Windows 7 outpacing Windows 8 adoption

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.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor
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.

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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. 

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Desktop top browser share trend
Image: NetMarketshare
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