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Windows 8.1 market share grows, Windows 7 slips, Windows 10 lurks

If it's the first week of the month (and it is) that makes it time to have a look at desktop OS market share as calculated by Netmarketshare and Statcounter. This month, both outfits recorded a small dip in Windows 7 usage. Netmarketshare has it dropping from 58.39 per cent to 57.76 per cent of observed traffic hitting the web …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Jun 2015
Windows XP

Windows 7 and 8.1 market share surge, XP falls behind OS X

Here we are again in the early days of a month, so off we go to Netmarketshare and StatCounter to see what the world's computers are running. Both sites report that June saw a nice spike in Windows 7 use. StatCounter has it up 0.6 per cent to 53.71 per cent of the market, while Netmarketshare reckons it surged from 57.76 per …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Jul 2015

Windows 10 upgrade ADWARE forces its way on to Windows 7 and 8.1

Microsoft's Get Windows 10 app has started appearing on Windows 7 and 8 boxes, with a one-click option to upgrade free to the new OS from July 29. The company is keen to persuade users to upgrade, particularly following the lacklustre response to Windows 8. At Microsoft’s Build conference, Windows boss Terry Myerson predicted …
Tim Anderson, 01 Jun 2015

Windows XP beats 8.1 in December market share stats

Windows 7 remains the planet's dominant desktop operating system, but Windows XP again claimed second place during December 2014 according to data from Statcounter.com and Netmarketshare. We've tracked the two firms' data for a year now and both have produced some odd dips and surges, reflecting their imperfect methods of …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Jan 2015

Windows 8 or nowt: Consumer Win 7 fans are OUT OF LUCK

It’s Windows 8.x or nothing for PC shoppers, says Microsoft, which has announced that it's no longer offering Windows 7. Friday 31 October was officially the last day when Microsoft made Windows 7 available for sale through retail outlets, meaning consumers can no longer buy discs of download versions of Windows 7 Home Basic, …
Gavin Clarke, 03 Nov 2014
One Windows: Windows 10 will be delivered on multiple device types

Microsoft uses Windows Update to force Windows 10 ads onto older PCs

Microsoft is installing an update on Windows 7 and 8 machines which will push users to upgrade to Windows 10. The update – KB 3035583 – is vague about its purpose. The official description states: This update enables additional capabilities for Windows Update notifications when new updates are available to the user. It applies …
Tim Anderson, 09 Apr 2015

One year on, Windows 8.1 hits milestone, nudges past XP

The number of PC running Windows 8.1 nudged past Windows XP for the first time in November. Windows 8.1 broke the global 10 per cent market-share barrier a year after general release, and has now hit 10.95 per cent, according to latest data from StatCounter. Windows XP, released in 2001, slipped down 1.26 percentage points to …
Gavin Clarke, 02 Dec 2014
LIFE_SUPPORT_HEART_AND_LUNG_MACHINE

Windows RT on life support: Microsoft vows it won't pull the plug

Fear not, you unlucky owners of Windows RT tablets: Microsoft hasn't abandoned you yet. Not entirely, anyway. According to Microsoft spokesman Gabe Aul, Windows RT, the feature-limited version of Windows 8 for ARM-powered fondleslabs, will in fact be getting another significant update soon. That's the good news. The bad news …
Neil McAllister, 16 Jul 2015
windows 7 image

Redmond is patching Windows 8 but NOT Windows 7, say security bods

Microsoft has left Windows 7 exposed by only applying patches to its newest operating systems. Researchers found the gaps after they scanned 900 Windows libraries and uncovered a variety of security functions that were updated in Windows 8 but not in 7. They said the shortcoming could lead to the discovery of zero day …
Darren Pauli, 06 Jun 2014

New 'Windows-8.1-with-Bing': How's it different from Windows 8.1?

A wave of cheap Windows 8.1 (with added Bing) devices will wash over the UK this summer but the distribution channel's finest aren't exactly rubbing their hands together in anticipation - quite the opposite really. Until Microsoft last week confirmed the plan to release a new licensing option, the UK PR team - which gets nods …
Paul Kunert, 30 May 2014

Microsoft's nightmare DEEPENS: Windows 8 market share falling fast

Just when you thought it couldn't get much worse for Microsoft, analysis by Netmarketshare and StatCounter has found Windows 8's market share fell during September 2014. As we point out each month when reporting the firms' data, their methodology of analysing web traffic is far from perfect. On the other hand, the two firms have …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Oct 2014

Windows 8.1 becomes world's fourth-most-popular desktop OS

Windows 8.1 adoption is speeding up, with the operating system now the planet's fourth-most-popular, according to Netmarketshare statistics. With January 2014 now behind us, the firm has totted up the results of its ongoing observations of just what browsers and operating systems hit the world's web servers. Those explorations …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Feb 2014

New leaked 'Windows 8 screenshot': The Start Menu strikes back

A purportedly leaked screenshot of what appears to be an upcoming version of Windows has given us a closer look at the much-rumored new "hybrid" Start Menu, suggesting it may be coming sooner, rather than later. We were given our first glimpse at Redmond's future UI direction at the company's annual Build developer conference in …
Neil McAllister, 15 Jul 2014
Photo of billboard marketing Microsoft Surface with Windows RT

Is Windows RT not invited to the Windows 10 upgrade party?

With all the hoopla coming out of Microsoft's Windows 10 event in Redmond on Wednesday, there was surprisingly little talk of Windows RT, the feature-limited version of Windows 8.x for ARM-based tablets – and perhaps with good reason. In a Q&A with press following Wednesday's keynote, Redmond OS bosses Terry Myerson and Joe …
Neil McAllister, 22 Jan 2015

Windows 7 outstrips Windows 8.x with small November growth

Windows 7 beat Windows 8.x in trench-war battle for growing market share in November. Netmarketshare stats for the month found Windows 7 had increased its share of desktops from 46.42 to 46.64 per cent of machines. This meant it outpaced the Windows 8.x family, which gained just 0.05 per cent. Windows 8 fell from 7.53 per cent …
Gavin Clarke, 02 Dec 2013
chalk outline of  human body at crime scene

Windows 8 market share stalls, XP at record low

Windows XP's demise is finally starting to accelerate, but Windows 7 and not 8 appears to be picking up the slack. Those are the conclusions we draw from Netmarketshare's latest monthly dump on desktop computer operating system market share. Here's the company's counts of what's what on the desktop, going back to October 2013 …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Aug 2014
happy_woman_at_desk

WHOA! Windows 10 to be sold on USB drives – what a time to be alive

Truly these are magical days: Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 10 will indeed be sold on USB thumb drives rather than just on optical discs, confirming internet mumblings that have been current for some time. Over on Amazon.com, pre-order pages show that the operating system will be available on media other than DVDs. A …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Jul 2015
Asus EeeBook X205

Heads up, Chromebook: Here come the sub-$200 Windows 8.1 portables

IFA 2014 Microsoft has been promising dirt-cheap Windows 8.1 devices for months now, and as the IFA 2014 consumer electronics conference kicks off in Berlin this week, the first round of penny-pinching Windows kit has finally started to arrive. Acer, Asus, and Toshiba have each announced sub-$200 Windows tablets or laptops at the show, …
Neil McAllister, 05 Sep 2014
bug on keyboard

Uh oh! Here comes the first bug in the Windows 8.1 Update

Microsoft has suspended distribution of April's Windows 8.1 Update to some enterprise customers after a bug was discovered that could bork affected machines' ability to receive future updates. The issue affects businesses that distribute software updates via Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) 3.0 Service Pack 2, which shipped …
Neil McAllister, 09 Apr 2014

Microsoft sez soz over Windows 10 'freebie' balls-up

Microsoft has attempted yet more damage control regarding Windows 10, after the software giant confused world+dog into thinking that anyone could qualify for a freebie version of its soon-to-be-released operating system. As The Register reported on Sunday, it had initially appeared as though users needed only to install a …
Kelly Fiveash, 23 Jun 2015

Microsoft KILLS Windows 8.1 Update 2 and Patch Tuesday

Microsoft has at last revealed the date when its second major update to Windows 8.1 will ship to customers: never. Despite months of speculation that the software giant has been planning to push out another major update roll-up for its latest OS this year, much like it did with the oddly named Windows 8.1 Update in April, …
Neil McAllister, 05 Aug 2014

Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9

There’s nothing tech companies like more than creating buzz. The more buzz, the less substance – as a rash of me-too tablet events a few years back proved. Tomorrow, Microsoft is scheduled to host an event on the West Coast that many believe will be the scene of the unveiling of the next version of Windows. Upping the …
Gavin Clarke, 29 Sep 2014
Windows 8.1 Update Start Screen

The Windows 8 dilemma: Win 8 or wait for 9?

Second Look News has started to circulate about the next version of Windows 8.1 – namely update 2 – and even "Windows 9". Whether or not it bears the name Windows 9, the next major "wave of updates", codenamed Threshold is due to land on our desktops and mobes later on this year. The upcoming refresh, we’re told, will see lots of new …
Microsoft Surface bomb

Happy 2nd birthday, Windows 8 and Surface: Anatomy of a disaster

Analysis This weekend marks two years since Windows 8 and Surface were launched at a press event at Pier 57 on the Hudson River in New York. The invitation for the Windows 8 launch in October 2012 “It is today that with great pride we unveil this new generation of Windows. Starting at 4.01am worldwide, the next era of Windows …
Tim Anderson, 24 Oct 2014
windows 10 microsoft one windows

Looking forward to getting Windows 10 the day it ships? Yeah, about that...

Microsoft has shared more details about how it plans to roll out Windows 10 beginning later this month. We already knew the OS will start shipping to members of the Windows Insider program on July 29. On Thursday, however, Microsoft OS boss Terry Myerson explained in a blog post that not everyone should expect to receive their …
Neil McAllister, 02 Jul 2015
Screenshot of a Windows Apportal

Microsoft wants to lure biz users with fondleable Windows 8.1 'Apportals'

Microsoft is once again trying to convince businesses to get on board with its touch-centric computing vision, with the introduction of a new tool called Windows Apportals. Billed as a way to "integrate your entire Line of Business (LOB) stack into a single, modern, touch-based experience," Apportals allow companies to build …
Neil McAllister, 11 Jul 2014
Zombie rising from the grave

Windows XP's market share grows AGAIN!

It's the first Monday of the month, so time for us to have a look at desktop operating system market share again! Keen Reg readers may recall that last month it looked like peak Windows 7 was behind us. This month's data supports that hypothesis: Statcounter has Windows 7 dipping a little to 54.13 per cent and Netmarketshare …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Mar 2015
Canadian reseller ad for XP

Windows XP market share GROWS AGAIN, outstrips Win 8.1 surge

If you don't believe in the undead, think again: Windows XP may be just over a month from its much-publicised demise but is now Microsoft's fastest-growing operating system in terms of market share. For that zombie-like assertion we can thank Netmarketshare's new data about operating system market share. As we reported in …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Mar 2014
Bloody Serial Killer Shower Curtain

Microsoft may slash price of Windows 8.1 on cheap 'slabs

Microsoft has reportedly slashed the price of Windows 8.1 for anyone willing to install the operating on a device that sells for fewer than $US250. Bloomberg cites “people familiar with the matter” as saying Microsoft usually sells Windows for $50 a pop, but is floating the idea of a $15 price tag for OEMs working on low-priced …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Feb 2014
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

It's FREE WINDOWS 10 time: 29 July is D-Day, yells Microsoft

Windows 10 will be coughed up by Microsoft on July 29, the company said on Monday morning – and Windows 7 and 8.1 users can reserve their free upgrade right now. Gratis upgrades to Windows 10 are pegged to last for 12 months, as previously announced by Microsoft. That gives you until the end of July 2016 to claim them. Also, on …
Gavin Clarke, 01 Jun 2015

Windows 7 MARKED for DEATH by Microsoft as of NOW

Today, 13 January, is the day on which Microsoft's Windows 7 passes from mainstream support into extended support. The milestone is the first on the road to Microsoft pulling the plug on January 14th, 2020. Windows 7 is a widely-admired version of Windows, as it is more stable than its predecessor Windows Vista and did not try …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jan 2015
Microsoft Surface 3 Windows 8.1 tablet

Microsoft to Windows 10 consumers: You'll get updates LIKE IT or NOT

Microsoft's licensing on the upcoming Windows 10 OS means that most users will find their systems updating on command from Redmond without any option to stop this. The Licensing Agreement for Windows 10, as found in the latest release candidate build 10240 of Windows 10 Professional, stated: The software periodically checks …
Tim Anderson, 16 Jul 2015
chart

PEAK WINDOWS 7 may well be behind us

Windows 7's market share appears to have peaked, according to two sources we use to assess what's running on the world's desktop computers. Those sources are Netmarketshare and Statcounter.com, two outfits that make their assessments of operating system prevalence based on traffic hitting web servers. That's an imperfect …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Feb 2015
Screenshot of Windows 8.1's revamped Start screen

Windows 8.1 start button appears as Microsoft's Blue wave breaks

Microsoft's Blue wave of Windows, tools and services updates has started breaking complete with an early glimpse of the Windows 8.1 start button. The company revealed on Tuesday the availability of Windows Server and System Center 2012 RT, Windows Intune and SQL Server 2014 and Visual Studio 2013. MSDN subscribers had started …
Gavin Clarke, 25 Jun 2013

Microsoft dangles carrot at SMEs, eases Windows 8 Enterprise licensing

Microsoft is loosening restrictions for business customers who want the full-fat edition of Windows – the Enterprise Edition. Redmond is making it easier and less expensive for organisations with more than five PCs to get Enterprise Edition under a licensing change from March 1. Windows Enterprise Edition is to be made …
Gavin Clarke, 28 Feb 2014
Windows XP

Windows 7 settles as Windows XP use finally starts to slip … a bit

Windows XP lost nearly one per cent of global market share during August, according to both Netmarketshare and StatCounter, but there's not been a corresponding bounce in the prevalence of other Microsoft operating systems. The Reg has been tracking the two OS-counters for 11 months now and during that time Netmarketshare has …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Sep 2014
windows 10 microsoft one windows

HP won't ship PCs with Windows 10 preinstalled until mid-August

The big picture of how Microsoft plans to debut Windows 10 for its customers remains murky, but more details are starting to emerge, courtesy of the software giant's hardware partners. Redmond certainly isn't giving PC makers much time to test their kit with the new OS. It's due to ship on July 29, which is just over two weeks …
Neil McAllister, 14 Jul 2015
Windows 10 on Surface 3

Windows 10 is due in one month: Will it be ready?

Analysis The release of Windows 10 is set for 29 July, just one month from now. It will be a significant moment, marking the first Windows 10 release in a wave that will eventually include Windows Mobile and Xbox, and is critically important to Microsoft following the poor reception for Windows 8. This time, Microsoft is not following …
Tim Anderson, 29 Jun 2015

Good luck displacing Windows 7, Microsoft, it's still growing

If it's the first Monday of the month, and it is, it must be time to have a look at desktop operating system market share as recorded by StatCounter and Netmarketshare. It looks like the skids are really under Windows XP now. Netmarketshare has it down from 16.94 per cent to 15.93 per cent. StatCounter has a dip to 10.91 per …
Simon Sharwood, 03 May 2015
Sheep, image via Shutterstock

Feel like you're being herded onto Windows 10? Well, you should

Comment Roll up, roll up for Windows 10, the greatest show on Earth! Forget everything you think you know or might have heard. THIS changes everything. Windows 7 and Windows 8? Pah. THIS is the one you want. Yes, the bandwagon on the Windows 10 hype machine is trundling along, and its online followers are hailing its game-changing …
Gavin Clarke, 16 Jul 2015
Double Facepalm; when one facepalm is not enough.

Got Windows 8.1 Update yet? Get ready for YET ANOTHER ONE – rumor

The Windows rumor mill is buzzing yet again, with word that Microsoft is planning yet another update to Windows 8.1 that will ship in the fall, possibly to be followed by a new, cloud-centric version of Windows that will be available free of charge. This latest scuttlebutt once again arrives care of Russian pirate group "WZor," …
Neil McAllister, 22 Apr 2014

Is this what Windows XP's death throes look like?

It's the first of the month (US time), so off we go to Netmarketshare and Statcounter to see what operating systems are getting a run on the world's desktop computers. Our long series of stories on the two analysts' output has shown, time and again, that Windows XP is just-about-unkillable. Despite Microsoft ceasing support, the …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Apr 2015
Office on Perceptive Pixel screen

Windows 8 apps pass 100K, Windows 8 passes Vista

Microsoft has received two pieces of good news concerning its not-exactly-barn-burning Windows 8: there are now over 100,000 apps in the Windows 8 app store, and the installed base of Windows 8 has passed that of the late and unlamented Windows Vista. What's more, that 100,000-app milestore was reached in just eight months – …
Rik Myslewski, 02 Jul 2013
management regulation7

RIP Windows RT: Microsoft murders ARM Surface, Nokia tablets

Microsoft has quietly pulled the plug on the last device to ship running Windows RT, casting doubt on the future of Redmond's ARM fondleslab OS. The software giant confirmed on Wednesday to The Register that it has stopped manufacturing the Nokia Lumia 2520, a 10.1-inch Windows RT tablet with a quad-core ARM processor, an HD …
Neil McAllister, 04 Feb 2015
Windows 8.1 Start screen

Windows 8.1 update 'screenshots' leak: Metro apps popped into classic desktop taskbar

A set of screenshots leaked to the web purports to show how Microsoft is working to better integrate Metro-style apps with the classic desktop in a forthcoming update to Windows 8.1. The screenshots, which were posted online by Russian serial leaker "WZor," were allegedly taken from a prerelease testing build of Windows 8.1 …
Neil McAllister, 22 Jan 2014

Microsoft tells big biz: No free Windows 10 for you, crack wallets open

Microsoft has confirmed that, unlike your average Alice and Bob, enterprises won't get a free upgrade to Windows 10 when the new operating system is finally released. "Customers running Windows 7 Pro and Windows 8/8.1 Pro, like small businesses, have an opportunity to upgrade to Windows 10 for free in the first year," said Jim …
Iain Thomson, 31 Jan 2015
Screenshot of Windows 8.1's revamped Start screen

Microsoft does a U-turn, releases Windows 8.1 to developers early after all

After facing a backlash from developers concerned that they wouldn't get early access to the latest versions of Windows, Microsoft has released builds of Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 to its MSDN and TechNet subscription programs, more than a month ahead of the updates' official launch date. "We heard from you that our …
Neil McAllister, 09 Sep 2013
Microsoft's Terry Myerson, speaking at Build 2015

Microsoft: Free Windows 10 for THIEVES and PIRATES? They can GET STUFFED

Think you'll be getting a free upgrade to Windows 10 from your pirated copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1? Not so fast. For months, rumors have been swirling that suggested Microsoft was so eager to get its entire customer base onto Windows 10 that it will extend its free upgrade offer even to those who obtained their copies of …
Neil McAllister, 15 May 2015

Windows XP market share FELL OFF A CLIFF in October

Windows XP's market share took a dive – a big one – during October, according to the two counters of OS market share we've been following for a year now. Netmarketshare had XP going from 23.97 per cent of PCs to 17.18 per cent during October. Statcounter had XP going from 14.4 per cent to 13.22 per cent, a less dramatic drop but …

Yes! Windows Phone lives: Microsoft to pump the device Kool-Aid

WPC 2015 Microsoft will this week try to convince thousands of partners to invest in Windows Phone despite taking the axe to its hardware manufacturing operation. “Windows Phone is and will continue to be an important component of our hardware portfolio,” Phil Sorgen, chief of Microsoft’s worldwide partner group told The Channel, …
Gavin Clarke, 13 Jul 2015

Opinion

Ship scrapyard photo via Shutterstock
Windows 10 Universal Apps
Windows 10 on Surface 3

Tim Anderson

It's do-or-die for Microsoft's new operating system on 29 July

Features

Steve Ballmer. Pic:  Aanjhan Ranganathan
Nokia is the biggest write-off yet, but it wasn't the first
Confused computer keyboard
Last Christmas, I gave you my Cloud, the very next day you gave it away
Time to pull out the magnifying glass to swot up on those Ts&Cs
Android icon desktop toys
Nice devices, now speak 'enterprise' to me