Like it or not, Windows 8 usage rises

Microsoft recently announced 40 million Windows 8 licenses through the end of November 2012. The verdict is not in yet if that is a big, an okay, or disappointing number. It is also not clear what is meant by that. Are the 40 million licenses retail sales or business to business sales? Or both?

We need to look elsewhere for now to evaluate the success of the operating system.


The popular system optimizer for the Windows operating system accumulates anonymous statistics of its user base and presents information about the data on its website.

According to the company, 5.05 percent of all Soluto users work on Windows 8. More than 50 percent of that number work with the operating system on the desktop, about 45 percent on a laptop, and a mere 4 percent on a tablet device.

That's still a big shift when compared to Windows 7 where only 1.6 percent of all users who work with Soluto are using tablets.

What may be interesting from a end-user perspective are the average statistics per user:

  • 3.1 crashes are experienced by Windows 8 users per month, compared to 7.1 crashes by Windows 7 users.
  • Only 1.7 apps become unresponsive per month on Windows 8, compared to 10.9 on Windows 7 and 11.7 on Windows XP.
  • The number of bluescreens per system is 0.28 on Windows 8, 0.33 on Windows 7 and only 0.26 on Windows XP.
  • The applications that crash the most on Windows 8 are Windows Explorer, Facebook Video Chat, Adobe Creative Suite and iTunes. On Windows 7 Google Drive leads the list followed by AMD Fuel, Tuneup Utilities and Mozilla Firefox.


Steam's hardware surveys offer a wealth of information that Valve processes internally. Windows 8 64-bit is listed as the 5th most popular operating system on Steam.

  1. Windows 7 64-bit with 58.58 percent
  2. Windows 7 13.98 percent
  3. Windows XP 32-bit 10.36 percent
  4. Windows Vista 64-bit 4.77 percent
  5. Windows 8 64-bit 4.25 percent

More interesting, that the number increased 2.40 percent for Windows 8 -- the only operating system in the top 5, with the exception of Windows Vista's 0.03 percent, that is increasing. All remaining systems declined.

 Closing Words

Statistics by two popular services are obviously not enough to come to a final conclusion, especially when companies such as Statcounter or NetMarketShare report a lower total market share percentage.

However, this may have something to do with how statistics are generated and updated by the companies.

A higher percentage on Steam and Soluto may also be caused by the nature of the services. Steam is used by gamers, and they are more likely to update their systems than non-gamers due to hardware requirements. Soluto, on the other hand, is a favorite among tech savvy users, which may explain the market share of Windows 8.

Steam's and Soluto's numbers are close, with the total on Steam at 4.69 percent and Soluto's total market share at 5.05 percent.

While Windows 8's market share may increase slower than Windows 7's after launch it is important to note that the operating system released after slow-selling Vista. When Windows 7 came along, a lot of XP users jumped ship and switched directly. Windows 8, on the other hand, is the successor of Microsoft's most popular desktop operating system to date.

What's your take on Windows 8's market share?

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