Windows 8.x goes into reverse gear -- loses market share as both Windows 7 and XP show growth

wrong way

I’ll be honest, although Windows 8.x losing market share is a shocking state of affairs -- and a new low for an operating system which has struggled since launch -- it’s something that’s been coming for a while. Windows 8 has been dropping share since Windows 8.1 arrived, and Windows 8.1 has been growing at such a glacial pace it was only a matter of time before the losses outweighed the gains, and that’s exactly what happened in June according to NetMarketShare.

In a month where Windows 7 and Windows XP -- the OS that refuses to die -- both gained market share, "new Windows" shifted into reverse gear and began shedding users.


The loss is minimal -- Windows 8 dropped 0.36 percent and Windows 8.1 gained 0.26 percent, so the aggregate is a drop of just 0.1 percent, but even so. Windows 8.x is the only easily obtainable Windows operating system, and it comes pre-installed on pretty much every new PC. Microsoft has made wholesale changes to try and get people interested in the tiled OS, and it’s just not happening.

Let’s not pretend otherwise, a drop in market share of any size -- any amount -- is a disaster for Microsoft’s new OS. You can blame the better weather (for those in the northern hemisphere), you can blame the World Cup (both have an impact on tech sales and use) but that argument doesn’t really hold water as 8.x is the only OS to drop share in June. That said, there is age to take into account. Windows 8.x users are likely to be slightly younger than users of older operating systems (less averse to change), and therefore more likely to switch from a PC to a non-Windows tablet at this time of year.

But even so.

Elsewhere Windows 7 managed to gain just under half a percentage point (0.49 percent) going from 50.06 percent in May to 50.55 percent in June, cementing its position as the fastest growing operating system. Imagine how well it would be doing if it was more readily available.

Windows XP went from 25.27 percent in May to 25.31 percent in June, for a 0.04 percent gain. Yes, it’s a minuscule amount, but again even so. This is a 13 year old discontinued operating system -- folks should be jumping from it like rats leaving a sinking ship, but despite the huge unmissable Windows 8.x lifeboats everywhere, users would appear to be happier to take their chances than leap aboard the new OS, which is crazy.

And while Windows 8.x is lying bleeding on the floor I’m afraid I have to deliver one last kick to the head. In June, Windows Vista -- yes, bloody Vista -- gained 0.5 percent market share. Twice as much as Windows 8.1. Oh dear.

It will be interesting to see how the tiled OS fares next month. Statistical anomaly or downward trend? Place your bets…

Photo Credit: Pieter De Pauw/Shutterstock

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