MICROSOFT'S WINDOWS 7 market share has exceeded 50 percent for the first time.
In one of the most significant months for some time, the figures from Net Applications put the five year old Windows 7 at 50.06 percent, up 0.79 percent from last month's 49.27 percent. Windows 7 growth has slowed, but the fact that it now has only half of the market continues to be an embarrassment for Microsoft as it continues to seek broad adoption of the much-maligned Windows 8.
Windows XP market share is declining slower than should be expected for an operating system that has reached end of life. At 25.27 percent, down just 1.02 percent from last month, users are leaving at a rate that will see it continue to have significant market share for the next 18 months at least. Windows Vista market share remains steady with 2.9 percent, up 0.01 percent.
There is some relief for Microsoft, however, as Windows 8.1 outstripped Windows 8 for the first time, helped by positive reviews of the recent update and the use of Windows Update instead of Microsoft's Windows app store. Windows 8.1 now stands at 6.35 percent, up 0.47 percent, with Windows 8 at 6.29 percent, down 0.07 percent. The combined Windows 8 share stands at 12.64 percent, up 0.4 percent from 12.24 percent last month, meaning that Windows 7 is still growing faster than the firm's latest operating system.
Microsoft recently announced a new fork of Windows 8.1, to be known as Windows 8 with Bing. It will offer the cut-down operating system for a nominal license fee to OEMs to lure them away from Linux and Chrome products, both of which they can use free of charge, significantly reducing the price to the end user. With the growth in Windows 8 being largely attributable to new sales rather than upgrades, this might be the boost that Microsoft's flagging fortunes need.
Elsewhere, Linux has climbed slightly to 1.62 percent, up 0.04 percent, while Mac OS X fell slightly with a combined 7.38 percent across all versions, down 0.25 percent, but with a new version of OS X expected to be announced at WWDC later today, all bets are off as to where that figure will stand next month. µ