Windows 7 picks up XP leavers, not Windows 8.1

Microsoft's most popular OS remains Windows 7, with Windows 8 and 8.1 growth flat

4 Aug 2014

The number of people using Windows XP has continued its slow decline - but it appears to be Windows 7 winning them over, not Windows 8 or 8.1.

The latest market share stats from Net Applications show Windows 8.1 and 8 down very slightly from the month before, but essentially flat.

XP slid below 25% for the first time, down from 37% a year ago, while Windows 7 continues to post growth, up to 51% from 44% last year - despite the launch of the new OS.

The stalled take-up highlights the troubles Microsoft is having flipping new users to the new version of Windows, with rumours suggesting the next major update will be Windows 9 so the company can leave behind the tarnished "8" brand.

Combined, Windows 8 and 8.1 have reached a 12.48% market share - less than half of Windows 7's 29.6% share the same number of months after launch.

Net Applications' data is based on web browsing, not actual sales figures. Microsoft said earlier this year that 200 million Windows 8 licenses, which wasn't much less than Windows 7 at about the same point.

However, Microsoft isn't helped by slow PC sales: most Windows upgrades happen when consumers buy new hardware, and with flat sales, that's making it even harder for Windows 8/8.1 to make a mark.

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