Windows 8.1 overtakes Windows 8 worldwide, as Windows XP 'refuses to die'

Windows 8.1 overtakes Windows 8 worldwide, as Windows XP 'refuses to die'

Summary: Despite reaching end-of-support this year, Windows XP remains in second place behind Windows 8 and WIndows 8.1.

(Image: Microsoft)

Microsoft staff will likely be raising a glass or two, thanks to the latest available data.

According to new data released by StatCounter on Tuesday, the latest version of Windows 8.1 has overtaken its predecessor Windows 8 for the first time, in terms of internet usage worldwide.

Special Feature

Windows XP and the Future of the Desktop

Windows XP and the Future of the Desktop

Microsoft support for Windows XP officially ended on April 8, 2014. There will be no new security updates, non-security hotfixes, and no free or paid support options for XP. Here are resources from ZDNet and TechRepublic to help you navigate the transition.

The research firm's data shows Windows 8.1 has grown steadily to 7.5 percent in August, passing Windows 8's share of 6.6 percent. In the UK market the software giant's operating system (covering desktops, tablets, and consoles) surpassed its older sibling in April, with the US following a month later in May. 

By comparison, Apple's latest versions of OS X have a combined share of 7.8 percent — a speck compared to Windows' overall reach.

"Following a mixed reaction to Windows 8, perhaps because of its radical new look, Windows 8.1 appears to be winning over users," StatCounter's chief executive Aodhan Cullen said in prepared remarks.

Windows 7 remains the world's global leader in the operating system space, data from the company suggests, with just over 50 percent of the internet usage share.

But StatCounter data should always be taken with a pinch of salt, as ZDNet's Ed Bott previously explained. Compared to the latest Net Applications' data, which is generally considered to be stronger overall data, Windows 8 has a 6.3 percent share, while Windows 8.1 has a 7.1 percent share — totaling 13.4 percent. 

Another nugget from the research shows that Windows XP "refuses to die," in the company's words, standing strong in second-place behind Windows 7 with a share of 12.9 percent. That's in spite of Microsoft ending support for the decade-old operating system earlier this year in April.

Europe holds about 10.6 percent of the share, with the UK holding about half that.

Topics: Windows, Windows 8, Windows XP and the Future of the Desktop

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  • Makes sense

    Windows 8.1 is much better for desktops, XP install is too huge to completely die. I can already foresee Windows 9 taking out both WinXP and Win8. Probably Win7 and Win9 will live on a long time.
    Sean Foley
    • IE11 is the issue

      The problem with updating to 8.1 is it only supports IE11 which still is not certified by a number of enterprise application vendors.
      Buster Friendly
      • No It's Money

        that's the issue; enterprise must be so bad, globally, enterprise doesn't have the cash - let alone the credit - to pay someone to update their software / pay the custom coding shop to update their software / or go to a well-known office parts store and outright buy new software (that's easy)!
        Just sayin'...
        Crashin Chris
      • Not all Windows users are regular IE users

        Personally, I only use it in conjunction with Windows Update. Otherwise, I mostly use Firefox on all platforms (but Lynx is often convenient for quick downloads in a remote terminal session)..
        John L. Ries
    • As long as there is one install still being used

      Zack can say "XP refuses to die". :)
    • There was too much invested in XP

      Some comapnies still relies on legacy systems older than Windows, enterprise moves are slower than regular users and because the amount of money they have to invest in those systems moving forward is troublesome.
      For example a real scenario i got involved with: A company bought some computers that included some Microsoft fingerprint readers for a loan company, the microsoft fingerprint was made by Microsoft in less than a year, but in the next year Vista was launched and those readers were not vista compatible, they're still with those old systems and working fine, i was told that migration will take place in 5 years when the company finds a suitable hardware with a better support; There was also some hp laptops with such fingerprint reader that included an upgrade and they were stuck with a fingerprimt reader that didn't work in the new OS.
      There is a lot of hardware which support was dropped in Vista, and companies do not like to spend money on things that will work only for a while.
  • its all good

    XP @ 12.6 is a substantial drop from where it was and that puts it in 3rd place behind 8x.
    XP is steadily declining but may level off around Vista levels in a dog fight with Other :-)
    • Love to know where that figure comes from

      as it was reported on Betanews a couple of days ago as "Windows XP decreased to 23.89 percent from 24.82 percent."

      No one reporting seems to agree, nor do they report the margin of error - making the claims of any of these figures specious.

      Does anyone wonder who, besides Microsoft, wishing to drive home the idea that it is time to drop XP, wants to see these things reported? As someone who has both moved on to Windows 7 long ago, and still uses XP where appropriate, I find the continued reporting of this VERY annoying.
      • We enbrace the death of XP

        Providing support for the dead OS has been a pain for a very long time.

        Now we are free to ship code that makes use of the many new and enhanced APIs and services that were introduced in Vista.
    • XP is way higher than 13%, the article is misleading

      It only measures INTERNET access, and that randomly over a skewed demographic of users. Since XP is no longer used much on the internet, that doesn't mean it's no longer much used.

      Virtually every hospital, school, most of government, small business and large enterprises like banks, use it daily and often. But not, on the internet.
  • I always get a chuckle at how folks

    have to throw the Apple market share number in there. It's almost as if the only way you can have legitimacy is to compare yourself to Apple.
    • Oh come on...

      "The problem with Vista was that it was released to early with inadequate driver support"??

      Vista was too slow, in general and graphics were massively too slow, it was too intrusive, it had too many versions and it cost too much. Inadequate driver support was the least of Vista's problems
      • Nonsense

        I'm not saying there haven't been improvements since then, but Vista is still a strong contender.

        I assume "too intrusive" refers to UAC prompts. Yeah, they fixed that - by dangerously lowering the default security level in Windows 7 and making it too easily twiddled with by users. Spambot farmers rejoiced!
        • Vista blew

          come on, it did, and we all know it did. Bill Gates even conceded it point blank (look up his thoughts on Vista on Youtube.)

          Windows 7 is an excellent OS, my favourite OS by any vendor, it was what Vista should have been all along.

          But Vista? Awful - benchmarked slower than XP on most tasks, the UAC was ridiculous, half my apps didn't run on it (including, when it launched, no then current version of Visual Studio except the one three versions back, VS 98)... I can't believe there's anyone still defending Vista.
          • Ran slower...

            ...because no one used the nice shiny instruction sets yet, nor had good drivers to improve the performance. Most people bought Vista on P4s, Athlons. A Core 2 Duo with Nvidia GT 8200 isn't exactly killer, but ran Vista (and subsequently 7) excellently. An Athlon? A P4? No way.
      • Vista Drivers...

        The big problem with Vista drivers is the redesigned the driver model. While hardware manufacturers could have supplied new drivers, they decided to make you buy new hardware.

        This was a key reason folks hated Vista. It turned my $600 page scanner into a door stop because HP didn't write Vista drivers for it.

        To this day I still question whether or not Microsoft and hardware vendors colluded.
  • 24.9% completely pirated XP (who new thier were so many thieves)

    If only Microsoft would allow people to pirate Windows 8, then it could be just as popular. Some day, some day. Oh wait, they do now. All you gotta do is use bing and its free. Hmmm, I think its time to use Bing China. Then you can legitimately use Windows without paying! Wouldn't that feel better?
  • Ummm let me ask you something Zack...if you got a raw deal....

    And your stuck with that raw deal and somebody offers you another deal to make the first raw deal you got stuck with more palatable what the hell would you do? You would take it right?
    This is news????? Unbelievable.

    To borrow a term from the medical industry you might call this pallative care. Windows 8 is dead. 8.1 is just making people a bit more comfortable until it is laid to rest for good.
  • Gee, I Guess Its A

    Slow news day.
    Crashin Chris
  • Does Windows 8.1 count as a an Update or a Separate Release....

    I have posed this question before and have never been able to get a concise answer. I believe Windows 8.1 to be no more than an Update in an attempt to address the issues of Windows 8.

    In fact it is a wonder why anyone would want to run Windows 8 at all. The only version of Windows running Internet Explorer 10 by default. If Windows 8.1 is a separate release then the die hard Windows 8 user has got a rough deal not having the option to run Internet Explorer 11.

    The underlying fact though is Windows 8/8.1 pales in to insignificance behind Windows 7 which should speak volumes to Microsoft.