Microsoft market share rises, but not thanks to Windows 8

Windows 8

Microsoft reverses decline as users switch to Windows 7

Microsoft has reversed a steady decline in Windows' market share - although not because of any great demand for Windows 8.

Windows has recorded shrinking market share every month since last June but bounced back in December, according to figures from Net Applications, with an overall market share of 91.74% of desktop computers.

However, the figures were not all good news for Microsoft, which saw only small gains for Windows 8.

According to the latest figures, Windows 8 is now running on 1.7% of computers, although the figures for machines bought over the Christmas shopping season will be reflected in next month's figures.

In fact, it was Windows 7's continuing increases that helped the company, with the operating system now accounting for 45% of the world's desktops for the first time. Windows XP fell to 39%, while 5.67% of computers are still running Vista.

Macs made up just over 7% of the installed OSes recorded by the stats company based on 160 million users across 40,000 websites, while Linux counted for 1.19%.

Mobile dominated by Apple

While Microsoft enjoyed a return to form on the desktop, it remains way behind the pack in the world of mobile, where iOS devices dominate the landscape.

Although IDC figures claim that Android leads the smartphone race with a 68% share compared to Apple's 19%, Net Applications data collected from websites shows six out of ten mobile devices actively in use on the web run iOS, with Android devices accounting for 24.6%.

Microsoft's presence in mobile remains negligible, with only 1.05% of users on its OSes.

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