Windows XP loses over 2% of OS share in September; Windows 8 makes slight gain

Microsoft's quest to reduce the worldwide market share of Windows XP as much as possible before it reaches its support cut date of April 8th, 2014 continues to show results. According to the latest data from Net Applications, Windows XP lost over two percent of its market share in September 2013.

The research firm's newest numbers show Windows XP in second place with 31.41 percent, well below August's numbers of 33.66 percent. In the past two months, Windows XP's share has dipped nearly six percent, which would be unthinkable earlier this year.

Net Applications' data for September shows that Windows 7 is still number one in OS market share with 46.43 percent, up from 45.63 percent in August. Windows 8 is third with 8.02 percent, a gain compared to August's 7.41 percent but not nearly as much as Windows 8 gained from July to August, where it went up over two percentage points.

Windows 8.1, which was made available as a preview version in June by Microsoft, is listed at holding 0.87 percent of the OS market share by Net Applications for September, compared to 0.24 percent in August. Windows 8.1 will officially launch on October 18th.

Source: Net Applications | Image via Net Applications

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Order_66 said,
The failure of windows 8 and 8.1 is now legendary.

It isn't just a failure, it is a non-starter. MS has a turd that won't flush.

A more meaningful statistic would be the amount of increase of Windows-7 use. While percentages of total units sold has some meaning. A more useful meaning would be percentages of various OS in use by businesses. The great divide (consumers/Win-8 vs business/Win-7) still exists and will remain in effect for quite a while.

This is the Internet usage numbers so there's no easy way to tell business vs consumer usage. We're actually considering 8 for business use now that the first update is coming out. We never depend on an initial release of any software.

You have to take these stats with a pinch of salt. There are likely tens of thousands of PCs around the world that never touch the Internet, ever. That doesn't mean to say that they're not on a network where they can pose a security threat.

It's going to be much harder to get *those* PCs, running XP or even earlier OSs, to upgrade to 7 or 8.1 because the refresh in hardware makes it uneconomical.

True.

But it's a similar story with TV ratings - you can only detect a small set of TVs that are in use, but you'd use statistical analysis along with having the detecting equipment spread out in a wide a range of different markets as possible in order to reduce the likelihood that the stats aren't representative.

So obviously net stats don't count every single copy of every OS that is still being used in existence but due to the wide use of connected devices, we can be reasonably sure that the stats are representative.

The browsers you need to support will be based on your firm's own net stats, which may or may not correlate with these overall ones.

For example, your firm might be a tech firm that is aimed at showcasing the latest and greatest, so therefore you don't really have people with Windows XP and IE6/7 or 8 surfing to your sites. Therefore there's clearly no point in supporting these browsers, because even though there's still a lot of XP users out there, they are not going to your site.

Spicoli said,
So MacOS running neck and neck with Vista and Other.

It's a good effort by Apple...after all these decades.

Where's Linux? Is it in the Other category? I'm guessing Other is like...

Windows 95
Windows 98
Windows 2000
Mac OS X 10.5
OS/2 Warp
Other (maybe Linux falls in the Other under Other?)

Are pirated copies of XP accounted for as well ? Is it harder to pirate a copy of Windows XP versus Windows 7/8 ?

Mm, windows 8 is a year old. Weren't they saying they wanted to do windows releases much faster? If they do that then in 10 years there will be many different windows versions out in the wild. Hopefully they stick to a slower release schedule otherwise support will be a nightmare.

Yes,
They need to stick with a slower release schedule as this ISN'T Linux, where you need to upgrade every 6 freaking months!!

I realize MS does this as much for sucking money out of people as they might be doing it for security and improvements, but they DO NOT need to come out with a new OS every other year, as proven by the mighty XP!!

Well XP was revamped from the ground up in service Pack 2. So they did in fact come out with a new XP after 2 years.

cork1958 said,
Yes,
They need to stick with a slower release schedule as this ISN'T Linux, where you need to upgrade every 6 freaking months!!

I realize MS does this as much for sucking money out of people as they might be doing it for security and improvements, but they DO NOT need to come out with a new OS every other year, as proven by the mighty XP!!

Sucking money out of people? Um, Windows 8.1 is a FREE upgrade for those already running Windows 8.

cork1958 said,
Yes,
They need to stick with a slower release schedule as this ISN'T Linux, where you need to upgrade every 6 freaking months!!

For the sake of clarity. Linux doesn't need updating every six months, there's a scale depending on how cutting edge you want to be...

You've got rolling release distros like Arch which stay bleeding edge and can be updated between every couple of days and every couple of weeks.

Theres the likes of Ubuntu that have major updates every six months, but then also have LTS releases that will get a full five years of support.

You've got distros such as Debian which have a much slower turn over and release every couple of years.

Then there's the enterprise distros like Redhat that get a release every 6 months or so, but have extended support spanning over 10 years.

cork1958 said,
Yes,
They need to stick with a slower release schedule as this ISN'T Linux, where you need to upgrade every 6 freaking months!!

I realize MS does this as much for sucking money out of people as they might be doing it for security and improvements, but they DO NOT need to come out with a new OS every other year, as proven by the mighty XP!!

Wrong. Technology moves on at a fast pace - if anything Microsoft should be increasing the rate of updates instead of standing still for ages. XP is a classic example of how not to do it - more than 10 years later and we still have the problem of diehards clinging onto it.

cork1958 said,
Yes,
They need to stick with a slower release schedule as this ISN'T Linux, where you need to upgrade every 6 freaking months!!

I realize MS does this as much for sucking money out of people as they might be doing it for security and improvements, but they DO NOT need to come out with a new OS every other year, as proven by the mighty XP!!

How much money does a free update "suck out of" people?

Dot Matrix said,

Sucking money out of people? Um, Windows 8.1 is a FREE upgrade for those already running Windows 8.


If MS will move to a yearly release W8.2 and the next ones will not be free. It would just not make any sense. The key will be the amount of money each of these yearly release will cost.

testman said,
Over £100 if they don't already have Windows 8.

In which case they would be upgrading from a (minimum) 4 year old OS. Not quite "every year."

There's nothing to complain about here other than for the sake of complaining.

Oh, I'm not complaining. I don't think it's an issue, myself, especially as it's been said time after time after time that most people get a new version of Windows upon a purchase of a PC.

Wow, still such chunk of that pie.

Talk about an OS being too successful...

Yes, it's the right direction, but XP is like Windows 8, Vista, and all OS X versions combined, and more.

No surprise, as the cut off date gets closer more and more businesses will change to either 7 or 8/8.1 and keep getting support.

The slowdown in 8 this time is also no surprise, holidays are coming up and people hold off to buy new stuff. Heck, wouldn't be surprised to see a large pop in 8.1 if they're going to count it separate. With the improvements and the newer hardware at lower prices that will come with 8.1 it should overtake 8.0 soon.

Is not 8.1 market share should be considered as part of Windows 8?
Because, if they are not reported under 8.1 they would have came under Windows 8.

Well if you consider 8.1 then you know where the remainder of the 2% went. Windows 8 in addition to gaining market share from Windows XP also lost some to 8.1

Spicoli said,
It shouldn't separate unless you also break out the service pack levels of all the other releases.

But service pack is not usually reported in browser user-agent string.
8.1 changed NT version so it could be detected.

Spicoli said,
It shouldn't separate unless you also break out the service pack levels of all the other releases.

8.1 is not a service pack. It's a new OS. It installs like a new OS, which a service pack has NEVER done. It changes the kernel version number and replaces every win8 binary with that for 8.1. It dumps old binaries to Windows.old. Again, a service pack never installs like this

Nazmus Shakib Khandaker said,

8.1 is not a service pack. It's a new OS. It installs like a new OS, which a service pack has NEVER done. It changes the kernel version number and replaces every win8 binary with that for 8.1. It dumps old binaries to Windows.old. Again, a service pack never installs like this

This.

The most obvious reason for it being a separate OS is because it installs as a separate OS. If it was a service pack, you'd need Windows 8 installed already - and you don't, so it isn't.

It's much the same as Windows 98 and 98SE - separate OSes.

Simple, really.

sri_tech said,
Is not 8.1 market share should be considered as part of Windows 8?
Because, if they are not reported under 8.1 they would have came under Windows 8.
8.1 wouldn't be reported as it's 1. not out yet and 2. the miniscule amount of people who have installed it from MSDN/TechNet/etc. would barely register right now (even Mac OS X 10.7 only gets 1.66% and that's been installed by millions).

So it's effectively under "Other".

Nazmus Shakib Khandaker said,

8.1 is not a service pack. It's a new OS. It installs like a new OS, which a service pack has NEVER done. It changes the kernel version number and replaces every win8 binary with that for 8.1. It dumps old binaries to Windows.old. Again, a service pack never installs like this

You have to buy a new OS release.

Spicoli said,

You have to buy a new OS release.
You have to buy 8.1 too. It's only free for people who alreasdy have 8... and you still have to install it in a similar manner to every other Windows release.

It's a separate OS.

testman said,
You have to buy 8.1 too. It's only free for people who alreasdy have 8... and you still have to install it in a similar manner to every other Windows release.

It's a separate OS.

Well, yea. That's the same model as the service packs. You can buy install disks with service packs included too. The difference is the financial limiter to the uptake.

But you can't install Service Packs without the OS it's intended for.

Windows 8.1 doesn't require ANY OS to be installed.

It's still a separate OS.

testman said,
But you can't install Service Packs without the OS it's intended for.

Windows 8.1 doesn't require ANY OS to be installed.

It's still a separate OS.

Neither does my XP SP3 install disk I have in the drawer here. All they did was remove SP to make it more consumerized.

By your criteria, Windows 98SE would be a service pack *facepalm*

Windows 8.1 is a full separate OS, in the same way Windows 98SE is a separate OS. It's not a service pack and has never been described by Microsoft as a service pack.

testman said,
By your criteria, Windows 98SE would be a service pack *facepalm*

Windows 8.1 is a full separate OS, in the same way Windows 98SE is a separate OS. It's not a service pack and has never been described by Microsoft as a service pack.

Uhm, where are you coming from? If you're not running 8.1 Preview, you will be able to update via Windows update just like an SP.

If you're running RT 8.1 preview, it updates like a service pack to RTW.

No wonder consumers are confused. So called tech enthusasts getting it wrong.

You're overthinking it.

It installs on a PC regardless of whether you have Windows on it or not, just like any other regular release. Just like any other release, it asks you if you want to keep files, documents and applications depending on what you already have on the system (the install screens are similar to Windows 7 and 8).

It doesn't install like a Service Pack. You can't upgrade from 8.1 Preview to final.

You can only download it via the Windows Store, NOT via Windows Update and ONLY if you have Windows 8 already installed.

You really need to check your information because you've got it spectacularly wrong.

testman said,
....

RT 8.1 does update from preview to final.

The Store update is actually easier than Windows Update, so I'd say, yeah you're right.

8.1 will replace all Win 8 copies for sale. MS release new Windows versions yearly from now on, and i'm sure there will be a Windows 8.2, which will also be a new OS.

It also has more changes than any other Service Pack by miles:

new kernel
new DirectX 11.2 (same as Xbox One)
new Metro API's (over 500 new ones)
new IE
new UI tweaks and features
lock screen slideshow
new Search features
auto updating of Metro apps
new apps
new Store
built in desktop SkyDrive
ability to set a SD card as the default save space for music, pictures, and videos (finally)
beefed up Windows Defender (network behaviour monitoring)
Pervasive Device Encryption (all win 8.1 devices are encrypted by default)
new hardware support: finger print scanners, wi-fi printers, NFC, Miracast wireless display support, broadband tethering, 3D printers and much more.

And loads of other stuff i'm too lazy to mention.

Edited by NoClipMode, Oct 1 2013, 8:21pm :

I'm betting that next months headline on a lot of blogs will be that Windows 8 market share is now decreasing (since users are already moving to 8.1 faster than 8).

It is amazing the lengths some other blogs go to try to portray Windows 8 as a failure.

Sure you could have played this game with Android OS versions and Mac OS X versions all these years, but now blogs can create the perception that Windows 8 is losing users as people update to 8.1.

John Callaham said,
It's separate
Yeah, thanks, we see that. OP was saying he/she thinks it should be considered as Windows 8.