Stats don't lie: Windows 8 has failed

Even with the improvements in 8.1 and XP's imminent demise, the OS is not getting any major traction.

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You want to give a company the benefit of the doubt, but after several months, a pattern starts to emerge. A negative one that you can't deny. And in this case, a year's worth of stats don't lie: Windows 8 isn’t going anywhere.

For the most recent month, Windows 7’s growth outpaced that of Windows 8.x by four fold, and it’s not the first time the older OS has proven the more popular choice either. It's becoming something of a regular occurrence. Adoption of the tiled OS is slow, very slow, especially compared with the strong pick up Windows 7 enjoyed from the start.

The stats experts at Statista took the global market share data of both Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 since their respective launches and plotted the growth of both on a single chart. The results are clear: At roughly the same time period on the market, 14 months, Windows 7 had 20% share, while Windows 8.x has a lame 9.3% global market share.

And that’s not the worst of it. Windows 8's share has been dropping in recent months. It peaked in September with 8.02%, but has fallen to an evil-sounding 6.66%. Windows 7, on the other hand, is picking up speed since July, when it was 44.37%, up to November, where it had 46.64% market share.

Now, I have covered this in the past. Net Applications tracks usage, not sales. It has sensors all over the Internet to detect what PCs are in use. They don't look at PC sales at all. So it could be that more Windows 7 machines are being used than Windows 8 machines.

On the flip side, it could be that people are finally making their migrations off the soon-to-be unsupported Windows XP and they are choosing Windows 7 over Windows 8.

Looking over at the Steam analytics, from game developer Valve, and we see little has changed. It puts the November market share of Windows 7 64-bit at 51.76%, pretty much equal with the September figure of 51.41%. Windows 8 and 8.1 combined for 17.6%, a small rise from the 15% in September. Windows XP has shrunk from 6.96% in September to 6.17% in November.

What remains to be seen now is how much Christmas will scatter these numbers. With tablets becoming such popular gifts, laptop sales are likely going to be soft. If anything spikes sales in the next few months, it will be the planned end of support for Windows XP.

All things considered, there really isn't room for optimism anymore.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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