For a home user though, the benefits outweigh the shortcomings of having to upgrade

As others point out when this arises, many of them are in the third world running pirated installations. Eventually these will die off and hopefully see them replaced with Windows 7 or Windows 8 as said peoples incomes rise to purchase computers loaded with genuine copies of Windows.

There are many major corporations and government agencies that are still using Windows XP. The cost incurred for upgrading mid hardware refresh cycle is simply not cost effective; there is no value in purchasing enterprise licensing and then deploying to potentially thousands of workstations when the existing system meets the needs of the client. In addition, and especially so when in use by the government, the new operating systems are more susceptible to security flaws. Windows XP has been around for a long time, and by that, most of the security vulnerabilities have been discovered and patched. In time the new systems will be adopted, but there really is no advantage to being an early adopter of the latest operating system for large companies and government offices.

Only thing stopping me from using Win8 entirely is a lack of gfx drivers :I Good thing the team at leshcat labs are getting that sorted.

And for those who claimed Windows Vista was a failure, more people use Vista than even OS X users. I really don't understand how the stupid haters consider every version of Windows to be a failure, when all of them with the exception of Windows Me, all had higher usage than any version of Mac OS/OS X.

TechieXP said,
more people use Vista than even OS X users. I really don't understand how the stupid haters consider every version of Windows to be a failure, when all of them with the exception of Windows Me, all had higher usage than any version of Mac OS/OS X.

When you already own >90% of the market, the expectations for your latest OS are accordingly...The same marketshare that in the Desktop market counts as a success for Apple would have to be counted as an utter failure for Microsoft. Not really that hard to understand, is it? It's all about where you're coming from.

I'm a Windows user but the comparison with OS X is silly - to get OS X for most people it requires purchasing a whole new computer plus whole new software titles as not all software is crossgradeable. It has always been acknowledged that the biggest competitor to Microsoft has been Microsoft itself via its previous version. Personally I wish them well for their new divisions because eventually it'll become harder to milk the same 2 divisions of the company as the feature gap becomes less and less between each release (feature gap being features that are critical vs. "oh, that is nice but I can do without at the moment"). On a good side the latest quarter shows improvement in revenue for their online services division so hopefully that'll start to pick up where the slow down in PC sales left off.

CSharp. said,

When you already own >90% of the market, the expectations for your latest OS are accordingly...The same marketshare that in the Desktop market counts as a success for Apple would have to be counted as an utter failure for Microsoft. Not really that hard to understand, is it? It's all about where you're coming from.
No that is false and here is why. Windows is used by 2 groups of major users...businesses at 65% and consumers at 35%. Consumers can pretty much upgrade whenever they want as many would suffer far less repercussions from upgrading. Businesses take longer because they have to consider and test what apps they have will fail if they upgrade and if upgrading is a real benefit.

Going from XP to Windows 7 or 8 would be a real benefit. Going from 7 to 8 is not. Just because 90% of the world uses Windows, doesnt mean they all have to upgrade every 3 years when a new OS comes out. The fact that 60M people have done so on some level is awesome. Basically 1/6th the population of the USA, is running Windows 8. That's a lot of people. Do the math bro. 60M x 39.99 and tell me that isnt a significant amount of money.

What do the naysayers have to say now. Is Windows 8 still a failure? 60M+ licenses have SOLD and likely at least 60M PC's have been sold as well.

Awesome news....!!!!
Now will the h8ters please leave the building!

These figures don't surprise me. But the difference is ... Apple makes huge profits on the whole system. Microsoft make profit purely on the OS. And there's millions of Windows PC's out there that MS make nothing on outside of the OS. Also, the Mac market is expanding much much quicker than the PC market. In 10 years, the consumer market will be heavily weighing in Apple's favour. Business ... MS will still rule.

I have to say I did really expect that it'd have gained more ground that now. I'd be interested to see comparative month on month stats for when Windows Vista and then Windows 7 came out to see how aggressive the uptake was in comparison.

Bleedorang3 said,
I'm a Windows 8 fan but good Lord... less than half of Windows Vista marketshare? This ain't good fellas.

Vista has been around since Nov 06 and Win8 has been aroud since Oct 12. Perhaps Windows 8 is selling below expectations but a comparison with Vista's current marketshare means nothing at all.

If we compare Vista's marketshare in Feb 07 then we have a farer comparison. Like January 13 for Win8 it is 4 months after release. At that time Vista had 1% of the market (source: http://cybernetnews.com/vista-...-x-market-share-comparison/)

So it seems to me Windows 8 isnt doing all that bad. Perhaps not as good as Windows 7 but its doing reasonably well for a product that is radically different. Not to mention the total market has grown so it is harder to gain markethare with each year. Because in many parts of the world people cant afford to upgrade as often and are stuck on XP.

I know - it took Apple 30 years of selling products to get their 2.45% marketshare, and they think they are winning!

You have to remember that this number represents a percentage of the TOTAL number of installed computers in the world. Considering the total number of computers out there, and that it's likely that more are being added than being removed, this is a VERY healthy number three months in.

I think some people want so badly for Windows 8 to fail that they're simply blind to any evidence that might contradict their viewpoint.

I'd explain to you that new OSes start with low market share, but it'd probably destroy what little grasp on reality you have.

J_R_G said,
I'd explain to you that new OSes start with low market share, but it'd probably destroy what little grasp on reality you have.
Damn, you are good. For forty years I have let Internet insults wash over me, but yours really cut me deeply.

Actually, you know things are good when a supposedly bad OS surpasses a really terrible one on short notice.

The only reason that piece of **** OS has that much market share is because there are poor shmoes out there that don't know know how to get back to Win7. Don't believe me, just look at the trending on Twitter of windows8sucks or windows8blows or stuckonwin8 ...etc...etc....

You people that like Win8 are *severely* in the minority.

runningnak3d said,
The only reason that piece of **** OS has that much market share is because there are poor shmoes out there that don't know know how to get back to Win7. Don't believe me, just look at the trending on Twitter of windows8sucks or windows8blows or stuckonwin8 ...etc...etc....

You people that like Win8 are *severely* in the minority.

^this.

runningnak3d said,
The only reason that piece of **** OS has that much market share is because there are poor shmoes out there that don't know know how to get back to Win7.

I know what you mean. All those people that followed their advice and tried switching to Mac now trying to figure out how to get back to Windows is the only reason OSX Mountain Lion has that 2.45% marketshare.

although I like windows 8, I gave the metro crap a go for a good month or so, and finally just ditched it for start8. I will agree though that I am the minority when it comes to liking windows 8. Everyone else that I install it for hates it.

runningnak3d said
The only reason that piece of **** OS has that much market share is because there are poor shmoes out there that don't know know how to get back to Win7. Don't believe me, just look at the trending on Twitter of windows8sucks or windows8blows or stuckonwin8 ...etc...etc....

You people that like Win8 are *severely* in the minority.

Or maybe it's because there are people with a brain who can actually see the new features and improvements and look past the Modern UI..

If you're aiming for the dumbest comment of the day, then congratulations. You've won.

"Don't believe me, just look at the trending on Twitter of windows8sucks or windows8blows or stuckonwin8 ...etc...etc...."

Yes, because loud mouths on Twitter have the final say on what is good or bad.

runningnak3d said,
The only reason that piece of **** OS has that much market share is because there are poor shmoes out there that don't know know how to get back to Win7. Don't believe me, just look at the trending on Twitter of windows8sucks or windows8blows or stuckonwin8 ...etc...etc....

You people that like Win8 are *severely* in the minority.

Apparently you maxed out your IQ by the time you typed the last few words of your post.

You should eat a bowl of...... cereal.

TechieXP said
Really? You ever considered, maybe they don't want to go back.
Exactly Once I was upgraded to the Developer Preview a year ago, I didn't want to go back.

Not really impressive. ML has a very low market share in the first place. 10% would be impressive to me and not 2.45%. Whats interesting is that XP is around 35% but I think those are more from business computers that does not upgrade OS.

ACTIONpack said,
Not really impressive. ML has a very low market share in the first place. 10% would be impressive to me and not 2.45%. Whats interesting is that XP is around 35% but I think those are more from business computers that does not upgrade OS.

Yes not very impressive at all but with the complete failure of windows 8 at the consumer level I suppose comparisons to osx marketshare will help a few people sleep better at night.

Order_66 said,

Yes not very impressive at all but with the complete failure of windows 8 at the consumer level I suppose comparisons to osx marketshare will help a few people sleep better at night.


So if beating Mountain Lion is failure, what does that make the entire Apple PC endeavor? They might as well just throw in the towel then.

Order_66 said,

Yes not very impressive at all but with the complete failure of windows 8 at the consumer level I suppose comparisons to osx marketshare will help a few people sleep better at night.

Well you, the big consumer electronics store manager who cannot tell me if you have Sno Caps in stock or not, claimed that you do not sell any Win8 computers and they are stacking up on the shelves, but Macs are flying out the door. And here we have Win8 surpassing the latest version of OSX. So the stats gathered from your tiny little store that show Apple selling way more than the competition across the entire market puts your entire argument and what little reputation - if you ever had one - you have into question.

So you compare marketshare of two products (OSX computers vs. Win8 computers) sold from your store, and that is undeniable proof that Win8 is a failure. But now we have real stats, and we should not be comparing the numbers. Spoken like a true Apple fanboy, if making comparisons make Apple look good, make those comparisons. When the comparisons make Apple look bad, then you really cannot compare the numbers because it is just not fair.

Please go back to Engadget where many of the guys arent smart enough to retort to you. Do you hate Windows/Microsoft that much? You actually have an account on two sites spreading crap?

Grow up please. Windows 8 is a failure at the consumer level? As the other poster said...then Apple is the bigest OS failure in history with the exception of iOS.

Here is whats so funny about all the Microsoft haters when they do MS to Apple comparisons. Microsoft makes software as a living. Apple has always beena a hardware company that so happens to make its own software. Windows has been king pretty much since Windows 3.x. Yet with the exception of Office, not of Microsoft other product have surpassed Windows. And the only reason why Office wasable to surpass Windows is because it is available for ofther platforms outside of Windows.

While you keep saying Windows 8 is a failure, a brand new OS has just surpassed the market-share of an OS that if a year old. Than another poster claimed it wasnt an impressive number? Windows * was just release in October. Its only been a few months. 60M licenses....wasnt that the amount of people Apple said that had using OS X 10.7 or something?

Apple bragged about reaching 10% of its audience before MS did. Well that is easy when only 60M people had the hardware capable of even running that particular version of OS X. MS has a much bigger target. Any PC that came with Vista or better, can run Windows 8. In fact I can bet some PC's as old as 2005 could run Windows 8. My ThinkPad is from 2007 and it runs Windows 8 perfectly and fast.

I dont understand how you consider Windows 8 a failure at the retail level? Who do you think is buying the biggest majority of the Windows 8 systems or upgrading their systems to 8? It sure isn't businesses yet. Most of them just upgraded to Windows 7. Come on man give it a rest.

You have no idea what you're talking about. Not even remotely close.

nohone said,

Well you, the big consumer electronics store manager who cannot tell me if you have Sno Caps in stock or not, claimed that you do not sell any Win8 computers and they are stacking up on the shelves, but Macs are flying out the door. And here we have Win8 surpassing the latest version of OSX. So the stats gathered from your tiny little store that show Apple selling way more than the competition across the entire market puts your entire argument and what little reputation - if you ever had one - you have into question.

So you compare marketshare of two products (OSX computers vs. Win8 computers) sold from your store, and that is undeniable proof that Win8 is a failure. But now we have real stats, and we should not be comparing the numbers. Spoken like a true Apple fanboy, if making comparisons make Apple look good, make those comparisons. When the comparisons make Apple look bad, then you really cannot compare the numbers because it is just not fair.

There's my little internet stalker who follows me from site to site making demands and spreading lies in its futile attempt at character assassination.

That (very) low market share never stops Apple coming out and jumping for joy on the percentage of users upgrading to the latest OS

saw surface RT, Samsung ativ tab and dell xps 10 with my laptop running licence windows 8... while there are bunch of windows 7 pcs... and few xp netbooks macs are just 2 in the first day in class today. I think the masses are accepting the windows 8. surface is really beautiful.

ML (10.8) was such a resource hog, i actually went back not even to 10.7, but 10.6.8
good for win8 tho ... my gaming rig just flies with it.

hckngrtfakt said,
ML (10.8) was such a resource hog, i actually went back not even to 10.7, but 10.6.8
good for win8 tho ... my gaming rig just flies with it.

They screwed up after 10.6 with resource management, it seems they are putting out a slower OSes which only run decent on their new hardware.

After that, the total installed base of MacOS systems -- which would be around 6.28% (probably less by the time it's overtaken due to market expansion).

Interesting, I thought Apple had about 8% -- I remember when it was 4%. I think Linux ("other") must have taken some of that. Though I don't have the numbers to back up that supposition...

Forjo said,
After that, the total installed base of MacOS systems -- which would be around 6.28% (probably less by the time it's overtaken due to market expansion).

Interesting, I thought Apple had about 8% -- I remember when it was 4%. I think Linux ("other") must have taken some of that. Though I don't have the numbers to back up that supposition...


You can go to the netmarketshare.com website to see the exact distribution. They peg Mac marketshare at ~7%, Linux at ~1.5% and Windows at ~91.5%