Windows 8's usage share increases while XP's and Vista's declines

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 2, 2013

The question why we are looking at usage statistics of operating systems and other software or devices comes up a lot and there are several answers to that. Developers for one should be interested in usage shares as it may provide them with information about markets they may want to target or avoid. If you are interested in technology, you may also gain valuable information from usage or market share information. It may provide you with the means to pick the right operating system or device for example, or provide others with the means to make that decision as well. Last but not least it paints a global picture of the PC industry as a whole and where everything is headed towards.

What makes this particularly difficult though is that the two companies that could release statistics that would be preciser than anything else, Microsoft and Google, choose to not release them. That leaves third party solutions that track only a fraction of the whole computing world.  So lets take a look at the various companies and their data:

  • Netmarketshare sees Windows 8's usage share at 3.31%, an increase of 0.52% over last month's share. That's far from an impressive growth though. Windows 8 is trailing Vista's 4.99%, XP's 38.73% and Windows 7's 44.73% in the statistic. Windows 7 gained 0.22% this month while XP and Vista declined by by 0.26% and 0.18% respectively. So, nothing groundbreaking happened in the last 31 days.
  • W3Counter's statistics are fairly similar. The service sees Windows 8 at 3.41% up from 2.72% the month before. Windows 7 is leading the operating systems list with 43.09% followed by Windows XP with 21.67 and Windows Vista with 5.01%. It needs to be noted that the service is tracking desktop and mobile operating systems in a single list.
  • Statcounter sees Windows 8 at 3.9% up from 3.16% the month before. It is trailing Windows 7's 52.61%, Windows XP's 23.38%, Mac OS X's 7.29% and Vista's 6.13%.
  • W3Schools has not published the statistics for March yet but it saw Windows 8 at 5.7% already in February which is a lot more than the other services saw the operating system at.
  • Steam finally lists Windows 8 at 10.67% which is nearly three times as much as the other services see it at. It's market share increased by 1.04% in March.

windows 8 market share

If we look at the numbers we see a minimum growth of 0.52% over last's month, a maximum growth of 1.04% and a combined average growth of 0.74%. If we use the average growth to predict where Windows 8's market share will be in a year's time, we will come to the conclusion that it will be at the 10% mark after December 2013.

The growth is slower than Windows 7's growth when it came out. According to Statcounter, Windows 7's usage share was at 11.92% in March 2010 and at more than 22% exactly one year after release. The comparison is not entirely fair though, considering that Windows 7 was Vista's successor, an operating system that many considered a complete failure, while Windows 8 followed Windows 7, a highly successful and popular operating system.


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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

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