MICROSOFT'S TROUBLED OPERATING SYSTEM Windows 8 has taken another battering in the latest market share figures from Net Applications, with its share declining compared to predecessors Windows 7, Windows Vista and end of life Windows XP, which all saw gains.
The combined totals for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 show a drop of 0.1 percent to 12.54 percent. This is mostly attributible to a decline for Windows 8 to 5.93 percent (-0.36). Windows 8.1 has seen slow growth once again up to 6.61 percent (+0.26), but the lack of parity between the drop in Windows 8 and the rise in Windows 8.1 suggests that the Update 1 service pack for Windows 8.1 has not been enough to lure users away from existing operating systems.
Even more embarrassing, however, is that five previous iterations of Windows have all seen gains this month. Windows 7 retained its position at the top with 50.55 percent (+0.49), taking it solidly over the 50 percent mark it nudged over in May.
Windows XP continues to hold a quarter of the market and actually gained a little ground at 25.31 percent (+0.04), showing that the lack of security updates has done nothing to scare loyal users away.
Even Windows Vista, the company's last commercial and critical disaster has made gains this month for the first time this year, rising to 2.95 percent (+0.05).
Windows NT now stands at 0.14 percent (+0.06) and Windows 2000 at 0.03 percent (+0.02). Windows NT refers to versions of Windows released between 1993 and 1995 which still exist in workstation and server versions. Windows 2000 and on were built on NT architecture but carry their own branding.
Elsewhere, Mac OS X 10.9 dropped slightly to 3.95 percent (-0.2) with the overall share for Mac OS down 0.68 percent to 6.72 percent. Finally, Linux users have jumped to 1.74 percent (+0.12) in line with our survey which showed that many users would rather switch to Linux than use Windows, following the end of life of Windows XP.
Overall, Microsoft can take some comfort in the fact that it has gained ground this month to the tune of 0.65 percent, but the fact that its flagship version continues to be roundly rejected can only be a worry for a company that will now be betting everything on Windows 9, which will be released next spring.
We've asked Microsoft for comment. µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ