Windows 8's desktop share grows to 2.6 percent in February

Windows 8's desktop share grows to 2.6 percent in February

Summary: Latest figures from Net Applications shows that Windows 8's market share stands at just 2.67 percent, five months after it was first released. (That's nearly half of Windows Vista's share.)

TOPICS: Windows 8

Windows 8's market share is growing, month on month, just very slowly, according to the latest figures by analytics firm Net Applications. 

The latest data shows that from January's share of 2.26 percent, Microsoft has seen an increase to 2.67 percent, suggesting December holiday sales and the subsequent post-Christmas discounts in January were not as fruitful as the software giant had hoped.

Screen Shot 2013-03-01 at 09.22.05
Windows 8's market share trend (Credit: Net Applications)

With Vista's share standing at 5.17 percent, Windows 8 is now just shy of half that figure. It has, however, overtaken recent versions of Apple's OS X, with OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion standing at 2.61 percent at the start of the month.

Windows 7's share has remained mostly unchanged at around 44 percent for the past six months, while Windows XP continues to decline by about less than a percent month on month. 

Both Windows 7 and Windows 8 were released in October, three years apart, enabling new PC buyers to take advantage of the December holiday season to upgrade their machines with the latest software. In just five months after Windows 7's release in February 2010, Windows 7 had already grabbed a 9 percent share of the desktop operating system market.

Screen Shot 2013-03-01 at 09.22.52
Windows 8's market share (Credit: Net Applications)

Windows 8 is designed for both PCs and tablets, and on both fronts the operating system is facing difficulties from the start. The tablet market is already established and developed, with iPads and Android devices leading the fold. Meanwhile, many enterprises have yet to kick into gear their latest upgrade cycle to the software, or even embrace tablets at work. 

Net Applications' data is collected from its exclusive network of more than 40,000 Web sites out of approximately 160 million unique visits per month. 

Topic: Windows 8

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  • Size of the market?

    We have two data points, 60 million win8 licenses sold, and now we know that equals 2.67% of the total market. One could make some interesting deductions from those two bits of data. Have fun.
    • Not necessarily

      @YaBaby : 60 million Win8 licenses sold does not equal 60 million Win8 installations. Since the chart came from a company called "Net Applications," it's a reasonable to assume that the 2.67% represents the amount of measured traffic from Win8 machines.
      • Proabaly so but even that doesn't tell you much

        We won't know much of anything until enterprise customers have gone through their first year of hardware refreshes.

        Consumers buy during the holidays - which included a "fiscal cliff" and a "sequester" during this holiday season.

        The enterprise tend to buy shortly after the beginning of their fiscal year, which is often in the summer or fall.

        The tale of Windows 8 is still largely untold.
        M Wagner
        • another point of view

          This is another point of view. Quoting;

          'In the month of February, according to Net Applications, Windows 8 gained 0.4% of the desktop market, moving from 2.26 to 2.67%. In comparison, Windows 7 had a market share of over 9% after four months of public availability. A growth rate of 0.4% is absolutely horrendous, and — if we assume that PCs are replaced every five years — actually below the natural attrition/replacement rate. If growth of 0.4% wasn’t bad enough, it’s also worth pointing out that it’s down from 0.5% in January — yes, Windows 8 adoption is slowing down.'
          Marco nn
          • Win7 gained because of Vista

            Win 7 had a good growth due to the fact that people wanted to jump to a stable ship and leaving in hoards from Vista to Windows 7. MS would have gained more market share had they not bad mouthed XP (for security) and the users were frustrated with Vista. These two groups helped shift to Windows 7 at a much faster rate. So lets not expect such miracle from Win 7 to Win 8, especially when Win 8 seems to be going Vista way unlike windows 7.
          • Hoards were never running Vista

            The vast majority of upgrades to Windows 7 came from XP, not Vista. Thanks to horrible word-of-mouth, Vista didn't sell well enough to make much of a difference. Yes, everyone running Vista jumped to Windows 7, but that wasn't very many people to begin with. Windows 8 seems exactly like Vista in that nobody's buying it who isn't forced into buying it.
        • Not In Win8's Favor

          When you look at Win8 it doesn't look good. Because Win8 requires a new interface and new ways of doing things training of staff will be important. That's money enterprises have to shell out that they otherwise wouldn't if they just stuck with Win7.

          Also, Win8 is optimized for touch, not mouse and keyboard. Many enterprises will be tempted to upgrade their hardware to touch screens which will, again, cost a lot more money than it would have if they simply kept Win7. Given these facts, there's little incentive for enterprise to adopt Win8 other than the fact that it boots up quicker.
          • Enterprise licensing lets them keep installing Win7

            There has to be a good reason to move to Win8. There isn't! Enterprise customers have bulk/site licensing, and they aren't going to retrain or upgrade their equipment unless they will also issue their employees Surface devices, or otherwise have a reason to shift to a new UI. Last news we heard was that most of the top 100 companies in the US were experimenting with iPad or some tablet device for their employees/workers. So some of them may be shedding PCs, and thus not care to buy anymore microsoft desktop OSes.

            I'm waiting for some "news" from Microsoft letting everyone know that at least one large customer has moved to Windows 8. For that to happen, Microsoft will have to give them the licenses, not sell them. With the shortfall in sales, to date, I am guessing nothing amazing will happen in the short term. If windows 8 makes Microsoft any money, at all, it will be because someone else writes a great app that everyone wants, and locks it into Windows-8. I would guess that wouldn't happen either.
      • WRONG, netmarketshare is for one hit and run , not the real usage

        for the real usage you have to wait for statcounter
      • You'll be right and wrong.

        Given that we all know XP, Win7 was pirated heavily; and we all know folk with cracked win8 we can deduce that 60 million licences, will mean at least 120 million installations. Hands up... I tried hooky win8 before I bought the upgrade as £25 was a good price point, It's fast to boot; it runs great; and it may have a learning curve but it's nowhere near the learning curve of moving to OSX. I use Win XP and OSX in work (rarely) and there's no way anyone can tell me it's an easy transition.

        Some don't like the tiles.. just go back to desktop. I'm loving it and it's another step down the road to ring-fenced apps in my opinion, and the merging of touch and type interfaces etc. A marriage made in heaven so far.
        • Re: Win7 was pirated heavily; and we all know folk with

          Seems unlikely; Windows Genuine Advantage would have put a stop to that. Otherwise Microsoft would have given up on that, wouldn't it?
        • OSX Learning Curve?

          I just bought my first iMac ever and there's an extremely small learning curve compared to Win8. Your post just boggles the mind. For Win8, to close an app you have to swipe down and to the right, to shut down the computer you have to go into the Charms bars' Settings, then power menu. I had to look these things up because there's nothing in that OS that tells you that swiping down and to the right will close an app and no operating system in the history of mankind considers the shutdown of the computer to be a "Setting".

          In OSX to close an app you click on the red circle. I figured that out on my own by trial and error and figured red would close the app anyways because it's not something you would want to click on accidentally. I actually did have to look up how to shut down my iMac but at least it's not in some "Settings" menu where you have 4 or 5 clicks to go through, rather 2 clicks, one click on the Apple logo and the other click to Shutdown, done.

          If you needed help with opening apps on the dock then you really need help cause that's about as self explanatory as self explanatory can be.
          • Looks like you haven't figured out OSX either

            Great story, Bro.

            Except you don't know how to use OSX either.

            Pressing the red button DOES NOT close the program on a Mac. It only closes the active window for that program. And this applies even if you only have one window open.

            If you look at the dock you will see that the program still has the spotlight on its icon. It's still running and sucking down memory.

            To actually close the program you either have to right click the icon in the dock and select quit (assuming you have figured out how to right click,) or go to the menu bar at the top and click File, Quit.

            And in Windows 8, you don't swipe right and down to close a program. In Metro, you drag the program down to the bottom of the screen. On the desktop, you click on the X on the Window. The same as it has always been since the 80s.

            Guess neither OS is intuitive...
          • I Just Figured That Out

            I just learned that but it's not a big deal. OSX is still more intuitive to use compared to Win8. Most of the apps you click on are on the dock and you click on Launchpad to see other apps. There's nothing in OSX that makes you totally shake your head and say "What the f***??" Unlike Win8 which is full of processes like that.
          • NO, you're wrong also...

            FYI, Stark... you click on the name of the program (i.e., Safari or Mail, etc.) which appears in between the Apple logo and the File menu. If you're going to criticize others (especially a new guy on a Mac), at least get it right. So to control a program's running or hidden state, you merely click on it's name on the menu. Pretty intuitive, I'd say...
        • By that logic, the Linux 2% market

          actually means 40% user base --- after all, zero cost....
        • Windows 8 installations

          There were 60 million licenses sold to manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. Manufacturers are forced to buy large chunks of licenses in advance to cover their planned factory production runs. Distributors have to buy large quantities in order to get better pricing. The same goes for retailers. So, that 60 million number has very little to do with actual installations. It's how many have been pumped "into the channel." These numbers reflect the fact that few people are actually running Windows 8 every day.

          The low usage rate, combined with the 60 million license number, implies the channel is stuffed with licenses that nobody is actually buying. It also implies that many are buying Windows 8 desktops and immediately removing Windows 8 to replace it with site-licensed Windows 7 installs. Once all of the existing site licenses for Windows 7 expire, we'll start to see the "real" adoption rate, and that moment may just kill the Windows desktop industry.
    • Plus, the comparison to Vista is so sad

      People who were using Vista were quick to switch to Windows 7, yet it still hasn't passed Vista in installed base. What is more telling is that about 15 times as many people still use Windows XP versus Windows 8. Even more than that are sticking with Windows 7. The interface on Windows 8 has killed any interest I had in continuing to use Windows past version 7. I'm looking at other options for the long term and purchased extra Win 7 copies for computers I build in the next couple years. Microsoft loses.
      • Microsoft loses?

        You've bought extra copies of Windows 7, they win.
        • You're a sad individual.

          As a user of both OS I can see both sides. I'm more than happy with Win8. The nirvana might be Win 8 on an airbook but hey, Apple don't see a need for touch on a laptop so that aint gonna happen (till later in the year at least). You should try Win8; I doubt you've touched it though.

          In my support role I get far more hassle with Macs than MS by the way; way more user error too. That tells me lots about 'ease of use', and 'emperors new clothes'.