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

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.)
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor

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.

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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.

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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. 

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