Windows XP's OS share in October down slightly; Windows 8.1 rises up slowly

With just over five months to go before Windows XP reaches its support cut date of April 8th, 2014, the latest operating system data from Net Applications shows that Microsoft's quest to get people to ditch the 12-year old OS stalled in October.

The research firm's newest numbers show Windows XP in second place with 31.24 percent. which is down just slightly from September's 31.41 percent. That's a big slowdown compared to July and August, where Net Applications showed Windows XP's share dipped nearly six percent in those two months.

In a recent security report, Microsoft claimed that 21 percent of PCs worldwide still had Windows XP installed. Even if Microsoft's percentages differ from Net Applications, the truth is that it is going to take a lot to get the remaining Windows XP holdouts to upgrade to a newer version of Windows before Microsoft pulls the plug on support.

Net Applications' data for October shows that Windows 7 is still number one in OS with 46.42 percent, down slightly from 46.43 percent in September. Windows 8 is third with 7.52 percent, down compared to 8.02 percent in September.

Windows 8.1, which was made available as a preview version in June and officially launched in mid-October, is listed at holding 1.72 percent in October compared to .87 percent in September. Those numbers indicate that there are still a lot of Windows 8 users who have yet to make the change to Windows 8.1. Microsoft has already said support for Windows 8 will end in October 2015 in favor of Windows 8.1.

One other notable data point from Net Applications is the release of OS X 10.9 for Macs. Apple made a big deal of the fact that 10.9, also known as Mavericks, was being released for free and could be used to upgrade Macs that had OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" and higher installed. Yet, Net Application's numbers for October show OS X 10.9 with just 0.84 percent of the OS market, behind 10.6., 10.7 and 10.8. In fact, it is behind Windows 8.1 at this point.

Source: Net Applications | Image via Net Applications

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I think Microsoft shot themselves in the foot with Windows 8 and 8.1.. for what's the point in upgrading when 7 works perfectly OK. If turn all the rubbish running in the background and uninstall all the crapware installed by the PC makers, it runs just as fast as Windows 8 and 8.1.

I get why MS want a uniform interface with metro, but i think its a flawed strategy. I still think MS needs to maintain a solid desktop OS. Keep Metro for tablets and phones.
Although 8.1 fixes alot of the flaws in 8, i think the bad reputation is sticking around.

OS.........Sept.........Oct........Gain/Loss
Win 8.1 0.87 -> 1.72 = +0.85
Win 8.0 8.02 -> 7.53 = -0.49

0.85 - 0.49 = 0.36

So Windows 8 overall gained just 0.36% hardly anything!

Windows 7 gained 0.03% this month. OSX 10.8 gained 0.37% (so more than Win 8).

As people upgrade from WinXP the are going over to Windows 7, MacOSX, Linux, etc as much as up to Win 8.

If things keep on as they are then when WinXP disappears Win 7 will be at 55%+ and Win 8 (.0 & .1) will be at 15%-18%.

Not a good showing for Win 8.

Very happy with Windows 8.1. The performance boosts over Windows 7 make it a worthy upgrade for me, and I make use of some of the Windows Store apps.

But, I'll always have a soft spot for Windows 7, so I use it inside of a VM that's running about 75% of the time.

Windows 7 here. Had Windows 8.1 but switched back to 7 (too much Metro annoyances for my taste, even ClassicShell can't save very much).
Win7 Glass... I missed you. ;-)

PS: I think Windows 8 is the first OS that has a uglier interface than its predecessor (ok, WinXP was uglier than Win2000 too). The stats from the article seem to agree with me.

Such a low market share for windows 8 over a year after it's release has got to be absolutely humiliating for Microsoft.

Order_66 said,
Such a low market share for windows 8 over a year after it's release has got to be absolutely humiliating for Microsoft.
Still mush more than Linux and Mac OS and every other competitor in their whole live have reached.

Not to mention it also comes preinstalled from devices that are sold straight from Redmond, like the Surface and Surface 2.

I think this proves the old adage that no one chooses Windows by choice, but rather because it came preinstalled on the device they purchased.

recursive said,
Not to mention it also comes preinstalled from devices that are sold straight from Redmond, like the Surface and Surface 2.

I think this proves the old adage that no one chooses Windows by choice, but rather because it came preinstalled on the device they purchased.

Right. Because MIcrosoft forced me to buy a Surface.

recursive said,
Not to mention it also comes preinstalled from devices that are sold straight from Redmond, like the Surface and Surface 2.

I think this proves the old adage that no one chooses Windows by choice, but rather because it came preinstalled on the device they purchased.

Remember when netbooks first came out they had Linux installed to keep costs low and were a total flop?

Then they switched to Windows and sales exploded. Try again buddy.

Nope, netbooks were a big hit, Linux was going mainstream, and Microsoft got so desperate to control the explosion they had to revive XP and keep it in zombie mode until 2014. Once all manufacturers switched to XP, the market died and no one remembers them anymore.

recursive said,
Nope, netbooks were a big hit, Linux was going mainstream, and Microsoft got so desperate to control the explosion they had to revive XP and keep it in zombie mode until 2014. Once all manufacturers switched to XP, the market died and no one remembers them anymore.
And the return rate on Linux powered netbooks were high. The original Linux powered devices were largely useless to many.

zoharzenica said,
Do you think Microsoft is going to release Windows 8.2 or perhaps they are done with Windows 8x and move to Windows 9x?

The only info we have is that they're in fact going to release a update to 8.1 next year, more of a service pack this time. And the rumors are that a new version will be in 2015. That could be 8.2 or it could be 8.5 or it could be 9. No one knows yet.

Half the people I know who are on Windows XP have automatic updates turned off. I doubt they would worry about the end of support for XP or care for Windows 8.

Nope. And they wouldn't know what a pirated copy was either. Examples would be the local body shops that use a piece of software for wheel alignment which only works on XP. Or the number of local businesses who use an account package from a company that went out of business 10 years ago. The list goes on..

Lord Method Man said,
Gotta shut everything off to protect their pirated copies eh

Actually many people have to shut it off because it is broken and has been for some time, eating up 99% of the CPU and slowing their system to a crawl.

This is some Dotmatrix logic for you:

Before Windows 8.1 was released, he preached that 8.1 is NOT a service pack

Not that it is released and the stats are coming out: 8 and 8.1 are the same OS and should be combined. WTF dude, make up your mind.

Anyway, with that said, I guess no one wants to really mention that Windows 7 had 46.42% in October, 46.39% in September, and 45.63% in August. Never in Microsoft's existence has an older version of an OS gained market share when a new version was out. Win 8/8.1 are failures plain and simple. Stop deluding yourself and comparing them to Linux, or OSX -- you have to compare Windows to Windows. Win 7 == SUCCESS, Win 8/8.1 == FAILURES

Edited by runningnak3d, Nov 1 2013, 3:17pm :

runningnak3d said,
Anyway, with that said, I guess no one wants to really mention that Windows 7 had 46.42% in October, 46.39% in September, and 45.63% in August. Never in Microsoft's existence has an older version of an OS gained market share when a new version was out.

Windows XP gains market share several times here before Windows 8 was released: http://marketshare.hitslink.co...p;qpnp=24&qptimeframe=M

Windows 7 market share growth was effectively halted in October 2012. Before Windows 8 was released Windows 7 was gaining share at 1%-2% per month. Now you're looking at 2% in an entire year. Wow.

'Windows 8 is third with 7.52 percent, down compared to 8.02 percent in September.' I am not sure if you noticed this sentence but it is really bad for MS and a bit scary. So looks like people are ditching Windows 8 in favor of Windows 8.1 or Windows 7. I don't think Windows 8 will reach over 20% at the same time next year which is pretty much failure on MS part to convince people to go upgrade to it. Your thoughts?

It is same pool of people already in Windows 8, really no gain there. I still consider Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 to be the same operating system. 8.1 doesn't bring enough differences to call it a new OS. It is almost like Market has been settled around Windows.

zoharzenica said,
It is same pool of people already in Windows 8, really no gain there. I still consider Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 to be the same operating system. 8.1 doesn't bring enough differences to call it a new OS. It is almost like Market has been settled around Windows.
It doesn't matter how much or how little there is in 8.1 compared to 8, it still is a new OS, with an installation method that is similar to how you would upgrade from one OS to another (with the small exception of existing Windows 8 users).

By your logic, Windows 98/98SE would be lumped together. They are separate OSes as well.

Spicoli said,
the main reason you would call 8 and 8.1 the same OS is there's no cost barrier to upgrading.

So if Windows 8 hadn't cost anything, it would be the same OS as Windows 7?

zoharzenica said,
'Windows 8 is third with 7.52 percent, down compared to 8.02 percent in September.' I am not sure if you noticed this sentence but it is really bad for MS and a bit scary. So looks like people are ditching Windows 8 in favor of Windows 8.1 or Windows 7. I don't think Windows 8 will reach over 20% at the same time next year which is pretty much failure on MS part to convince people to go upgrade to it. Your thoughts?

Windows 8 went down by 0.49, but Windows 8.1 went up by 0.85. So Windows 8/8.1 had a net gain. Why should that worry MS?

For a lot of people, security upgrades don't mean much. If all they do is light browsing, emails and some candy crush, they don't need anything more than Windows XP and an older computer.

They aren't idiots, they are just mom and pops that for what they do XP is just fine. Obviously after April it won't be safe, but they don't know that.

XP is the only option for people with PC's older than 5 years. Try to install Vista ,7 or 8 on a 1.8 ghz AMD with 512 gigs of ram to see how that works out (hint: not good).

yeah I have a laptop also bought in 2007 that came with Vista. It then went to 7, 8 and now 8.1. Its performance has only gotten better over time.

Cornel said,
XP is the only option for people with PC's older than 5 years. Try to install Vista ,7 or 8 on a 1.8 ghz AMD with 512 gigs of ram to see how that works out (hint: not good).

I have Windows 7 installed on an old Pentium 4 Optiplex and it works just fine.

neonspark said,
so in a less negative headline: windows 8 and 8.1 nearing double digits marketshare a year after launch.

Combined Windows 8/8.1 share is 9.25%, according to NetMarketShare. I like how that's "conveniently" missing from the article.

Dot Matrix said,
Combined Windows 8/8.1 share is 9.25%, according to NetMarketShare. I like how that's "conveniently" missing from the article.

Not bad at all. And I agree, that would have been an interesting fact to state in the article.

Although to be fair, neither is the combined Mac marketshare mentioned (now at 7.73%)

Dot Matrix said,

Combined Windows 8/8.1 share is 9.25%, according to NetMarketShare. I like how that's "conveniently" missing from the article.

Not really - they are separate OSes.

testman said,
Not really - they are separate OSes.

They are, but they're also not. I'd still classify them together like they do any other OS. They don't separate Windows 7 or Windows 7 SP1, so why separate Windows 8?

neonspark said,
so in a less negative headline: windows 8 and 8.1 nearing double digits marketshare a year after launch.

It's still far far behind the success of 7.

Dot Matrix said,
They don't separate Windows 7 or Windows 7 SP1, so why separate Windows 8?

Because 8.1 isn't a service pack. By your logic they should also be grouping all OSX 10.x versions together.

Dot Matrix said,

They are, but they're also not. I'd still classify them together like they do any other OS. They don't separate Windows 7 or Windows 7 SP1, so why separate Windows 8?
Because Windows 7 and 7 SP1 is the same OS. Windows 8 and 8.1 are... separate OSes.

NoClipMode said,

Because 8.1 isn't a service pack. By your logic they should also be grouping all OSX 10.x versions together.

By that logic every Linux OS should be grouped together under "Linux". Oh wait, it is.

ModernMech said,

By that logic every Linux OS should be grouped together under "Linux". Oh wait, it is.

That's because Linux is an extremely small market, and adding 100 0.1% slivers to the graph would be stupid. Linux isn't the central focus of the graph anyway.

ModernMech said,

By that logic every Linux OS should be grouped together under "Linux". Oh wait, it is.

Because it's such a small percentage. And thats not even the same thing as what i said, i was talking about .1 version increases. Nice try though /s

NoClipMode said,

Because it's such a small percentage. And thats not even the same thing as what i said, i was talking about .1 version increases. Nice try though /s

What you're saying is that Windows 8 and 8.1 are distinct OSes and their market share should be considered distinctly... for what purpose I can only imagine. But the "Linux" entry combines hundreds of distinct OSes that just share the same kernel. So you're saying that's fine just because it's a small percentage? That makes no sense.

The point is, if you want to talk about market share you need to talk about it for a reason. The primary reason for talking about Windows 8/8.1 together is because they both share the same metro marketplace and interface. If a developer is deciding to build an application he's not going to say "Well, Windows 8.1 only has 1.72% so I'll skip it." No. He's going to say "Windows 8/8.1 has 9.25% so this sounds like a good idea"

That is the reason you have to consider the two together. It has nothing to do with arbitrary version numbers and whether or not it was paid for or how it was installed. That is all arbitrary nonsense you people are bringing up just to argue.

So the point is that the ideals Microsoft created with Windows 8 are being furthered by Windows 8.1, and that OS is still proliferating, and developers, consumers, and OEMs are taking notice. That's the bottom line.

Astra.Xtreme said,

That's because Linux is an extremely small market, and adding 100 0.1% slivers to the graph would be stupid. Linux isn't the central focus of the graph anyway.

Linux is in the "Other" category after the "Other" is broken out into the slivers.

ModernMech said,

By that logic every Linux OS should be grouped together under "Linux". Oh wait, it is.

Linux is a kernel, so yes it should be. There is just one Linux kernel no matter how many different distributions people build with it. They are all still Linux.

ModernMech said,

What you're saying is that Windows 8 and 8.1 are distinct OSes and their market share should be considered distinctly... for what purpose I can only imagine. But the "Linux" entry combines hundreds of distinct OSes that just share the same kernel. So you're saying that's fine just because it's a small percentage? That makes no sense.

The point is, if you want to talk about market share you need to talk about it for a reason. The primary reason for talking about Windows 8/8.1 together is because they both share the same metro marketplace and interface. If a developer is deciding to build an application he's not going to say "Well, Windows 8.1 only has 1.72% so I'll skip it." No. He's going to say "Windows 8/8.1 has 9.25% so this sounds like a good idea"

That is the reason you have to consider the two together. It has nothing to do with arbitrary version numbers and whether or not it was paid for or how it was installed. That is all arbitrary nonsense you people are bringing up just to argue.

So the point is that the ideals Microsoft created with Windows 8 are being furthered by Windows 8.1, and that OS is still proliferating, and developers, consumers, and OEMs are taking notice. That's the bottom line.

Nah, what you are saying is completely arbitrary. Fact is Windows 8 and 8.1 are separate, it really is as simple as that. Not "ideals", not nothing.

Again, if the "ideals" you speak about means 8 and 8.1 should be lumped together, then 98 and 98SE should be lumped together. It hasn't ever been.