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Windows 8 Market Share Grows, XP Drops

Operating system market share figures released this week by Net Applications found the month-over-month drop in Windows XP's share continues.

Windows XP fell from 23.87 percent of worldwide operating system usage in September to 17.18 percent in October. That 6.7 percentage point drop is a bigger decline in one month than the operating system's usage had fallen previously in the entire year. Windows XP was at 29.3 percent in January and had only fallen 5.43 percentage points through September. That period covered the April support deadline, and Microsoft had loudly and regularly been warning organizations, partners and users that the OS would be completely unpatched against newly discovered vulnerabilities and was therefore a serious security risk.

[Click on image for larger view.] Desktop OS market shares. (Source: Net Applications)

Windows 8 appears to be the prime beneficiary of users abandoning Windows XP. While Windows 7 gained about a third of a percentage point of share from September to October to top 53 percent share, and Mac OS platforms picked up about three-quarters of point to edge over 7 percent, the real gainer was the combination of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.

Windows 8/8.1 jumped 4.54 percentage points to reach 16.8 percentage usage, good for second-most-used operating system version after Windows 7.

Net Applications puts together its rankings based on data collected from the browsers of site visitors to a network of clients that includes more than 40,000 websites worldwide.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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