Windows 7 Still Most Popular OS, Windows 8 Use Slowly Increasing

    December 3, 2012

Back in September, Windows 7 finally overtook Windows XP as the most popular operating system on the planet. It marked the end to an era that was dominated by the PC. Now its Windows 8 turn to capture the desktop and mobile markets, and early results show it’s slowly improving in marketshare.

Net Applications’ latest numbers for November show that Windows 7 is still the most popular operating system on the planet with 44.71 percent of the desktop market. It’s not unexpected as Windows XP use is still falling as people continue to upgrade to Windows 7 or 8. The decade old OS is now at 39.82 percent. The disgraced Windows Vista is still just a blip on the radar with a paltry 5.7 percent in marketshare.

As for Windows 8, Net Applications has been tracking it since the early previews in January of this year. At that time, only 0.02 percent of the desktop market was using Windows 8. That number finally climbed to 0.41 percent in October right before its official launch. After the launch, use jumped over .60 percent to a relatively impressive 1.09 percent in marketshare.

Windows 8 isn’t taking the world by fire, and that’s fine. Microsoft sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses in a month, and those sales helped contribute to this first boost. The number of Windows 8 desktops in use will likely grow as we move into next year. There is, however, always the possibility that Windows 8 could backfire and become the next Vista.

It will be interesting, however, to see how the rumored Windows Blue will affect Microsoft’s overall marketshare. Like Mac OS X, Microsoft is rumored to be putting out annual releases of Windows 8 starting in 2013. It will still be called Windows 8, but analytics will most likely still chart who upgrades and who does not. At that point, we could start seeing the first real instance of Windows fragmentation.