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Windows 8.1 and XP market share falls, while Windows 7 gains users

Windows XP is no longer supported, and according to Net Marketshare’s latest statistics, it appears that some people are moving to other operating systems as a result. However, unfortunately for Microsoft, many people are moving off of XP while actively sidestepping Windows 8.1. They’re probably also waiting for Windows 9, which could be released as soon as 2015.

For the month of July, Windows 8.1’s desktop share stood at 6.56 percent. That’s a minor drop from 6.61 percent in June, but a drop nonetheless. Meanwhile, Windows 8’s share fell from 5.93 percent in June, to 5.92 percent last month, a teeny tiny decrease of 0.01 percent. Combined, Windows 8 and 8.1 occupy 12.48 percent of the desktop OS pie as of July. That’s not much, considering that Windows XP occupies roughly double that, despite the fact that it’s well over 10 years old.

Speaking of Windows XP, though it’s still quite popular, some PC users left it behind last month. Windows XP’s desktop share fell from 25.31 percent in June, to 24.82 percent last month. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the fall will continue unabated. After all, Windows XP’s share actually rose in June, up from 25.27 in May.

Then, there’s the big cheese, the head honcho, the big kahuna; Windows 7. Windows 7’s share spiked in July to 51.22 percent. That’s up from 50.55 percent in June, which is an increase of 0.67 percent.

To us, the reasons for Windows XP’s and 7’s continued dominance over Windows 8 and 8.1 are simple. The first two operating systems have a Start menu and provide a familiar experience to users. Windows 8 and 8.1 don’t, though a Metro-ified version of the Start menu is likely to return in Windows 9. Then, of course, is the issue of cost. Windows 7 costs the same as Windows 8.1 does on Newegg; roughly $100. Most people clearly prefer to use the OS with a Start menu, even if it’s approaching five years of age.

The usage numbers for both Windows 8 and 8.1 are weak, and will likely remain that way forever.

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Konrad Krawczyk
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Konrad covers desktops, laptops, tablets, sports tech and subjects in between for Digital Trends. Prior to joining DT, he…
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