SOFTWARE RECYCLER Microsoft's ageing PC operating system (OS) Windows XP has confounded expectations with an increase in market share during January.
The 13 year old OS that has been superseded three times is scheduled to be permanently mothballed in three months, and yet its market share rose 0.25 percent in January, taking its total to more than 29 percent, or almost one in three machines.
There is some joy for Microsoft in these latest figures from Netmarketshare, however, as Windows 8.1 has finally overtaken much maligned Windows Vista, with market shares of 3.9 and 3.3 percent, respectively.
This positions Windows 8.1 as Microsoft's fourth most popular operating system behind Windows 7, Windows XP and Windows 8. The latter is surprising because, with 6.6 percent market share, it remains almost twice as popular as the free Windows 8.1 upgrade that has been available for four months.
Even by combining both Windows 8 editions, there are three times as many users of Windows XP as there are using the latest incarnation.
Windows 7 continues to dominate Windows PCs overwhelmingly with 47.5 percent market share.
The universally negative reaction to Windows 8 has forced Microsoft to rethink its strategy for what was the biggest change to its flagship operating system in over a decade.
Windows 9 is expected to be available as soon as next year and is likely to see Microsoft reverse a lot of the controversial aspects of the Windows 8 user interface changes in the hopes of bucking the ongoing loss of market share that the firm has been suffering for more than a year. µ