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Windows 8 uptake: More like Vista than Windows 7

Gregg Keizer | Dec. 3, 2012
After a month on the market, Windows 8's usage uptake resembles 2007's Vista -- ultimately a poor performer for Microsoft -- rather than the eventually successful Windows 7, Net Applications said Saturday.

Other versions of Windows kept to their long-running trends.

Windows XP lost eight-tenths of a percentage point last month to fall under 40% for the first time since its early years. XP, which is slated for retirement in less than 500 days, accounted for 39.8% of all personal computers in November, or 44.5% of all Windows machines. Vista also slipped by one-tenth of a percentage point as its share continued to slip toward zero.

And Windows 7 remained flat, ending the month with a 44.7% share of all PCs and 48.9% of all Windows PCs. November was the first month since March that Windows 7's share did not add gain at least half a percentage point.

The bulk of Windows 8's increase last month came at the apparent expense of XP, but the data may be misleading. It's possible, for instance, that some, or even many, of the lost XP-powered systems were replaced by ones running Windows 7, and that because Window 8 upgrades are more likely to come from Windows 7, that there were two transfers of share last month: One from XP to Windows 7, another from Windows 7 to Windows 8.

Most analysts are now forecasting a weak reception for Windows 8, blaming the fragile global economy, the OS's confusing dual user interfaces, enterprise upgrade fatigue after migrating from XP to Windows 7, and competition from rivals' tablets, including Apple's iPad, for technology dollars.

Net Applications measures operating system usage by tracking unique visitors to approximately 40,000 sites it monitors for clients.

Windows 8's uptake trajectory matches 2007's Vista -- not a good sign -- rather than 2009's Windows 7. (Data: Net Applications.)


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