Windows 8 grabs more market share, but so do older versions

Windows 8 keeps clawing its way up the market share charts, but not at the expense of Windows 7 or Windows XP.

According to Netmarketshare, Windows 8’s market share now stands at 5.4 percent, up 0.3 percent from a month ago when it finally surpassed Windows Vista. Once again, Vista’s market share declined last month, this time by about 0.38 percent, to a total of 4.24 percent.

Meanwhile, Windows 7 and Windows XP are holding strong. In fact, Windows 7’s market share increased last month by 0.12 percent, and Windows XP saw a 0.02 percent bump in market share despite the looming end of XP support by Microsoft. Both Windows 7 and XP remain the most widely-used operating systems by far, with 44.49 percent and 37.19 percent of the market, respectively, according to Netmarketshare.

Windows 7 and Windows XP lead in market share over other versions of Microsoft Windows.

In other words, any market share that Windows 8 gained last month appears to be at the expense of Windows Vista.

While it’s not surprising that users are eager to upgrade from the widely-panned operating system, getting people to switch from XP or Windows 7 may be tougher for Microsoft, especially among users who want to stick with a traditional desktop interface.

Windows 8.1 will make some concessions for those users, with the return of the Start button, a boot-to-desktop option, quicker access to advanced desktop functions, and a way to prevent modern-style menus from popping up during desktop use.

But ultimately, Microsoft and PC makers must convince the masses that they need to upgrade their hardware to touch-enabled laptops, hybrids, or desktops. Cheaper touchscreen devices could help on that front, but it’ll likely be a while before the market share needle moves much for Windows XP and Windows 7.

To comment on this article and other PCWorld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon