Windows 8.1 surpasses Windows 8 market share, Windows XP still strong at 25%

Microsoft’s Windows 8 launched a few years ago and not long after that, the Redmond based company pushed out a rather large update called Windows 8.1. With Windows 8.1, Microsoft brought back the Start button and made a few other enhancements to the OS that greatly improved the usability of the platform. Further, Microsoft has pushed out an update 1 to the Windows 8.1 platform that further refines the mouse and keyboard experience.

So, for those of you still running Windows 8, there is a large incentive to upgrade to gain these enhancements and based on markethsare, it looks like many users have taken this advice.

Windows 8.1, according to Net Applications, has surpassed the marketshare of Windows 8.  As of the time of this post, Windows 8 and 8.1 make up about 12.5% of the market for desktop users, Windows 7 still dominates the other platforms with about 50% of the usage share and XP still makes up about 25% of the market.

The good news for Microsoft is that users are moving away from Windows 8 and towards the 8.1 update 1, the bad news here is that XP, which is no longer a supported platform, accounts for roughly 25% of the Windows user market.

We would expect that the XP usage share should continue to drop but we also know that places like China, seem to have little incentive to move off of the platform. Why is that? Well, XP piracy is rampant in that part of the world and without another ‘free’ version of Windows to move too, the incentive is quite low at this time.

With Microsoft moving quickly at deploying new builds of Windows and Windows 9 expected to arrive in less than a year, Windows 8 may never surpass that of Windows 7.

Source: Net Applications | Via: TNW

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Holy crap, Batman! One failed, P.O.S. operating system is now "dominating" a slightly less failed P.O.S. operating system! You go, Microsoft!

Truth be told a lot of people couldn`t give a rats ass about what operating system they`re using, as long as it works the`re happy, and Xp still works for those people...
Companies, different kettle of fish!

They don't split up Windows 7 RTM and Windows 7 SP1, or Windows XP RTM and Windows XP SP3, so why split up Windows 8 and 8.1? They also lump Linux into one category and then split up Windows 8 and 8.1
Also, the whole "piracy is big in China" is a stupid argument because it's just as easy to pirate for the newer versions of Windows.

If you try to analyze, think and understand why Windows 8 or Vista didn't work as well as MS would've hoped, you will find the reasons why XP is still being used and why Windows 7 is growing faster than 8+8.1 combined. But fanboys admitting it is a different story.

That Windows 7 marketshare will be huge well into 2020. Unless of course Microsoft can release a hot that's comparable.

stop splitting them. it is just a service pack.

BTW, where is chrome OS? the best selling thing on amazon apparently doesn't move the world :)

Lord Method Man said,
It isn't just a service pack. Windows 8.1 is an actual new OS, just one that was made available as a free update for people already running 8.

Incorrect, it's the same OS with added features that many lazy people were complaining were taken out of Win 8 from Win 7.

Gergel7077 said,

Incorrect, it's the same OS with added features that many lazy people were complaining were taken out of Win 8nfrom Win 7.

No, it isn't. 8.1 has an updated kernel and requires going through the full upgrade process to a new OS the same as if you were upgrading from 7 to 8.

Lord Method Man said,

No, it isn't. 8.1 has an updated kernel and requires going through the full upgrade process to a new OS the same as if you were upgrading from 7 to 8.


It's a minor kernel update.
NT 8.0 to NT 8.1 is not a new OS.

Shadowzz said,

It's a minor kernel update.
NT 8.0 to NT 8.1 is not a new OS.

No it went from 6.2.xxxx to 6.3.xxxx. I guess Windows 7 and 8 weren't new OSs either.

It. Is. A. Different. OS.

It does a full update process and leaves a Windows.old folder for residual files like every other new OS. I cant believe this is even debatable. I guess you guys are just people who thing OS = UI. Shame you're allowed to post and perpetuate falsehoods.

Edited by Lord Method Man, Jun 2 2014, 3:40pm :

Every SP released since Win 2000 required a large download and install. Win 8 is no different, although I do agree that it's a huge update. But I would think every version of Windows will require larger and larger size updates. I think that is to be expected.

Lord Method Man said,
It. Is. A. Different. OS.

Not arguing the update method, but Microsoft's lifecycle classifies 8.1 as an update to 8.0 just like the service packs, and 8.0 is now on the two year countdown also just like how they handle service packs. Personally they should just be lumped together just like the other versions of the OS.

Lord Method Man said,
Lame. Windows 8 should be 0% and 8.1 should be 12.64%.

They should be prompting people to move more, push out prompts through WU every patch Tuesday for example. Or maybe they figure, hell, Windows 9 is coming next year so we'll just get them all to upgrade to that later.

Or they should just throw the update into the Windows Update.

Stupid microsoft, trying to convince people for what, 15 years. How to use Windows update. People finally figured it all out how to keep their systems updated (with some help from MS by pushing autoupdates).
And they do the best imaginable f*%*n thing they could ever do "Lets put the update in the Store! That'll show those bastards!".
The guy that came up with that genius idea should be fired.

'Windows 8.1 surpasses Windows 8' - why wouldn't it? Not surprised at all. Would be a different story if it cost $50 to upgrade.

XP market share seems to be set in concrete. It's going to be a hard one to break, because XP - even though insecure and ugly nowadays - works and brings in the money.

It's sad that Microsoft only pushed the 8.1 update through the Windows Store... too many people are sitting on 8.0 because they don't know about the store or never launch it.

Even worse, the 8.1 they push through there isn't the latest and greatest, so after updating (which is overly painful in itself) there are TONS of updates to go through, and half the time, the 100s of updates fail and roll back, which is very disconcerting (a second attempt usually succeeds).

Microsoft really needs to work on their update/upgrade story here. It's too hard, too painful, takes too long, and is too error-prone.

pmbAustin said,
It's sad that Microsoft only pushed the 8.1 update through the Windows Store... too many people are sitting on 8.0 because they don't know about the store or never launch it.

Even worse, the 8.1 they push through there isn't the latest and greatest, so after updating (which is overly painful in itself) there are TONS of updates to go through, and half the time, the 100s of updates fail and roll back, which is very disconcerting (a second attempt usually succeeds).

Microsoft really needs to work on their update/upgrade story here. It's too hard, too painful, takes too long, and is too error-prone.

I don't believe that for one bit, case in point, when 8.1 was officially out I got a nice big full screen prompt that a new update to Windows was out, called 8.1 and that it's free with the option to "go to the store" now and download it. You didn't have to actually open the store and hunt for it.

George P said,

I don't believe that for one bit, case in point, when 8.1 was officially out I got a nice big full screen prompt that a new update to Windows was out, called 8.1 and that it's free with the option to "go to the store" now and download it. You didn't have to actually open the store and hunt for it.


I hadn't read your post prior to my reply to an above comment but I basically said the exact same thing.

Gergel7077 said,
What evidence do you have to support that claim?

Maybe because MS added the Store icon to the Taskbar to add visibility to it?

Gergel7077 said,
What evidence do you have to support that claim?

Go outside?
Man I'm aware of 8.1, and last week or so, I reinstalled Windows 8. And it took me 2 days before I figured out "Hey, I'm missing an update or 2" and thats because I know the differences (no taskbar in start menu, no weird out of place titlebar either).

I do know off several people still being on Windows 8, because they have no clue how to update.

Cosmocronos said,

Maybe because MS added the Store icon to the Taskbar to add visibility to it?

Doing that has more to do with selling more apps etc than people who don't know about getting 8.1 IMO.

They're able to prompt users, heck they should do it again, Windows 8.x has it's own version of UAC prompts, don't know if you've seen them but probably. There's no way people wouldn't notice this, with a link to get 8.1 and so on.

@shadowzz
If you knew anything about Win 8 and it's update to 8.1, the update to 8.1 requires that Windows have the required monthly updates installed. For Windows 8.1 to even show up in the Store or by getting prompted requires two specific Windows updates be installed. I can't recall what kb #'s those were but they are required. If people aren't getting prompted to update to 8.1, then either they have a illegal copy installed or they have not been installing the windows updates.

Edited by Gergel7077, Jun 2 2014, 3:40pm :

George P said,

I don't believe that for one bit, case in point, when 8.1 was officially out I got a nice big full screen prompt that a new update to Windows was out, called 8.1 and that it's free with the option to "go to the store" now and download it. You didn't have to actually open the store and hunt for it.

You assume too much. My mom got that notice (she mentioned it off-hand) but had no idea what to do. She's still on 8.0. As are MOST people who had 8.0 ... I'm not sure what you aren't buying when the simple fact is more than HALF the people who have 8.0 haven't yet upgrade to 8.1 (let alone 8.1 Update 1).

I think the facts clearly prove you wrong.

Gergel7077 said,
@shadowzz
If you knew anything about Win 8 and it's update to 8.1, the update to 8.1 requires that Windows have the required monthly updates installed. For Windows 8.1 to even show up in the Store or by getting prompted requires two specific Windows updates be installed. I can't recall what kb #'s those were but they are required. If people aren't getting prompted to update to 8.1, then either they have a illegal copy installed or they have not been installing the windows updates.

You don't get prompted, thats the thing.
I had Windows 8 fully updated, I just went into Windows update, ran the updater until after a restart it stopped claiming there where necessary updates.
Even the Store tile barely shows it, its more busy promoting other cr*p.
I was looking at the start screen when I noticed I wasn't running 8.1 because of missing features, not because the Store tile was screaming at me to get it.

For me this been default practise to just run WU a few times after restarts until it stops claiming there's any updates and forgot 8.1 came through the store. Just didnt came up to me until I noticed I wasn't running 8.1.
And I know what's different! Still took me 2 days.

MS made a stupid choice on how its pushing 8.1 to the consumers.

Iv`e come accross quite a lot of computers still running 8 purely and simple because the user(s) hasn`t done the update via the store.
At the end of the day can we blame them? We as slightly more techie (allthough i dislike that word) have been telling people for ages just to get updates for the operating system from windows updates and be wary of anything telling you about an `update` if you haven`t gone through the procedure or it`s happened automatically. Now they find out the goalposts have been placed to one side, allthough you have to go to the normal place first!
Seriously, Microsoft should list the update in windows update now with some sort of check mechanism which makes sure that if any potential problems occur a rollback just happens or the install stops and tells the user why.
#notrocketscience :p

Riggers said,
Iv`e come accross quite a lot of computers still running 8 purely and simple because the user(s) hasn`t done the update via the store.
At the end of the day can we blame them? We as slightly more techie (allthough i dislike that word) have been telling people for ages just to get updates for the operating system from windows updates and be wary of anything telling you about an `update` if you haven`t gone through the procedure or it`s happened automatically. Now they find out the goalposts have been placed to one side, allthough you have to go to the normal place first!
Seriously, Microsoft should list the update in windows update now with some sort of check mechanism which makes sure that if any potential problems occur a rollback just happens or the install stops and tells the user why.
#notrocketscience :p

Nothing wrong with being called a techie. We can dissect a computer like others can do with a brain or a car :p

Well, I have to ask, is it a legal copy of Windows 8? Also, is it the Enterprise version of Win 8? There are restrictions in place with the enterprise version. If it's a hacked install on Win 8 (not implying that it is, just speaking generally) then the update will not work.

Gergel7077 said,
Well, I have to ask, is it a legal copy of Windows 8? Also, is it the Enterprise version of Win 8? There are restrictions in place with the enterprise version. If it's a hacked install on Win 8 (not implying that it is, just speaking generally) then the update will not work.

Yup, well I own the 8.1 installation DVD. But since no DVD drive I used an USB stick which had Windows 8. But 2 days is well within the evaluation period :)
Update did work though, asked for my key and I entered it.
I also updated the Windows 8 USB with an 8.1 one :p
Not enterprise, "Windows 8.1 for OEM software". The homesystembuilder one IIRC.

Half of all Windows 8 are not running 8.1 because half of all Windows 8 users don't open the store app or have bypassed (either by habit, or by software) the Start Screen. Ultimately, they're going to have to move 8.1 to Windows Update - or these users will never upgrade.

So sad that Microsoft did such a poor job educating new Windows 8 users of the benefits of the new OS. In Windows 95, there was a tour that showed you how to do the new interface operations. Even the new "right-click" functions. No such thing in Windows 8. Microsoft threw users in the pool blind. THIS is why the OS hasn't caught on as well as it could have -- SHOULD have. It's better in virtually every way -- if you take the time learn the new paradigms.

Gergel7077 said,
What evidence do you have to support your claims?

Purely circumstantial, though logical. There are probably a few users who open the store and see the big 8.1 free update tile and still don't open it. But I believe there are very few who would deliberately skip this.

As for the other "claims", they are based on the experiences of my clients who have been shown how to use the OS and who universally have enjoyed Windows 8 and seen the benefits (to say nothing of the speed). This is in contrast with folks I've worked with after having gotten Windows 8 on their own or through other means. I've been able to convert them as well after showing them how things work.

Forjo said,

Purely circumstantial, though logical. There are probably a few users who open the store and see the big 8.1 free update tile and still don't open it. But I believe there are very few who would deliberately skip this.

As for the other "claims", they are based on the experiences of my clients who have been shown how to use the OS and who universally have enjoyed Windows 8 and seen the benefits (to say nothing of the speed). This is in contrast with folks I've worked with after having gotten Windows 8 on their own or through other means. I've been able to convert them as well after showing them how things work.


Well I find some of your claims suspect. And the reason why that is is that, even if you say you speak to your clients, the fact remains that it's a very small fraction of a percent compared to the larger world population. A fraction of a percent that your clients represent does not speak for the world.

Also, if you were a true user of Win 8, you get periodic prompts both on the desktop and from the Modern UI prompting\alerting you that the update exists. You don't necessarily need to go the Store to know the update exists.
You assertions are highly suspect from my point of view.

Gergel7077 said,

Well I find some of your claims suspect. And the reason why that is is that, even if you say you speak to your clients, the fact remains that it's a very small fraction of a percent compared to the larger world population. A fraction of a percent that your clients represent does not speak for the world.

Also, if you were a true user of Win 8, you get periodic prompts both on the desktop and from the Modern UI prompting\alerting you that the update exists. You don't necessarily need to go the Store to know the update exists.
You assertions are highly suspect from my point of view.

First, I don't need sources for an opinion. But I think it's telling that almost without exception those people I talk to who were left to fend for themselves either have problems with or find themselves "dealing" with Windows 8; while those who are guided in how to customize it have all liked it.

As I said, circumstantial. But it's also true that the VAST majority of people have not been introduced to Windows 8 by a professional. It's also true that MANY people have learned about Windows 8 through the negativity of the tech media and word of mouth long before trying it themselves or being shown it's benefits.

I'm not trying to win a debate here. If you need sources to formulate your beliefs then good for you. But I BELIEVE that Windows could and SHOULD have been far more successful -- and that it's Microsoft lack of user training that has caused this as opposed to perceived design issues.

As for being a true user of Windows 8, whatever that means, I guess I'm not. I've been on 8.1 since it shipped. But my son's laptop hasn't been updated yet -- I just haven't gotten to it. And I've never seen any message on his Start Screen or his desktop about 8.1. And no client has ever called me asking "what do I do about this Windows 8.1 upgrade prompt?". Does it exist? I'll take your word for it. But a screenshot would be nice.

I don't get the "people stick with XP because of piracy" bit personally.. it's not terribly hard to get an illegal copy of 7 or 8 running either. Click click done. Not that I advocate that mind you.

That said, if they haven't upgraded by now, probably never will.

We covered an earlier story in which the Chinese government said they wouldn't move off Windows XP because they are afraid of vulnerabilities and spying/backdoors on later versions :p That probably accounts for a lot of licenses across the whole country.

Steven P. said,
We covered an earlier story in which the Chinese government said they wouldn't move off Windows XP because they are afraid of vulnerabilities and spying/backdoors on later versions :p That probably accounts for a lot of licenses across the whole country.

They're afraid of backdoors, yet cling to an OS that has more holes than Swiss cheese...

Why get an illegal copy of Windows 8, when you can run the evaluation version indefinitely.

I really don't get why people pirate anymore, want Windows for free? This has been possible for a LOOOOOOOOONG time.
Just not full fledged Windows, but all your programs, services and shabadoos work perfectly fine.