According to Microsoft, the company has officially sold 60 million Windows 8 licenses. The number accounts for upgrades, individual purchase and the bulk purchases made by OEMs. It seems many of the latter licenses haven’t been put in use yet as Windows 8 has yet to hit a growth explosion.
Net Applications recently updated its desktop OS market share numbers for December 2012, and Windows 8 is still having a rough time of it. At the end of December, Windows 8 only made up 1.72 percent of the entire desktop OS market. That’s only a .63 percent jump from November’s numbers. We can give Windows 8 some slack because it’s still relatively new, but it’s still looking a little sluggish.
As for Windows in general, Windows 7 is obviously still on top after it finally dethroned Windows XP in September of last year. Since then, you can see that Windows 7 has been growing at almost the exact same rate at which Windows XP is declining. That means Windows XP users are upgrading to Windows 7 instead of 8. Not exactly the best news for Microsoft, but it shows that people may finally be wising up to the security risks the outdated Windows XP poses. It could also just mean that PC gamers are finally starting to realize that they need Windows 7 if they want to take advantage of DirectX 11.
Just like with mobile browsers, Apple still rules the mobile OS scene. iOS has a majority of the market with 60.13 percent. Android is lagging far behind with only 24.6 percent. Samsung may finally be beating Apple in handset sales, but the numbers also account for tablets. Apple’s iPad is unmatched in sales so it makes sense for iOS to have such a large presence here.
Of particular interest, however, is the growth of Windows Phone. Microsoft launched Windows Phone 8 in November with the hopes of finally becoming a major player in the smartphone market. The release seems to have spurred growth somewhat as Windows Phone now has 1 percent of the market.
It will be interesting to see how Windows 8 and Windows Phone both grow in the coming year. There’s talk of a “relaunch” for Windows 8 happening in February that would help Microsoft refocus its efforts on getting the OS into the hand of more consumers. If successful, we could see a marked jump in market share over the course of the year.