Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: Windows XP and the Future of the Desktop

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

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

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.

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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.

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