Windows XP PC OS market share drops, but not by much, after support ends

Despite warnings, Windows XP still prevails.

Windows XP is no longer getting any public updates from Microsoft, but the company's decision to stop supporting the over 12 year old operating system doesn't seem to have had a huge effect on its install base, at least so far. Today, the newest stats from Net Applications show that XP is still being used by over a quarter of all PCs worldwide.

The firm, which collects unique visitor stats from tens of thousands of websites to come up with its numbers, released its April 2014 findings this morning. They show Windows XP still claims 26.29 percent of the PC OS market share. That's down from the firm's March numbers, which had XP at 27.69 percent.

It's likely that XP will continue to be used by a large number of PCs worldwide for quite some time, as many businesses and governments will take months to upgrade their systems to Windows 7 or 8/8.1. As we reported a few days ago, the Chinese government is going to be sticking with XP for a long time, claiming that upgrading to Windows 8 is simply too expensive.

Windows 7 is shown in the number one OS spot in Net Applications' figures, as always, with 49.27 percent in April, up from 48.77 percent in March. Windows 8 is third with 6.36 percent in April, down slightly from 6.41 percent in March. Windows 8.1 is fourth with 5.88 percent in April, up from 4.89 percent in March. Combined, Windows 8 and 8.1 claim 12.24 percent, up nearly a full percentage point from 11.3 percent in March.

Source: Net Applications | Image via Net Applications

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Windows REALLY need to do the upgrade version at a steep discount again. Not just for China either... It was something like 40 bucks in the first 4 months after Windows 8's release.

Fact is Windows 8 runs faster on practically every PC that was bought running Vista or 7. Especially with startup/shutdown times.

In those 4 months I upgraded a lot of people to 8. The new start menu takes some getting used to, but with a few pointers how to get to the basics and how to right-click and set it up how you want it, even the most computer illiterate users got to grips with it pretty quick.

But after the discount ended the upgrade version went from $40 to $250, and of course zero upgrades were done after that.

It's almost as if MS isn't actually interested in increasing Win8 market share.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Microsoft needs to make their upgrade experiences FAR less painful if they're going to keep on this increased release cadence.

For starters, they need to be able to upgrade anyone (from Windows 7 on up) to the current version WITHOUT losing all their desktop apps and having to reinstall. Ditto settings and other things. More importantly, upgrades should take as little time as possible, be as error free as possible (I've had a dozen people unable to upgrade to 8.1 for no known reason... it gets to 99% complete, errors out with no specific error message, and rolls back), and as inexpensive as possible.

Upgrades to Windows 9 next year need to be $49 TOPS for anyone upgrading from Windows 7 or higher, and $99 TOPS for anyone doing new installs. Permanently, not as a 'special price'. If they do special pricing, it should be even cheaper (like, say, $29 for the first three months on upgrade, $79 for new installs). AT THE MOST.

They're going to end up in a world of painful fragmentation which developers will hate if they don't make it easier to stay up to date.

Why would anyone stay on Windows 8.0 and avoid upgrading to Windows 8.1? That makes no sense at all. It's free, and an in-place upgrade! And it's WAY better in nearly every way (the photos app is the only step backwards I can think of off the top of my head).

pmbAustin said,
Why would anyone stay on Windows 8.0 and avoid upgrading to Windows 8.1?

They are probably not tech-savvy people who don't even know they are running Windows 8 and haven't been to the Windows Store to see that this is an important upgrade everyone should have automatically. The question should be, "why would MS ALLOW anyone to stay on 8.0"

The last company I worked with never upgraded to 8.1. They didn't have a reason, it was "just a hassle"

Plenty of people not really following the news or they do see 8.1 is out but dont really care well enough to figure out it's quite the hassle to get it.

It took a lot of people 10+ years to figure out how to update Windows. And Microsoft puts it in the store x.x

Ya, the 8.1 update really should have been pushed as a mandatory update via Windows Update. Or at least had a better way to notify users who wanted to download at their own pace.

pmbAustin said,
Why would anyone stay on Windows 8.0 and avoid upgrading to Windows 8.1? That makes no sense at all. It's free, and an in-place upgrade! And it's WAY better in nearly every way (the photos app is the only step backwards I can think of off the top of my head).

I am on Win 8 and not going to update to 8.1 and the I tell you why. Win 8.1 offer nothing new to me than what has been in Win 8 already from desktop point of view. I already use StartisBack and completely avoid metro fad so I don't care boot to desktop mode in Win 8.1 as I already have that functionality. I don't even bother going to start screen so crap app from windows are useless to me or MS supposed enhancement or keyboard friendly avatars there.

I don't like the tighter integration of skydrive in OS and change in file explorer where now all the Doucuments, Music folder shows at the top and there is no way to completely get rid of that. Overall, I don't see the value of updating to win 8.1 anyway.

Auditor said,
I am on Win 8 and not going to update to 8.1 and the I tell you why.

I'm still primarily on 7 but I'll tell you why that's a bad idea. 8.0 drops out of support in two years.. 2023 only applies to the latest version of the updates. It's like staying with Windows 7 without any service packs... not a good idea. Going to quickly wind up where the users who are clinging to XP are at, not a good place to be.
Auditor said,
I don't like the tighter integration of skydrive in OS and change in file explorer where now all the Doucuments, Music folder shows at the top and there is no way to completely get rid of that. Overall, I don't see the value of updating to win 8.1 anyway.

Takes all of a few seconds to change up what folders are displayed in This PC. You can completely disable SkyDrive too if you don't use it. Plus losing out on support, overall I don't see the value of staying with 8.0. Just asking for trouble.

Win8.1 offers a far better desktop/mouse experience... easier access to power options (sleep/shutdown/restart), improved all-apps screen (more sortable, easier to get to), easier start screen customizations, FAR better system-wide search... basically it allows you to get rid of 3rd party crutches like 'start is back', while providing lots of additional value. You're only doing yourself a disservice by allowing yourself to become dependent on crutches and past versions that are no longer being updated.

pmbAustin said,
Win8.1 offers a far better desktop/mouse experience... easier access to power options (sleep/shutdown/restart), improved all-apps screen (more sortable, easier to get to), easier start screen customizations, FAR better system-wide search... basically it allows you to get rid of 3rd party crutches like 'start is back', while providing lots of additional value. You're only doing yourself a disservice by allowing yourself to become dependent on crutches and past versions that are no longer being updated.

Jeez.. what are you talking about. StartisBack is one of the most light weight start menu which is very efficient in removing all the metro garbage. Simply installing this one couple hundred Kb program removes 99% metro annoyance and I don't need to go through so called Win 8.1 enhancement, which is basically nothing but cleaning the mess which MS had created earlier.

It's a crutch. It's holding on to an old and obsolete way, and is preventing you from adapting to the new and better way. You're clearly highly biased and closed-minded here, so nothing I can will convince you, but all you're doing is cementing yourself into the past, and in a few years, you'll be just like those idiots clinging to XP and IE6 are today. Is that really what you want? Things like "startisback" are completely unnecessary.

pmbAustin said,
Things like "startisback" are completely unnecessary.

Eh I get using it, some people prefer the classic way of doing things. (Highly looking forward to the next version of the start menu myself.) Windows is flexible enough to let you change things up like that if you want. But sticking with 8.0 is just a bad idea in general because it'll stop receiving support soon. Install StartIsBack, tweak explorer to hide the new entries in This PC, disable SkyDrive, move on.

Well, from the beginning of the year at 70% XP we're down to 15% and will be at 1% by the end of May. Enterprises are moving, to 7, not 8. Not yet. Probably with Update 2 8 will take off.

where is chrome OS? the alleged amazon best seller which is taking over? oh wait, after years of being in the sub 1%...still sub 1% lol. sorry google.

Indeed, they keep saying that Chorme OS is a blazing success, through since its launch, the Linux groups market share (what it's part of) didn't grow (ok, 0.1%). Weird.

neonspark said,
where is chrome OS? the alleged amazon best seller which is taking over? oh wait, after years of being in the sub 1%...still sub 1% lol. sorry google.

I fully expect Google to toss out Chrome OS in the not to distant future. It's rubbish coupled with overpriced hardware.

Dot Matrix said,

I fully expect Google to toss out Chrome OS in the not to distant future. It's rubbish coupled with overpriced hardware.

The only thing going to be tossed out is Metro from Desktop.

Dot Matrix said,

I fully expect Google to toss out Chrome OS in the not to distant future. It's rubbish coupled with overpriced hardware.

I don't think that Chrome OS is going anywhere soon.

And why should it be tossed, Auditor? (ModernUI, that is.) ModernUI is NOT meant to be a replacement for Win32/Win64, but an alternative - why does the idea of an alternative scare you?

Dot Matrix said,

That's what this article is about, isn't it?

Re-read the article if you are not sure what is it about.

PGHammer said,
And why should it be tossed, Auditor? (ModernUI, that is.) ModernUI is NOT meant to be a replacement for Win32/Win64, but an alternative - why does the idea of an alternative scare you?

I said Modern UI should be removed from Desktop where people don't touch their monitors. Useless alternative remains useless. MS can experiment their phone UI on tablets though rather than messing desktop. They are slowly backpedaling though, so we will see how far market has really teach them.

CJEric said,
baby steps....

funny how windows 7 is still growing

With how slow business moves i'm not that surprised, a good number of them planned upgrades to Windows 7 that they are rolling out still.

I'm much more intrested in the fact that Internet Explorer 6 dropped below 4% for the very first time, now being on 3,73% (-0.42%), a very welcome improvement (IE7, IE8 and IE10 also lost market share, in favor of IE9 and IE11). Through the declise Windows XP made this month is also very nice, I expect it to be more this month! Also, nice to see Windows 8 move up 1% agian. :)

Hussam Al-tayeb said,
Woot! Linux is more than 1% :D

While it's going to get shrugged off as a gag, it'll be interesting to see if that 0.1% market share increase from last month is going to have a lasting effect month-to-month, or if it's just margin-of-error changes. Long term it might show how many people switched from XP to Linux.

Also, year-on-year, Linux shows a trend of +0.2% over the last 3 years or so, an improvement of about 50% between 2010 and 2014. Not that such small jumps mean much in the scope of the Windows and OSX market share, but it does demonstrate an ever increasing rate of Linux adoption over the last few years.

Majesticmerc said,
While it's going to get shrugged off as a gag, it'll be interesting to see if that 0.1% market share increase from last month is going to have a lasting effect month-to-month, or if it's just margin-of-error changes.

Personally I'd say margin of error. It fluctuates up and down a bit, has been doing that for years. Per this source, it was at 1.21% in 4/2013, 1.73% in 12/2013, down again to 1.49% in 2/2014, etc. Hasn't done anything interesting on Steam's OS poll either, etc, usually down. But hey, at least it's on the map.. I prefer BSD Unix, still in the "other" category.