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Microsoft market share rises, but not thanks to Windows 8

Windows 8

By Stewart Mitchell

Posted on 2 Jan 2013 at 10:45

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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User comments

1.7% compared with what?

How about how this compares to market share of Win 7 after the same length of time? Or even how it compares to the take-up of Vista?

We could go to the source if we want raw data - how about some interpretation?

By halsteadk on 2 Jan 2013

Count my laptop out of the stats ;-)

My new Dell laptop came with Windows 8 as there was no option to downgrade while purchasing. I formatted it and installed Windows 7 as soon as I could.

By AndyChips on 2 Jan 2013


Which is a shame as Windows 8 is Windows 7 along with a fantastic new front end and slimline 'apps'.

By rhythm on 2 Jan 2013


or Windows XP, uptake was very slow, until SP2 came along...

Windows 8 is, supposedly, the fastest selling version of Windows ever, but on the other hand, there are more PCs out there now, so as a percentage it is smaller...

So it is either the best selling version ever or it is gaining no traction, depending on how you bend the figures... :-S

Lies, damned lies and statistics at its finest.

By big_D on 3 Jan 2013

re: 1.7% compared with what?

Well, to give you a really good idea, the market share for Vista at the same time point was around 2.2% Now THAT should tell you something :)

By beep54 on 3 Jan 2013

Count also my laptop out of stats !

I "purchased" Win 8 only because there is no choice when buying a laptop. Fortunately, there are tools available to bypass the "front end" of Win 8...

By SamHagen on 3 Jan 2013


I've run the Technet copy of 8 for a substantial period of time now and I still dislike it with a passion.

I know many of the other posters here laud its speed and slickness, but I just cannot get past its failure to properly integrate the desktop with the "other" interface.

Delve anywhere below the sruface of 8 and your dealing with Cul de Sac navigation and quickly jump between the two styles of window.

Its just un-finished business in my mind and until they get it sorted out, presumably by windows 9 or X if it takes two more releases.

Chances are Mr Balmer will have been dumped by that time and a stronger less accountancy based personality will step in to rescue Micrsoft from the oblivion of the Bean Counter's rapid release cycles and shipping of unfinished goods.

Having now witnessed the reaction to Windows 8 based Christmas presents first hand I can see I will be busier than ever this year helping new user's find their way through this "live beta" called windows 8.

By Gindylow on 3 Jan 2013

Dump Microsoft!

Try LinuxMint, Ubuntu, Zorin, Bodhi. I haven't looked back.

By Col_Panek on 4 Jan 2013


You're kidding, right? :-o
I dumped Windows 8 only after a month of solid and unbiased use. As many have previously and eloquently put it: it's an unfinished OS.
Sure, I miss the improved boot speed but that's about it. Even with a 3rd party Start button it failed to capture my imagination. I'm sure if I used a Surface/HP Envy, etc. it would start to make sense. Until then, no thanks.

By AndyChips on 4 Jan 2013

win 8 vs win 7


By jenkinsdjj on 6 Jan 2013

win 8 vs win 7

I own a top of the range laptop without touchscreen needed for my software development work. I would not think of moving to win 8 with its ugly startup display. I am also not interested in apps and win 7 meets all my needs.

By jenkinsdjj on 6 Jan 2013

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