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Windows 8 and 8.1 both gain users, but still can’t touch Windows XP, even combined

windows xp share falls abruptly 8 1 soars impressively
According to Net Marketshare’s latest stats, both Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 got more popular last month. However, neither version of Microsoft’s newest operating system can hope to sniff the amount of users that Windows 7 and Windows XP continue to enjoy, even when you put their numbers together.

Related: Here is everything you need to know about Windows 9

In July, Windows 8.1’s desktop share stood at 6.56 percent. Last month, that rose to 7.09 percent. Meanwhile, Windows 8’s usage rose from 5.92 percent in July, to 6.28 percent last month.

Combined, Windows 8 and 8.1 occupy 13.37 percent of the desktop OS picture as of last month, which is up from 12.48 in July. However, Windows XP occupies close to double that (23.89 percent as of last month) despite the fact that it’s well over 10 years old. It’s worth noting though that XP’s share dipped a bit, from 24.82 percent in July, to 23.89 percent in August.

Then, there’s Windows 7, which dipped ever so slight from July’s 51.22 percent, to 51.21 last month. For what it’s worth, that’s up from 50.55 percent in June, which is an increase of 0.67 percent.

Related: Windows XP end of support survival guide

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, there’s 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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