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Microsoft Windows 8 market share passes Windows Vista

Battle of the unloved operating systems
Mon Jul 01 2013, 16:18
Windows 8.1 Start screen

WEB ANALYTICS FIRM Netmarketshare claims that Microsoft's Windows 8 has overtaken Windows Vista in desktop operating system market share.

Microsoft's Windows 8 has had a frosty reception but that is nothing compared to the negative reaction Windows Vista encountered, making it one of Microsoft's most unpopular products. Now Netmarketshare's figures show that Windows 8, despite its marmite interface, has overtaken Windows Vista with 5.1 percent market share.

Netmarketshare's figures show that Microsoft's Windows 7 and Windows XP are first and second with 44 percent and 37 percent market share, respectively. The firm's figures are not surprising given that those two operating systems are without doubt two of the best operating systems put out by Microsoft, though of course best is a relative term.

Microsoft doesn't like to talk about Windows Vista in public but that it remained the third most popular desktop operating system until last month is quite impressive and is perhaps a statement on the firm's ability to get OEMs to ship an operating system regardless of what consumer sentiment is towards it. It also highlights a problem that Microsoft faces with users clinging to older versions of its operating systems, again no matter how bad they are.

Despite Microsoft facing a barrage of criticism for Windows 8 revolving largely around the tiled user interface and lack of a Start button, the underlying operating system doesn't have the serious low-level problems that plagued Windows Vista. Thanks largely to Microsoft and hardware vendors not working on drivers and software early enough that didn't fully support the significantly revamped security and driver model, Windows Vista led to hardware or software simply not working rather than an user interface that seems to be ill considered and half baked, as is the case of Windows 8.

Perhaps equally as surprising given the number of column inches Apple receives, none of its Mac OS X versions surpass Microsoft's Windows Vista in Netmarketshare's figures. Rather, all versions of Apple's Mac OS X combined have less market share than Microsoft's Windows Vista and Windows 8 combined, two of the firm's least popular operating systems. µ

 

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