The Channel logo

News

By | Gavin Clarke 3rd January 2014 12:30

Microsoft shops ditch XP for New Year as Windows market share expands

But what's this... they're all moving to Windows 8.1?

Less than one-third of PCs are now running Windows XP, with many a Microsoft shop giving up on the popular 12-year-old operating system in time for New Year.

Windows XP’s market share fell to 28.98 per cent in the month of December, from November’s 31.22 per cent, according to the latest stats from NetApplications.

It wasn’t Windows XP’s biggest monthly fall – that was between July and August 2013 – but December 2013 was one of the biggest based on NetApplications’ data.

The fall came as XP fans faced their final four months of extended support for the OS, which was first released in the second half of 2001.

Microsoft will no longer make security patches for Windows XP after 8 April this year.

Windows 7, meanwhile, Microsoft's 2009 OS, seems to be consolidating its hold. Windows most popular operating system was more or less steady throughout 2013 and only received a minor fillip – of 0.88 per cent, taking it up to 47.52 per cent from 46.64 per cent – when Windows XP posted its big drop.

That means while Windows 7 has benefited from XP’s decline, it has not been a straight swap from Windows XP to the newer operating system.

With PC sales falling and consumers sucking up tablets, the biggest driver for Windows 7 is businesses moving off Windows XP to beat the April deadline.

The question is, where are those other PC users going?

The answer would seem to be a small number are going to Windows 8/8.1.

Windows 8.1, pitched by Microsoft on its Surface slabs and tablets and PCs from OEM partners, increased its market share by one percentage point in December.

NetApplications said Windows 8.1 hit 3.6 per cent compared to 2.64 for November. Predecessor Windows 8 also increased – hitting 9.4 per cent in December versus 9.26 for the month before.

As far as shipments of actual units that run Windows 8/8.1, it is still too close to Christmas to say just how Microsoft and its OEM partners have fared.

Analyst Canalys, though, predicted it’ll be Microsoft rather than Acer – Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard or Samsung – which will continue to lead the pack with the single largest market share over Christmas. Already, 30 per cent of Windows tablets sold in Q3 2013 were Surfaces, giving Microsoft a total tablet market share of four per cent.

Canalys analyst Rachel Lashford told The Reg the expectation is that for this year Microsoft will manage to carve out a total five per cent of the tablet market.

Android and Apple will continue to lead, with 65 and 31 per cent respectively, she said – noting these numbers will be down from last year in the face of growing competition. ®

comment icon Read 51 comments on this article alert Send corrections

Opinion

Tim Worstall

Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
The full Spanglish breakfast: mealy pudding, bacon, black pudding, sausages, fried egg, toast
Blood image

Trevor Pott

Can the storage giant overcome a lack of necessary leadership?

Chris Mellor

Why overlapping kit from a merger equals a disaster in waiting

Features

No, silly... he was the fall guy for years of Finnish folly
Fraud image
Frodo and the Ring
Microsoft's strategy is to make Store apps popular. Good luck with that