Windows 7 outpacing Windows 8 adoption

Windows 7 outpacing Windows 8 adoption

Summary: Windows 7 generated more growth in share in the past month than Windows 8, amid warnings on continued poor PC sales and a weak "back to school" season during the third quarter.

TOPICS: Microsoft
Windows 8 adoption coming along slowly-slowly (Image: CNET)

Latest NetMarketshare figures suggest Windows 7 is outpacing Windows 8's adoption, despite a rapid reduction in Windows XP usage over the past quarter.

Over the past month, Windows 8's share has increased by 0.61 percentage points, rising to 8.02 percent of the total share. Whereas, on the other hand, Windows 7's share increased by 0.8 percentage points, rising to 46.3 percent of the market. 

To put this into context, Apple's latest desktop operating system OS X 10.8 operating system grew by 0.27 percentage points to a mere 3.7 percent of the overall share. But this figure accounts for just shy of half of Windows 8's overall growth for August.

Meanwhile, Windows XP, which is set to lose Microsoft support for patches and updates in April 2014, lost a hearty chunk of share, dipping 2.25 percentage points to 31.4 percent of the overall market.

It comes at a time when Intel, as the dominant chipmaker in the PC market, may struggle in its second-half earnings, according to Sterne Agee analyst Vijay Rakesh. He warned in a note to analysts on Monday that "back to school PC demand has been virtually absent," which typically drums up mid-year sales of PCs and other devices ahead of the lucrative December holiday sales period. A drop in PC sales for the quarter will no doubt have a negative impact on the software platform market.

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 07.07.01
Desktop top operating system share trend (Image: NetMarketshare)

NetMarketshare figures are generated from analyzing the desktop and mobile device versions of a global installed base of nearly 1.5 billion PCs. A single percentage point change represents many millions of devices.

A change to the analytics firm's formula for measuring usage took effect in or around July, in which the firm began deducting hidden pages from its usage share statistics. This affected Windows XP's figures in particular over recent months, which saw a near-5 percent drop in usage share over August. However, the sudden drop in Windows XP's usage was more likely attributable to the fact the aging operating system cannot run latest versions of Internet Explorer, which would have lowered the overall hidden page impact.

With browsers in mind, Internet Explorer remains the most dominant browser on the market, with a near-equal split between Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) with declining share of 21.3 percent, and Internet Explorer 10 (IE10) with a rising 19.5 percent share of the market.

Chrome 29 stands in third place behind the Microsoft browsers with 12.8 percent of the share, just over five weeks after it was first released in mid-late August. Meanwhile, the latest version of Firefox 24 stands at just 2.2 percent, while Firefox 23 remains in the top five browsers with 11.6 percent of the share. 

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 07.09.07
Desktop top browser share trend (Image: NetMarketshare)

Topic: Microsoft

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  • Feedback ignored

    This is what happens when you ignore feedback, as Steven Sinofsky did, and then your marketing is ridiculously bad. Windows 8.1 is better technically. I'm not sure the marketing has gotten any better.
    • Microsoft has a history of putting the wrong interface on the wrong device

      Remember Windows Mobile? It was a phone, but it had a desktop interface. You'd have to use a stylus pen to hit the microscopic icons.

      With Windows 8, it's happened again, but this time the other way 'round. Microsoft put its phone interface on a desktop computer. Again it has failed.

      That's why people are avoiding Windows 8, and using Windows 7 instead.
  • Pre-installed is not an issue

    Net Applications monitors Internet traffic, so their numbers reflect the operating system being used.

    The thing I find interesting is that the Mobile numbers from Net Applications still shows no signs of Windows Phone 8.
    Info Dave
    • Sorry if my post seems out of place

      The entire thread I commented to has been deleted.

      Pathetic ZDNet, truly pathetic.
      Info Dave
    • Back to work

      Also people are back from their summer holidays and using work PCs again...
  • Are you really that IGNORANT???

    Your point is completely vacuous. The point is that of course Windows 8 is still growing and will continue to grow and one day at some point in the somewhat distant future it will be bigger than Windows 7.

    The fact its installed on 90%+ of the laptops means very little in the end. When Windows 7 was the newest operating system it was also installed on 90%+ of the laptops and many many people stuck with XP and dint go to Windows 7 at the time. Now XP is going to lose its support and people are finally migrating to mostly Windows 7 at this point but some also to Windows 8, many of those are through new hardware as well.

    And what does that all add up to? Simple. People are sticking with one brand of Windows or another and one day in the future it will be a lot of Windows 8 and Windows XP will be practically eliminated entirely and Windows 7 will be still around much the way XP still has a good part of the market today.

    I guess your point is supposed to imply exactly the same old droll old story that the ABM crowd has been screaming for years and that is that Windows installed on everything so although everyone hates Windows to death and would gladly move to another brand if there was one or they would gladly install another OS instead of Windows if one was available at a decent price they would quickly do so.

    Yet we have had Macs forever and they cant get more than 9% of the market and there are numerous flavors of Linux for absolutely FREE, yet Linux desktop as a whole remains at about 2% of the market.

    So in the end your point is pointless.
    • The old litany well the wolf is at the door and eating your lunch.

      Tell you self that. That is the head in the sand thinking that did not work for Windows. That kind of thinking is a disease on Microsoft.
      • There's no "putting the head in the sand" going on here.

        Usage of Windows 8 increased by 1.24% between August and September, according to NetMarketShare. The author claims it increased by 0.61. His source is NetMarketShare.

        I trust the source, not the reporter.
    • Aha

      Just like Vista eventually was bigger than XP? ;)
      • Heh

        The sad thing is... Even VISTA is more popular than Windows 8...
    • Eh...

      It will be bigger than Windows 7, when they do the same thing that they are pulling with Windows XP to 7. (Ending support) Until then, it is highly unlikely it will gain much ground considering the absolutely ridiculous interface they use. And if they do, it's because Microsoft terminated selling any windows 7 keys or etc.
    • You seem to be missing the point...

      The number of Windows 8 systems in use today is roughly equal to the number of Windows Vista systems being used today (sad). Even XP today has about 4.5 times more active devices than Windows 8 (even sadder). Considering that, for nearly a year now, its been almost impossible to buy a PC with anything except Win 8, that is saying a lot.

      I firmly believe that Windows 8 will be going the way of Vista (or Windows ME, if you remember that). Sure it will acquire a piece of the market share pie. But, it will never exceed Windows 7, which today, has over 10 times the number of devices running it. At its current rate of increase, it would take Win 8 another 12 years of sales to pass Win 7 numbers! I'm sure before that time passes, MS will once again see the error of their ways, and release a new OS without the crappy touch screen interface.

      I use Windows 7 today, and will continue doing so for as long as decent support for the OS is available - which will continue many years. If support should ever stop, and MS has failed to release a real desktop to replace it, I will switch to Linux before going to Windows 8. I plan on buying a brand new notebook very soon, it will come installed with Windows 7 Ultimate (Sager) - so Win 7 can still be found, but it does cost more.

      I often wondered if the point of releasing Windows 8, was so that MS could continue selling the aging Windows 7 OS at a premium price point. Anyone else notice that Win7 costs more today, than just before Win8 was released? Have you also noticed that MS won't give you a credit for 'downgrading' a Win8 system to Win7?
  • Yep, billegge and Mac-PC Fence Sitter

    Nailed it. No slamming other posters needed eh. Wow, this topic brought out a herd of folks who seem to think disagreeing means being an idiot, liar, or some other of such ilk. Down with Win8!! Dang, I'd have liked to keep XP!
  • Uh huh

    A "desktop" that disappears back into the tablet/phon UI as soon as you actually try to DO anything.
  • Actually

    One can still get a Windows 7 PC from HP, Dell, and Toshiba, Tigerdirect, newegg, and Amazon. Granted there are not as many available as Windows 8 PCs but to say one cannot get a new Windows 7 PC is not true.
    • Sure you can get some BUT...

      did you see the price of them? One word...gouging!! Unless it's a refurbished from some of these companies, with the new models people are being gouged!!
      Arm A. Geddon
    • But Lenovo is doing OK

      Lenovo makes it VERY easy to order a computer with Windows 7 installed. And that explains, in part, why Lenovo has grabbed market share from HP and Dell, who drank the Windows 8 Kool-Aid served by Stevie Ballmer.

      Recent Dell ads received in the mail here either tout Windows 7 or strike an even balance between Windows 8 and Windows 7. Dell is learning the hard way from Lenovo's success.
      • surprised

        that MS didn't say "NOPE we don't sell 7 anymore, take 8 and like it"
    • availability

      Actually, at newegg there are a lot more machines available with Windows 7 than Windows 8. In laptops there are 429 machines listed with Windows 8, 432 with Windows 7, but in desktops they have 526 Windows 7 machines to choose from, and only 326 with Windows 8.
      • Retail wants to sell PC's

        I don't think retail cares if they sell Win 7 PC's or Win 8 PC's. In fact I cannot imagine why Microsoft would care? Are they not basically making the same off a Windows 7 vs Windows 8 PC? Seems to me the smart thing for all PC makers to do, is offered either one as a option. Let the consumer decide.