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Windows 8 market share stalls, XP at record low

Another month of nasty numbers for Microsoft

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Windows XP's demise is finally starting to accelerate, but Windows 7 and not 8 appears to be picking up the slack.

Those are the conclusions we draw from Netmarketshare's latest monthly dump on desktop computer operating system market share.

Here's the company's counts of what's what on the desktop, going back to October 2013.

Oct 2013 Nov 2013 Dec 2013 Jan 14 Feb 14 Mar 14 Apr 14 May 14 June 14 July 14
Win XP 31.24 31.22 28.98 29.23 29.53 27.69 26.29 25.27 25.31 24.82
Win Vista 3.63 3.57 3.61 3.3 3.1 2.99 2.89 2.9 2.95 3.05
Win 7 46.42 46.64 47.52 47.49 47.31 48.77 49.27 50.06 50.55 51.22
Win 8 7.53 6.66 6.89 6.63 6.38 6.41 6.36 6.29 5.93 5.92
Win 8.1 1.72 2.64 3.6 3.95 4.1 4.89 5.88 6.35 6.61 6.56

It's a little easier to grok the trends on display in the data once we turn it into a lovely line graph, as below.

Windows market share july 2014

The mighty power of spreadsheets turns mind-numbing numbers into easier-to-understand lines!

Once gain, let's note that Netmarketshare's methodology isn't perfect and therefore look for a second source of data. Here, in the interests of statistical correctness, is StatCounter's view of the world.

Statcounter OS market share Oct 2013 to July 2014

Statcounter's OS market data for Oct 13 to July 2014. Bigger version here

While the two traffic-counters come up with different numbers, the trend lines are very similar.

That Windows XP has fallen below 25 per cent of the market on Netmarketshare's count, and holds just 15.15 per cent of the market according to StatCounter, is good news for all as it means fewer compromised-immune-system boxes are out there to use as platforms to attack the rest of us.

Yet both surveys show that Windows 8 has failed to launch, with its two versions failing to get to even half of Windows 7's market share.

Whatever Satya Nadella says about OneWindows, unified apps, or productivity being Microsoft's great strength, the fact remains that its most recent major launch failed to capture the planet's imagination. ®

Microsoft likes to point out that hundreds of millions of devices now run Windows 8, but it is clear that plenty of new PC buyers have gone for Windows 7.

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