MICROSOFT HAS REASON to cringe again this month as the July figures from Net Applications reveal that there has been a further drop in the use of Windows 8.x
The combined total for all versions of Windows 8.x dropped 0.06 percent to 12.48 percent, with most of the drop coming from the latest Windows 8.1, which is due to receive its final update in August.
Windows 7, the Peter Pan of operating systems, has jumped 0.67 percent again to 51.22 percent, its third consecutive month with over half of the market.
Windows Vista rebounded slightly by 0.1 percent to 3.05 percent, while Windows XP finally began to see a drop in usage following its decommissioning in April, down 0.59 percnt at 24.82 percent, taking it below one quarter of the market for the first time since it reached end of life.
Combined OS X use dipped slightly 0.07 percent to 6.64 percent and Linux was down 0.06 percent to 1.68 percent.
While none of these changes are particularly earth-shattering, with none being over one percentage point, the lack of movement is significant in itself.
Microsoft seems unable to convince users to upgrade, strengthening the expectation that Windows 8 is toast, and the company will have to recognise that not only does it need to get Windows 9 up and running as quickly as possible and make a fresh start, but it will have to be good enough to lure users away from both Windows 7 and Windows XP, and that will be a tall order.
Windows 9 is expected to arrive next spring, and will see the return of the Start Menu that is much missed from Windows 8 and the beginning of unification of all versions of Windows into a single operating system across all devices with the universal apps initiative. µ