start_update_51167EBFMicrosoft’s Windows 7 continued its rebound in June, climbing to 50.55 percent of worldwide desktop operating system usage.

And despite its retirement, Windows XP saw a small increase in market share during the month, clawing back up to 25.31 percent of worldwide usage, according to the latest desktop operating system stats from NetMarketShare.

Windows 8.1 also saw a slight increase, to 6.61 percent, but the simultaneous fall in Windows 8.0 usage translated into an overall decline for all Windows 8 versions — slipping a tenth of a percentage point, to 12.54 percent.

Small changes like that may not be as significant in the short run, but the overall trend demonstrates the challenge that continues to face Windows 8 as the Redmond company approaches the two-year anniversary of its release.


As one benchmark, Gregg Keizer of Computerworld reported this week that Windows 8 is actually running a smaller percentage of the world’s computers than the 12.8 percent that the widely panned Windows Vista had achieved at this point in its lifecycle, although Windows 8’s share of overall Windows usage is actually larger than Windows Vista’s was at this point. (The difference is due to Windows’ larger overall worldwide market share in the Vista timeframe.)

Windows 8’s radically different user interface, optimized for tablets, has made some users reluctant to upgrade, although the changes made by the company since then have made things significantly better for traditional desktop PC and notebook users, with more improvements on the way.

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  • cybersaurusrex

    What percentage of market share did Windows 7 have at this stage in its life cycle? Just curious…

    • cybersaurusrex

      I searched the answer myself and, 18 months in, Windows 7 had about 25%+ market share–so about double. Vista actually got as high as 40% market share (just before Windows 7 launched).

      I’d be surprised if Windows 8 reaches 20% before the release of Windows 9 though.

      • Todd Bishop

        Thanks, appreciate the question, and answer! :)

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    • Bobby Edwards

      Two things were very different when 7 came out, new hardware was big time available, the whole 64 bit thing was ramping then, and it fixed the Vista problem. Windows does not have much new in the way of desktop hardware, and is only a next version OS, it is not replacing an OS than many could not use due to hardware driver issues.

  • Stephen Walters

    The increase in XP usage is likely statistical error. Since the article didn’t supply the rate of error in their data gathering process it’s hard to tell why that bump would be there.
    WIndows 7 should have had a much higher adoption rate than it did, and Xp should be a lot lower, but Microsoft made the mistake of waiting too long to release a successor to XP and so people are still trying to wrap their head around the concept that MS replaces OS’s.
    Windows 8 adoption is slow, ad not surprisingly so. The change in the UI was a “not ready for business” change, and since more computers are owned by Business and not home users they really control the growth of numbers. 8.2 or 9 will fix that with the return of the hybrid menu. However, it’s important that people understand that MS is done supporting 12 year old technologies. There will be a “new” os every two to three years going forward. Old OS’s will be made obsolete and have it’s support removed at much faster rate than we’ve seen in the past. Windows 7 will find itself where XP is now in about two years, not 10 years.
    But in my own experience as a programmer, and support person, I’ve found very few things that don’t work “out of the box” on windows 8/8.1, if it worked on windows 7, and I’m sure windows 9 will be the same from what I’ve seen. So business will be able to move forward from 7 to 8 to 9 to 10 much easier than it was able to move from Xp to 8.
    That’s the hope anyway. MS didn’t make a mistake with 8. It accomplished it’s goal. A goal that was simple. Get the computer industry to start making ultra-portable, touch based devices. In this regard it is a huge success regardless of it’s adoption rates. For the future of Microsoft this was more important. Now that computers being made are “touch” aware they can start putting back in things that make business more likely o adopt it.
    If these changes come in 8.2 or 9 is up to Microsoft. I’m hoping that 9 is released ahead of schedule instead of doing 8.2, but I won’t complain if they put in the hybrid start-menu sooner.
    I wonder what excuse people will use once Windows has the new start menu and the ability to run apps in a floating window to avoid updating? Because we all know, not matter what MS does people will complain.

    • rick gregory

      ” MS didn’t make a mistake with 8. It accomplished it’s goal. A goal that was simple. Get the computer industry to start making ultra-portable, touch based devices.”

      *cough*… iPad. Shipped in 2010. Two years before Windows 8.

      As for delayed adoption – isn’t that mostly corporations who either don’t want to lay out new money for licensing (and testing internal apps against a new OS version and training)? I’d be surprised if individuals or small businesses move the needle much and anyway, they tend to upgrade by buying new machines, no?

      • Stephen Walters

        I didn’t make my point very well. The point was for MS to remain competitive in a touch based future (brought on by the popularity of ipads and androids they had to get manufacturers to adopt a “touch based” form factor for the PC. I should have been more specific in my comment. Unlike Apple who could just say “We’re making our device touch based” and Android that could say “Here’s the OS for free, just make something that’s touch based and we don’t care about consistency in UI and application presentation” MS had a big problem. They couldn’t just give away the OS, and they couldn’t just make a “tablet” that wasn’t also a PC. Why? Because it’s not very likely they could beat Apple or “Droids” in that market. So they opted for something Steve Jobs often dd… they made a new market, and a new field of battle. They blurred the lines between PC and Consumption devices. There’s a history in the PC industry of only adopting what’s needed in the moment, and not being very innovative or forward thinking (Unlike Apple). To make the industry change, they had to give them absolutely no choice. All future devices will be touch based. In short they left the manufacturer with “Make this, or you better get use to making Linux computers”
        It is a bit strong armed, and uncharacteristic of MS to look that far ahead. They’re usually very short sighted in decisions.
        As for companies. It’s a toss up. Many companies have a “Run it till it dies” philosophy of computers, and don’t always understand that older, slower equipment has a direct impact on productivity. So for those companies, when it dies they’ll get Windows 7.. and when there’s no Windows 7 they’ll buy 8 or 9. I also have the pleasure of working with divisions within the company I work for that got burned on the XP wait till it dies philosophy and suddenly found themselves without support, without software, and risking a significant ($10k per month or more) loss due to the dead hardware, and worse, incompatible software. Now they’re already testing everything we produce against 8.1 and they’re setting up for beta testing with 9 when it’s available. But we might be the exception to the rule?
        So you make a good point, and it does really depend on the company. As for licensing it really depends on what they did to get their licenses. Two divisions of the company I work for have the Microsoft Assurance Licenses, so they really don’t have a large capital investment to move up. But another division doesn’t, so they have to either buy the Assurance type license (which I think has a new name starting with 8) or buy individual licenses. Of course when 8 was introduced would have been he best time to do that. hey could have licensed each PC for $69, instead of the $140 they have to pay now.
        That’s something that people don’t always think about. Just because you buy the OS, doesn’t mean you have to install it today!.

      • Bobby Edwards

        Did you know that Windows came out on tablets in 2000 or 2001?
        What do you think they gave the developers at build when the introduced Windows 8, those Samsung tablets had been on sale for a long time running Windows 7. What they did not have was slim low priced retail market tablets, that Samsung for example sold for closer to $2000. Most of the windows tablets, were made thick, and bullet proof for industrial use in factories, test centers, field operations, but none were made and marketed to the average guy through a retail outlet.
        Most large companies do not buy the next version of software, they simply get it and install it as a part of software licenses they all use.

        • rick gregory

          Yes, I realize that MS did Tablet PCs then. Saw a few, thought about getting one. But if we’re going to history… Newton.

          In both cases the products were too early and not on target enough to gain acceptance. But that really isn’t my point – I was reacting to the assertion that it was a mark of Win8’s success that the industry built touch screen computing devices by reminding people that in this go around that was done by Apple with the iPad in 2010, not MSFT in 2012 with Win8.

          I really wish Sinofsky hadn’t insisted on one OS for both classes of device but had let Win8 be an improved Win7 for the desktop/non-touch laptop and an extended version of Windows Phone take the tablet/phone tasks. The two use cases are dissimilar in a lot of ways and making people with a (non-touch) desktop deal with the Modern UI was a barrier that didn’t need to be erected.

    • panacheart

      The problem with this analysis, and the assumption that MS wanted to push manufacturers to create low cost thin tablets, is that they did. In fact Samsung and others did go and make tablets, but they used their own OS. The fact is that nobody wants Windows 8, or Windows 8.1. Consumers don’t want it, and manufacturers decided that if MS can’t make an OS (you had one job!), they’ll make their own, or use Google’s.

      To say that as a programmer, you’ve found very few things that don’t work out of the box, ignores why people hate Windows 8. It’s not that it doesn’t work, it’s that the interface sucks horribly. Even after using it on one machine at work for a year we all hate it. A brand new machine with 32 GB of RAM, 6 core CPU etc etc., it’s clunky, annoying and ugly. It’s the child nobody wants to play with. It’s Windows Millenium on steroids.

      It’s not a technical problem, it’s a design problem. MS just didn’t get it. They designed their phone like a desktop PC and their desktop PC like a phone with all those stupid tiles. In both OS categories they got it backwards.

  • Bobby Edwards

    This is not that hard to explain, as they come to grips with the fact that they need to upgrade XP users are shopping, and seeking info on upgrading, hence they are hitting more web sites.
    Windows 7 is up because XP will find that if they go through Windows 7 to get to 8.1 more of their stuff comes with them. When you upgrade to Windows 7 you can keep files and programs, if you go to eight from XP you must reinstall most stuff.
    Since you can now go right to Windows 8.1, it comes installed and is available on disk, why get 8 then need to upgrade.
    8 is lower because those who have it are changing it to 8.1.

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