Windows 8 Market Share Outpaces Vista, but Is Still Far Below Windows 7 and Windows XP

Subject: Editorial, General Tech | July 6, 2013 - 11:33 PM |
Tagged: windows 8, Windows 7, microsoft, desktop market share

A recent report by NetMarketShare indicates that Windows 8 is having a difficult time displacing Microsoft's older operating systems. Of the total market, Windows occupies 91.50% across all existing versions. Windows 7 and Windows XP dominate the Windows market share at 44.37% and 37.17% respectively. Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows 8, is sitting at 5.1%, which barely scratches past Windows Vista at 4.62%. Having more market share than Windows Vista and Windows 98 is good, but it is hardly proving to be as popular as Microsoft hoped for. 

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June 2013 Desktop Operating System Market Share, as measured by NetMarketShare.

Granted, Windows 8 is still a new operating system, whereas XP and Windows 7 have had several years to gain users, be included on multiple generations of OEM machines, and be accepted by the enterprise customers. The free Windows 8.1 update should alleviate some users' concerns and may help bolster its market share as well. However, Windows XP simply will not die and Windows 7 (if talk on the Internet is to be believed, hehe) seems to be good enough for the majority of users, so it is difficult to say when (or if) Microsoft's latest OS will outpace the two existing, and entrenched, Windows operating systems.

YoY, Windows 7 lost 0.33% market share while Windows XP lost 6.44% market share. Meanwhile, Windows 8 has been slowly increasing in market share each quarter since its release. Netmarketshare reported 1.72% market share in December of 2012, and in six months the operating system has grown by 3.38%. There is no direct cause and effect here, but it does suggest that few people are choosing a Windows 8 upgrade path, and that despite the growth, the lost market share for Windows 7 and XP is not solely from people switching to Windows 8, but also some small number of people jumping to alternative operating systems such as Mac OS X and Linux. The historical data is neat, but it is difficult to predict how things will look moving forward. If adoption continues at this pace, it is going to take a long time for Windows 8 to dethrone Microsoft's older Windows XP and Windows 7 operating systems.

How you made the switch to Windows 8 or gotten it on a new machine? Will the Back-to-School shopping season give Windows 8 the adoption rate boost it needs?

July 6, 2013 | 11:54 PM - Posted by djotter

I didn't realise Vista was already so low! I was surprised when I couldn't find Vista drivers for a new PC (on Z87 platform) a family member and I built, but I guess this helps explain it.

The Windows 8 numbers will definitely be held up by new PC sales. You go to a store and try and buy a new PC without Windows 8 on it.

July 7, 2013 | 12:21 AM - Posted by Arc (not verified)

This just in, Windows 8 sucks. I've watched some of my roommates friends try to use the thing and its overly annoying and downright impossible to use.

Windows XP for older systems, windows 7 for newer systems. The end.

August 22, 2013 | 08:34 PM - Posted by Jon (not verified)

They're not very bright are they? It took me about 15 minutes to learn how to zoom around in Windows 8. It can be slighly annoying at times, this is true, but it has a lot of benefits and I discover new stuff frequently that's interesting enough...

August 22, 2013 | 08:34 PM - Posted by Jon (not verified)

They're not very bright are they? It took me about 15 minutes to learn how to zoom around in Windows 8. It can be slighly annoying at times, this is true, but it has a lot of benefits and I discover new stuff frequently that's interesting enough...

May 7, 2014 | 09:14 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

you're not very bright for buying a windows 8, are you?

July 7, 2013 | 02:15 AM - Posted by brucek2 (not verified)

The impression MS has given me of Win8 is that their highest priority is to help build market share for their tablets and phones.

That makes sense for them, but not for me. I already have a non-MS tablet and phone that work fine for me. Similarly I have a Win7 desktop that is my most important productivity machine.

I do not want to switch to a new O/S where I know that every key product decision was be filtered through "what is best to help us grow our new businesses". I am sure that anytime there is a tradeoff between my comfort and productivity as a desktop user, vs. their desire to a promote a new a product line, my utility will come a distant second. And that just doesn't work for me.

Its too bad because there are some under the hood improvements in Win8 I'm interested in. But its not worth subjecting myself to a UI that is inappropriate for the desktop. Yes, yes, I know that if I buy some 3rd party addons and learn some new unintuitive magic corner movements I can *almost* make the tablet UI go away. Except for the system functionality that is only implemented in the tablet UI, which is a minority now but probably increasing over time.

Microsoft needs to show some commitment to desktop productivity users, needs to trumpet it and reflect it in their marketing and advertising, and only then will I possibly start to trust to Win8.

July 7, 2013 | 04:16 AM - Posted by dragosmp (not verified)

bruce, this post pretty much reflects my experience with 8. I have no need for it as it is, though there are many under the hood improvements that I would appreciate on 7. Tablets and phones work very well on non-MS OSes.
The bottom mine from my point of view is that MS compromised the desktop experience in order to gain a foothold in the tablet space, which they won't, at least not soon and not with 8/.1.
Last thing: now that they killed technet I'm curious how do they expect users to try out new OS. It may just be that it is handier to switch to Ubuntu than the future MS OS.

July 7, 2013 | 09:08 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Windows 8 is only gaining in the mostly forced market of new consumer computers, and a very small amount of upgrades[Really NOT an upgrade with TIFKAM]! Enterprises will use their enterprise licenses to immediately reimage their PCs to windows 7. Many windows 8 licenses are coming as upgrade disks that ship with windows 7 installed laptops, these windows 8 disks are destined to become coasters, etc., or take their place in the garbage dump alongside the millions of AOL disks of the past! TIFKAM does not have a place as an OS front end on any full function desktop or laptop, and should be moved to the tablet and phone systems only!

July 7, 2013 | 09:23 AM - Posted by comnut (not verified)

as most people say, win8 is a **mobile touchscreen** GUI that is being forced on people by *totally dumb* computer stores, that just blindly shove the latest OS on their new stuff, and cash their check from MS!!

and MS are being the laziest, just expecting everyone to use it!!

I doubt MS will listen but different types are needed..
- 'business' - win7 GUI please!
- 'fun' - TIFKAM for the youngers, who dont do that much, just like the design....

hey I'll leave it to you to think up more... :P

July 8, 2013 | 02:47 AM - Posted by Tim Verry

heh i had to google "TIFKAM."

I should start using that instead of calling it the 'Windows 8/Modern/Metro/Whatever The Hell It's Called This Week interface :).

July 7, 2013 | 10:49 AM - Posted by AnonymousBob (not verified)

I spit on Windows.

July 7, 2013 | 06:23 PM - Posted by praack

WIndows 8 launched in fall 2012, if you have a touch screen device it is ok!, if not it is a failure.

I am really upset with having people come to me - windows 8 machine in hand- and say- i can't get it to work!- where are my programs? how do i shut it down? my mouse does not work right- or even better- - i don't know what the pointstick is trying to do....

all evidence that it is touch screen tablet os

sure 8.1 is a bit better- but still not desktop or mouse/keyboard orientated

oh and a word for the wise- the normal person does not understand shortcuts, or can remember what the executable is named- so don't start with saying the program menu is useless in the older os.....

July 7, 2013 | 07:26 PM - Posted by scajjr2

I read somewhere a few months ago that almost 2/3rd's of all computer returns since last fall were NOT because of hardware problems but because the owners couldn't figure out Win8. I got a nice refurb'd 17" Win8 laptop for about 40% off the new price and it came looking like new. I run Win8 Pro on my main rig but use Start8 and have disabled all the corner stuff so it acts like Win7.
As others have stated Win8 is really a tablet/phone, touchscreen OS. No desktop user will be reaching across his desk to tap on a 25" touchscreen monitor for everyday home, SOHO or business tasks.


July 7, 2013 | 07:27 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The only reason I have Windows 8 is that I got an Ultrabook that came with it for $450 on Newegg.

I hate Windows 8. It is the most infuriating, uselessly complex, backwards, piece of shit operating system(POSOS) I have ever used.

There is no reason to have the metro menu thing. None of the apps that are in it work well. It's UI also looks like a dog's anus compared to 7.

It should ONLY be used for tablets. It is not an OS for "normal" computer platforms like desktops or laptops(even my Ultrabook sucks because of it).

Microsoft can kiss my ass for making this piece of garbage, and then justifying it after the fact, saying they're so far ahead of the trends(like that BS about the XboxOne being so far ahead with its privacy invasion DRM and constantly listening to your voice Kinect).

I think the only people who got Windows 8 are the ones who got screwed into it by buying a laptop with the secure boot nonsense that only lets you install from the restore partition(which is also stupid).

July 29, 2013 | 09:52 PM - Posted by Raffeldt (not verified)

Here, here! After 6 months of trying to keep my wireless nic from going into "Limited" mode and having to re-boot just to have it work for maybe an hour or 2, I gave up and reformatted the hard drive and installed Win7 and after searching for all of the drivers I was able to get my laptop back up and running in less than 12 hrs. Guess what? my wireless NIC hasn't gone into "Limited" Mode once since the downgrade. I purchased Start8 and it worked well until I tried to change the BLINDING white background so I could use my new HD screen for more than 2 hours and managed to just create more problems. After spending more money to get Win8 to work I now have to figure out how to get a valid windows7 key. More $$, I guess we are just a bunch of cows to slaughter and are at the mercy and should be happy to just keep filling Ms coffers cause we have to keep purchasing the same software over and over.

Can anyone say "CLASS ACTION" or "Antitrust" I'll be the 1st in line to sign up!

I had to contact Dell to Get my Office reactivated and then asked about downgrading my windows8 key and they said "Sorry Can't help you" and "Well you need to get used to it because this is the way MS is going", I say BS because if we don't buy it they won't come!

DO NOT PURCHASE WINDOWS 8 unless all you want to do is view pictures, videos and surf the internet one page at a time. If you use a computer as a tool for work like programming industrial devices than its a paper weight.

July 8, 2013 | 04:16 AM - Posted by meganerd

Windows 8 vs AOL

I have Win8 on my laptop because I do get significantly better battery life than Windows 7. I already owned the Stardock Desktop pack, so putting Start 8 (and ModernMix). It is amazing to have resizeable windows again, except that the TIFKAM based apps mostly suck.

Since I don't have touch on my laptop (another effing glossy screen is not what I want) the UI is nearly useless. It also messes with the touchpad (I just want to effing move the cursor, put that god damned charm bar away).

This is really classic Microsoft, solving yesterday's problems. Touch is merely a transitional interface, it just happens to be trendy right now.

July 8, 2013 | 09:20 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The entire Linux user community comes in at 2.11%?

July 8, 2013 | 11:47 AM - Posted by JC (not verified)

You people make me sick. You're the so called enthusiast community and can't figure out how to use Windows 8?

Fuck you all.

I use Windows 8 DAILY. It's the fastest, most stable, and (GASP) most productive Windows I've used to date. Sure there's the MetroUI. I don't use it at all. Big fucking deal it's there. Plug in a mouse and click like you're used to.


July 8, 2013 | 02:32 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Astoterfer or should I say ASStroterfer, No one wants TIFKAM the tablet/phone, interface/Appstore/adware/spyware craptacular UI stapled and scotch taped onto their OS! People just want the windows 7 UI, with the under the hood improvments! No one wants that CPU cycle stealing, M$ closed ecosystem on their third party PCs or Laptops! People buy computers for the computer's ability to serve the user, and not to serve as a constant revenue stream for M$! Windows 7, and Linux after windows 7 EOL, will serve me just fine!

July 8, 2013 | 03:44 PM - Posted by nabokovfan87

You know how you said: "It's the fastest, most stable, and (GASP) most productive Windows I've used to date. Sure there's the MetroUI. I don't use it at all. Big fucking deal it's there. Plug in a mouse and click like you're used to."

That's for windows 8 right? Windows 7 of your comment would be....

"It's the fastest, most stable, and most productive Windows I've used to date. There's no stupid MetroUI. Plug in a mouse and click like you're used to."

Get over yourself man. Just because not everyone digs the new hot stuff doesn't mean they are dumb. Think before you speak. The data speaks for itself.

I love how Mac is barely 6.63% for all three versions combined, but the two latest, linux beats out.

July 8, 2013 | 06:23 PM - Posted by JamesG76 (not verified)

Win 8 haters just act like everyone agrees with them, comments like "there's no stupid MetroUI" in nabokovfan87's post about Win 7. I am a pure mouse/keyboard user, and I like Metro. I know I am wasting my time, but I'll tell you why. Metro provides faster access for keyboard/mouse to launch apps, in Win 7's start menu, you have to click the start button, then you have ten apps you can click in 1 additional click. The rest you have to hit 'all programs' then navigate into their folder, then click their app. That's 4 clicks usually, sometimes more. For Win 8's metro, you get 60 apps in two clicks, click the start screen activation area, then click the app, then you're looking at it on your desktop. Win 8.1 will multiply that 60 apps number by 4 with the smaller tiles available. Getting to all apps is the same number of clicks as getting to Win 7 start menu items that are not pinned. Quantifiably it's better, no not by much, but the argument is that this is anti-mouse/keyboard, when in fact it is (minutely) better for those devices.

Second, Metro Apps. Well, people seem to have the wrong idea about them; "they don't do what desktop apps do, etc." no kidding, just like gadgets in Win 7 did not "do" what desktop apps did, they are different from desktop apps and have different benefits. They happen to work well on a tablet, but like the UI that does not mean they bring no benefit to the desktop. One, they are sandboxed and have their resources strictly controlled. You can go to the Metro store, and download thousands of apps and install and run them, and they will not break, slow down, corrupt, or infect your machine. Try that with apps from the web, even if you manage to never run into a piece of malware which may be unlikely depending on your luck, and you will almost certainly see something get trashed on your system. Granted metro apps can't do what desktop apps do, but some times you're just looking for a little game, or maybe a news app, picture slide show, etc. so why risk the problems from regular apps? Learn to use metro apps benefits, and not try to replace desktop apps with them like you would with the old gadgets and it'll make more sense.

OK, probably too long as it is, so I'll end it here.

July 8, 2013 | 08:42 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

NO, not learn to use TIFKAM, and ruin my workflow, TIFKAM belongs on tablets, and not on Full function PCs/laptops! Regular DESKTOP applications get the work done, and TIFKAM is just a useless interference to people who create, and do actual work on their computers! Windows 7 will be around until 2020 or a little after, and I plan on dual booting windows 7 and linux, and using them both! After windows 7's EOL, well then, I can run windows 7 in a VM and keep it Isolated from the internet, and use it to run legacy code, sandboxed away in its own little VM world! Linux already runs most of the applications that I use, and I think by 2020, Linux will have most if not all major third party software with versions written to run on it! Hopefully ARM server type chips will be running Laptops in the future, and the WINTEL alliance will be history!!!

July 9, 2013 | 07:40 AM - Posted by JamesG76 (not verified)

Same old crap. I point out the number of clicks, and how it's improved with tifkam, and all I get is "it belongs on tablets". Real enlightened reply. At this point, none of the haters cares about facts, they only care about seeing who can pile the most mindless insults against tifkam into their posts.

July 9, 2013 | 09:06 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Not mindless, suppose you are a homeowner, house paid in full, and the company that supplied the control software for your HVAC decided they needed to place a sales kiosk on your front lawn, on your property, just beacuse they supplied the software for the HVAC! Well M$ is squatting on people's third party hardware with TIFKAM, people buy computers from third party OEM's not M$, M$ is a supplier of the OS, but M$ is not the third party OEM, most people who buy third party hardware PCs/laptops, buy the computers to do real work on them, and not just simply consume! M$ has no legal right to take over third party OEM PCs and laptops in this manner! TIFKAM is a blatant attempt by M$, to take over the hardware of the Third party OEMs, and as such is the dictionary definition of a monopoly, trying to force the indenpendent third party laptop OEMs to become de facto M$ divisions! Apple does not do this to any third party laptop/PC OEMs, Apple's closed ecosystem is limited to Apple's own Branded products, so why does M$ think it owns third party PC/laptop OEMs! If M$ wants TIFKAM on its own Branded products, fine, but NOT on my third party OEM laptops or PCs! This is much worse than the Browser wars of the past, and the US Department of Justice, Antitrust Division is not doing its job, by allowing M$ to continue this TIFKAM madness!

July 11, 2013 | 08:36 AM - Posted by JamesG (not verified)

I hope you're joking, because that makes no sense. It's MS' product, they can put any interface they want on it. Crying anti-trust every time MS does something somebody doesn't like shows what a bad law it was to apply to MS. At this point people seemed thoroughly brainwashed so I won't waste my time on anti-trust, but it definitely can not just be arbitrarily used to beat MS over the head just to get whatever UI you want.

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