THE POPULAR Microsoft operating system that refuses to die, Windows XP, has seen a rise in popularity for the second month running.
Last month, the 12-year old operating system accounted for 29.53 percent of the market, up 0.23 percent from January. On one hand, it's up only a fraction of a percent, but on the other Microsoft, which has been trying every trick in the book to lure or scare users away from Windows XP, is going to be disappointed that once again attention has been drawn away from Windows 8, which continues to underperform, despite gaining slightly, stepping out of the shadow of Vista at 0.68 percent market share.
Microsoft apparently has yet to decide what its next move will be. The end of life decision will of course stand, leaving 29.53 percent of users at risk of malware infection but in most cases steadfastly refusing to make the change, even to the successful Windows 7, which holds steady at 47.31 percent market share.
Speculation is mounting that Microsoft will attempt to repackage Windows 8.1 as a free app with optional paid upgrades under the "Windows 8.1 with Bing" banner, but so far the company has refused to comment.
Meanwhile, in the web browser market, Microsoft's Internet Explorer continues to be top dog with 58.19 percent of the market across all versions, a slight dip from last month that reflected a gain for Firefox to 17.68 percent of the market, with Chrome slightly behind at 16.84 percent market share.
Overall, however, these figures show changes from previous months, suggesting that as sales of PCs continue to dwindle, Microsoft's operating systems and web browsers will continue to shrink in proportional ratios. Unless, of course, they don't. µ