Windows 8 share remains low, shows modest gains each month

Windows 8 share remains low, shows modest gains each month

Summary: Three months after Windows 8 was made available, its share still remains in the low single-digits, but is rising steadily month on month.


Windows 8's market share remains low, but continues to rise modestly month on month, according to new monthly figures out of trend analytics firm Net Applications.

According to the figures, Windows 8 has only a 2.26 percent share of the desktop operating system market. Windows 7 has, by comparison, just shy of 44.5 percent of the market after being out for more than four years, and is slowly falling each month.

Before you get either disheartened—or gleeful, depending on where your loyalties lie—while Microsoft's share of its latest operating system remains slow by comparison, the share trend shows that it's rapidly increasing. Compared to Windows 7's first few months off of the product line, that's a different story.

By January 2010—granted, a slightly longer time frame as it had been out for three more months—Windows 7 already had an 7.7 percent market share. 

That's a 57 percent increase from November to December, and a 31 percent increase from December to January. On the whole, it shows that Windows 8 is selling relatively well—just perhaps not as well as Windows 7 did off the starting post.

Screen Shot 2013-02-01 at 08.37.24
(Credit: Net Applications)

Does it mean Windows 8 will rocket in January sales? Or, has Windows 8 failed to make much impact on the desktop market, albeit partly due to a rise in post-PC devices? 

Windows 8, at just 2.26 percent, equates to around 60 million licenses—roughly, at least. In just 42 days, Microsoft sold an additional 20 million licenses. It's not bad, but the figures were not broken down by desktop PC versus Surface tablet, and the 60 million figure did not include Enterprise Agreement or volume license sales.

An uptake in mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones, are the most likely cause of the sluggish PC market over the past few quarters. Windows 8 has not yet made any significant impact in its bid to shock the PC manufacturing business into some kind of heartbeat. 

The latest versions of Mac OS X accounted for more than 6.4 percent of the total market share, trouncing Vista's meager 5.24 percent in the market share pie. It falls in line with strong annual sales of Apple's range of Macs, despite recent first-quarter figures showing that Apple sold only 4.1 million Macs, down 1.1 million from the same quarter a year ago.

Despite the much-loathed Windows Vista—now more than six years old—still retains a usage share of 5.24 percent. That is higher than the share of the two most recent OS X versions combined: Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8) and Lion (OS X 10.7) together account for only 4.2 percent of all Web usage in the desktop PC segment.

Topics: Windows, Browser, Operating Systems

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  • Go Windows 8!

    Windows 8 is increasing in popularity steadly then. Not far off the latest Mac OS, and easily seen off Linux / BSD or whatever other nonsense is in 'Other'.

    As Windows 8 becomes more widespread people will get more and more exposed to it, and those put off by the loud but immature Metro hating minority, will come round, once they realise how superior Metro is, and how the haters are the same childish geeks who moaned about the iPad.

    That said Microsoft should have had the courage to make Office 2013 Metro only and permanently abolish the desktop, as well as phasing out Windows 7 support. A bold move such as this would have seen a greater business adoption of 8.
    • Is this Sarcasm?

      If this is sarcasm, it's brilliant! Otherwise, well, ....
      Asok Smith
      • Sigh

        What is sarcastic about it? I happen to like the Metro interface and the direction Windows 8 is going in.
        • Actually…

          Your posting does sound like sarcasm indeed. But since you say you are serious about it then you do sound like a clueless person that has no idea about what the users want from their desktop computers. You must be working in Microsoft’s marketing department…

          Keep dreaming the dream, Windows 8 is a flop…
          • You don't have to be a Microsoft marketer to like Windows 8

            Why do people ways go to thinking it's a conspiracy when someone likes something that another person doesn't like? If he likes it, than he likes it. I like Windows 8 myself. I like the tiles, because it keeps me up-to-date on news and social networking. It obviously can be better, but I don't expect it to be because it's a new direction for a new generation of computing. I think this is just something to blaze a trail for future technology. I'm waiting to see what Windows Blue is like and the newer technology that people will make for it (e.g. gesture control and touch screen).
            Danny Fitzgerald
          • Re: You don't have to be a Microsoft marketer to like Windows 8...

            ...but it helps.
          • He is a user isn't he?

            He is a user isn't he?
            Burger Meister
          • I, too love windows 8

            You are very interesting. Anyone who like Win 8 is clueless as to what users want? What are users a monolithic group with one set of desires and needs? I switched to Windows 8 2 months ago, and it has both sped up my work and made computing fun. I switched from a 1 year old Macbook Pro and am loving my win 8 touch screen laptop. No, I don't have gorilla arms and I'm not exhausted from touching my screen. If I were a betting man, in about a year Mac will come out with a touch screen and then you will praise it.
            And no, I don't work for Microsoft, never have. I have just benefited greatly from their products. I don't think I'm dreaming the dream, I'm enjoying the reality!
          • The only one dreaming is you

            Whilst I am not propagating Microsoft ditching the deskop for metro (they are certainly not idiots), Windows 8 isn't a flop by any stretch of the imagination. I understand you want it to be, but figures do not lie. In a period where pc sales are on a decline, the OS already surpasses 20 year old GNU/Linux and is quickly approaching OSX market share figures in only three months.
          • Windows 8 is better than Windows 7

            and Windows XP. "Better?" well, OK, I get more done and more quickly. It gets out of my way so I can concentrate on my work.
            I don't particularly like the Metro interface (I prefer overlapping windows rather than a split screen), but I like the way i tap the Windows Key and start searching straight away. And I like the way the Task Bar appears on both screens of a dual-screen setup, and the hot corners also appear on both screens.
            It's well thought through, it includes some real innovation that results in real productivity, and it's built for users.
      • I don't know

        But for a moment I was thinking Windows 8 was a football team :)
      • RE: Not Sarcasm

        But the way a a significant portion of Win 8 supporters and more importantly Microsoft management think. If you don't like Metro you are a hater or clueless or both unless you have been paid for your opinion. There are no other possible reasons for disliking it so we will force it and force it upon you until you somehow magically get the forward looking brilliance of the Modern UI. At this point it is as much this attitude as it is the damm design why there is so much consistent push back.
    • Not bad. Not Mike Cox, but not bad.

      One serious point - many mistake ubiquity for popularity. That's an error in logic.
    • It's one of the ugliest piece of garbage

      It's gonna help many users open their eye so they will move to Mac and Linux or get iPad or tablets loaded with Android. RIP Microsoft
      • Sad

        And you are another child who needs to grow up....
        So sad
        • New Toy Fever

          ..and you're obviously financed by "new" hardware. No thanks..
          Robert Cape
      • lol, go back to iCNET where you fanbois run around

        or im going to go there and troll you to death -
        Master Wayne
      • Ha Ha

        Windows 8 did exactly the opposite for me. It caused me to move from Mac to Win 8!
    • why?

      Isn't windows popular enough and has been for decades? You are really hoping for continued monopoly dominance? How could anyone want more of that? For example I like android, but I'd like to see its share level off. Its in a balanced position now, and benefits from competiton from others. Companies should never too get complacent as we've learned from watching MS miss the mobile boat.
    • Buying the latest "toys"..

      In this economy, not many of us non-software-company-financed techies have the money for the latest nearly useless "toys".
      Come on Windows 9, or 10, or 11.. I'll wait until sanity returns to "techieland", or I get desperate for Linux.
      An Old Techie