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Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 show signs of life

The two little trains that could are continuing their climb in the market, albeit slowly.

Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 are proving to be the little engines that could. Beaten around and abused like a rental car, the two have been left for dead as failures. But the market share continues to grow, however slowly.

First, let's look at Windows Phone 8. The most recent numbers from Kantar Worldpanel show that WP 8 has gone from a 3.7% market share in the U.S. in the three months ending May 2012 to a 4.6% market share for the three months ending May 2013.

Those aren’t exactly throw-a-party numbers, but considering how badly WP8 has been dismissed, that major OEMs like Samsung have forsaken it and left it with only two OEM partners - Nokia and HTC – they’re pretty good. And they still have the best TV commercial on the market.

For a while, it was looking like there would be a fight for third place, with a rejuvenated BlackBerry putting up a fight with a decent competitor, the Z10. Sadly, that has not caught on with consumers or corporations. BlackBerry missed analysts’ estimates for both product shipments and profits in last week's earnings. In the global smartphone market, BlackBerry’s share shrunk to just 2.9% last quarter, according to IDC. A year earlier, it was 6.4%.

As for Windows 8, the crawl continues. June numbers from Net Applications put Windows 8 at 5.1% of operating system traffic, up from 4.27% in May. On the consumer side, Steam Analytics puts Windows 8 at 12.1%. Again, remember that Steam is U.S.-oriented while Net Applications is global in scope, and Steam is used by gamers, not corporate users.

I will be very curious to see how these numbers look after the 8.1 patch and the Second Coming of the Start Button.

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