StatCounter: Windows 8 license sales not yet translating into usage

StatCounter: Windows 8 license sales not yet translating into usage

Summary: A month following its retail launch, Windows 8's usage share is trailing behind where Windows 7 was after the same period. Is the faltering PC market to blame, or is it that Windows 8 doesn't have enough to offer?


A new reports suggests Windows 8 Internet usage is trailing behind what Windows 7 achieved, one month after launch.

According to Web metrics firm StatCounter, Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system achieved worldwide Internet usage share of only 1.31 percent by 26 November 2012, compared to the 4.93 percent grabbed by Windows 7 just one month following its launch in 2009.

In the U.S., the data suggests that things are even more subdued, with the new operating system only managing to claw 1.77 percent of Internet usage during the month after its launch, compared to 5.21 percent for Windows 7 following its market debut.

"Microsoft has reported license sales of 40 million for Windows 8, however this has not yet translated into significant usage figures," StatCounter chief executive Aodhan Cullen said. "This may be due to sales to manufacturers rather than to end users so Windows 8 may well get a boost over the December holiday buying season." 

But it's not all bad news. While Windows 8 is lagging behind Windows 7 in actual terms, in relative terms the operating system has more than tripled its usage share over this period, while Windows 7 only doubled its usage in the corresponding period following its launch. 

   Usage share at launch  One month after launch  Relative increase
Windows 7  2.21 percent *  4.93 percent  223 percent
Windows 8  0.38 percent **  1.31percent  345 percent
* October 22, 2009 for Windows 7
** October 26, 2012 for Windows 8

The company also goes on to stress that Windows 8 was launched around the time of the Hurricane Sandy hit the U.S. East Coast, and that this likely affected typical Internet usage at this time.

StatCounter data is based on over 15 billion page views per month (four billion from the U.S.) to the StatCounter network of more than three million websites.

StatCounter isn't the only Web metric firm to suggest that Windows 8 is slower out of the gate than Windows 7 was. Earlier this month, Net Applications released data that corroborated StatCounter's figures. 

The press and pundit reaction to Windows 8 has been mixed. While the new operating system is just as fast as Windows 7, and data suggests that it is far more stable than either Windows 7 and Windows XP, severe doubts have been raised about the new user interface that Microsoft has chosen for it, with usability experts branding it "confusing" and "disappointing" for "both novice and power users."

Combine this with the fact that it is hard to come up with a compelling reason for anyone to upgrade to Windows 8 -- at least just yet -- and we perhaps gain some insight into why adoption might be slower this time around. 

Then there's the problem of a stagnant PC market. Microsoft is reliant on its hardware partners to get its operating systems into the hands of users, and right now, but with sales faltering as the entire industry feels the pressure from tablets and smartphones, Microsoft is turning to the upgrade market to help bolster sales, offering cut-priced deals to lure people to the new platform.

Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Operating Systems

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  • Some were bought for Christmas you know.

    If bought for Christmas, they are not being used right now. They're under the Christmas tree right now, unopened and still in the box. These will be used on Dec 25th. Isn't that what majority of people do on black Friday and Cyber Monday, is buy Christmas gifts? These numbers need to be discusses after the Holiday.
    Don't fear the future
    • Most were bought by no one

      "This may be due to sales to manufacturers rather than to end users."
      • exactly

        These manufacturers don't have many systems on store shelves yet, troll.
        • Is there a way to mute Gregv2k?

          Like really... that guy is annoying...
          Simon Tupper
          • "40 million sold? Don't believe it." - InfoWorld

            "Here's where the numbers don't add up. On Nov. 10, 2009 -- 19 days after Windows 7 went on sale -- Ina Fried reported that "adoption of Windows 7 continues to grow, with the weeks-old operating system accounting for 4 percent of PCs accessing the Web over the past weekend, according to Net Applications."

            Now look at the analogous numbers for Windows 8. For the first few days of this week -- 30 days after Windows 8 reached general availability -- Net Applications reports that Windows 8 has hit a 1.18 percent market share.

            Maybe it's true that Microsoft is selling more copies of Windows 8 than it did Windows 7. But if so, I guess the people who bought Windows 8 aren't as interested in using the Web as their Windows 7 cohorts -- by a factor of four.

            It's all smoke and mirrors. We won't really know much about Windows 8 sales until the hardware figures come in for the holiday season and Microsoft is forced to work through all the deferred income from Windows 7 sales, in February of next year."

          • Stop with inforworld...

            That web site is never right... it's always reporting unverified BS... wait until the quarter is over and read REAL articles... damn I can't believe someone could enjoy having a discussion with you...
            Simon Tupper
          • Windows 8 = PC sales drop 21%

            "Windows 8 launches... and PC sales drop 21 percent. Hmm
            Following the debut of Windows 8, U.S. PC sales dropped by more than a fifth versus sales from a year ago. This is not a promising sign." - Lance Whitney

            "A company spokeswoman took issue with the date range covered in the report since it started with October 21, several days before Windows 8 officially launched. And the report ended with November 17, so it didn't include sales from Black Friday.
            The spokeswoman also pointed out that NPD's report didn't add in Microsoft's retail or online sales, so no data about Surface sales were part of the mix. But as Baker explained, Microsoft doesn't provide those numbers, so the report could not have included them."
          • I installed one of the 3 licensed copies that I bought

            I bought three licenses but I have only installed it on one of my computers so far. The price of $39.99 is awesome to upgrade to PRO (and MCE is free until 1/31/13). I just wanted to test it out on one computer first. Usability wise it was a change but once I got past the learning curve it was really nice. The problem came a few days later when the system started to lock up and eventually wouldn't open at all. The culprit turned out to be an outdated BIOS. I flashed it , re-installed and it has been great ever since. I will be careful about installing these on my other machines and giving the hardware makers additional time to update their BIOS and drivers.
            Burger Meister
      • For someone who claims Windows 8 doesn't matter to them

        you sure do post an awful lot, like someone where it matters greatly to them.

        What's with the fearfest on your part?

        Really just curious, that's all.
        William Farrel
        • For someone who replies to their posts an awful lot

          ... you sure do post a lot, like someone who matters.

          I am not even curious... I don't care.
          • Just curious

            If you're not even curious and don't care, then why did you reply to him?!! And of course HE would post here because the article is about W8 after all.
        • Astute observation

          As someone who's worked in IT for 16 years, upgraded dozens of users to Windows 8 in the last few weeks and will be deploying the OS to hundreds more in the coming months, I think the real truth of the matter is quite clear:

          Windows 8 represents such a radical and thoughtful innovation for computing that fans of companies like Apple, which is doing nothing more than treading water in terms of product innovation, that they feel quite threatened.
          • jasongw

            totally agree with your comments. W8 and WP8 are both changing the face of computing and them on the 'free bee' cheap side of android and the extortion iOS camp realise their products just suck and look so 2008 so out of date!
      • Gregv2k is it you again?

        Haven't I told you to do something pleasant of you life instead of using all of your time on hating Microsoft?

        You should follow my advice :)

        Go outside, take a walk, buy a cake, eat the cake, rent a movie, watch the movie and most importantly.... try to be positive about life because you are probably the most annoying user on Zdnet with SeanConnery007.

        Seriously... do something of your life because if you absolutely need to bash Microsoft to feel good... then your life sucks...

        You know what? Maybe you should try Windows 8 on a tablet. People tend to hate on stuff when they can't admit that it's quite nice... The same type of people that laughed at the iPad and iPhone and now use one... Give it a try!
        Simon Tupper
        • "Windows PC Sales Keep Lagging" - eWeek

          NEWS ANALYSIS: Despite Windows 8’s launch and analysts’ initial hopeful estimates, Windows PC sales are down considerably and computer makers are scrambling to figure out why.

          When Windows 8 launched on Oct. 26, the operating system was expected to dramatically change the state of the PC market. Prior to its launch, PC sales were slumping across the board, and most analysts said it was due mainly to customers holding on to their cash until Microsoft’s new operating system was made available. Post-Windows 8, the analysts said, everything would change.

          But it appears things haven’t actually changed for the PC market. According to new data from research firm NPD, Windows PC sales have fallen 21 percent since the Windows 8 launch. Notebooks are down 24 percent during that period, while desktop sales have dropped 9 percent. The research firm could only reason, based on that data, that Windows 8 isn’t doing enough to jumpstart the PC business, leading many to wonder if the disappointing sales will continue for a much longer time than expected.

          • Breaking news!

            Gregv2k is wasting his time!
            Simon Tupper
          • "The Curious Case of Windows 8 Sales Numbers"

            "When Apple says it’s sold X billion apps we know that’s true because sales go through the App Store and are counted. When Microsoft says it’s sold 4 million copies of Windows 8 in the first few days, or 40 million licenses to date, we have no idea what that means in terms of actual sales. Consumers activate Windows when installing it, so Microsoft will know how many activations it's had, and yet that figure, the one we know to be trustworthy, has yet to be revealed. There’s a lot of talk about how poorly Windows 8 is doing. An activations figure, if decent, would silence the critics. But there’s no sign of it."

          • And again...

            Not a damn clue... can you just wait until the end of the quarter... it would certainly help your social life to leave this forum and stop trolling of stuff you don't even have a clue about...
            Simon Tupper
          • "Three Trends Underlying Apple's iPhone Market Share Surge"


            "Third, Apple is building loyalty among institutions in addition to consumers. In the enterprise market, IDC reports that Apple and Android, combined, will sell more phones into the enterprise market than Research in Motion, for the first this year. And, the split between Apple and Android is interesting. Of the phones that are purchased by employees, 87M are Android and 37M are Apple. But, of the phones supplied by the employer, 15M are Android and 33M are Apple. Corporate IT departments endorse Apple because of its tight security, the productivity apps already available on the iPhone and the ability to customize proprietary apps for the iPhone. As a result, IDC forecasts that the iPhone will become the top-ranking phone purchased by corporations for their employees, with 69M shipments into the enterprise by 2016.

            Conclusion. Kantar’s Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director, predicts that Apple iPhone’s momentum is just beginning..."
          • iPad losing market share / Mac decreasing sales


            "Munster's estimates call for Mac sales to be down 7 percent year over year in the December quarter, which would be 4.8 million total units.

            The NPD figures suggest Mac sales were down 40 percent when compared to September. That's a normal seasonal trend as back-to-school sales end, Munster said."


            "The iPad is showing a decline of 14 percent, the lowest its been since the iPad was introduced two years ago. Samsung, Amazon, and Asus tablets were among the tablet manufacturers that account for that Android increase, with the Google operating system powering over 44 percent of all tablets shipped."