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Windows 7, XP and even Vista GAIN market share again

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Whatever Microsoft is doing to get punters adopting Windows 8.x isn't working, at least if the latest figures from Netmarketshare showing its older operating systems growing faster than its latest progeny are any guide.

We've now tracked Netmarketshare's data for nine months and as the table below shows, Windows 7 has enjoyed steady growth over that period. Windows XP has also had its moments, as it did between May and June 2014 when it accounted for 0.06 per cent more of the operating systems Netmarketshare detected with its methodology of digging through web server logs.

Oct 2013 Nov 2013 Dec 2013 Jan 2014 Feb 2014 Mar 2014 Apr 2014 May 2014 Jun 2014
Win XP 31.24 31.22 28.98 29.23 29.53 27.69 26.29 25.27 25.31
Win Vista 3.63 3.57 3.61 3.3 3.1 2.99 2.89 X 2.95
Win 7 46.42 46.64 47.52 47.49 47.31 48.77 49.27 50.06 50.55
Win 8 7.53 6.66 6.89 6.63 6.38 6.41 6.36 6.29 5.93
Win 8.1 1.72 2.64 3.6 3.95 4.1 4.89 5.88 6.35 6.61

Even Windows Vista managed to grow by market share over the last couple of months.

Netmarketshare's numbers aren't far off those from rival analyst Statcounter, which reports Windows 7 with 55.02 per cent of the desktop market in June, ahead of XP's 16.29 per cent, Windows 8 on 7.57 per cent, Windows 8.1 on 6.7 per cent and Vista at 3.38 per cent.

Statcounter's trends for the same nine months we've looked at on Netmarketshare tell a similar story, as the graphs below show.

Statcounter desktop market share data October 2013 to June 2014

Desktop operating system market share Oct 2013-June 2014
Source:Statcounter

Desktop operating system market share Oct 2013-June 2014

Desktop operating system market share Oct 2013-June 2014
Source: Netmarketshare

Both sets of numbers show that lots of users are perfectly content with Windows 7, either on new PCs or old machines. Windows 8.x remains a hard sell with even the millions of new PCs reaching the market each month not giving it much of a boost. Just why XP isn't dropping off a cliff is hard to explain, other than the worn argument that in some parts of the world they just can't be bothered moving. ®

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