Windows 8 inches past OS X in users, Windows 7 still dominates

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It’s been nearly a year since Microsoft introduced us to its colorful world of Live Tiles and swipes in Windows 8, and despite slow adoption, grumbles from manufacturers and lukewarm reviews, the world is finally getting onboard. Sort of. According to new figures from StatCounter, Windows 8 just crawled its way past Apple’s OS X operating system in terms of total market share.

In the month of September, Windows 8 claimed 7.46 percent of total users while OS X claimed 6.98 percent; a slight rise for Microsoft and fall for Apple was enough to tip the balance.

statcounter windows 8 adoption versus OS X adoption

If competing with Apple’s insignificant OS X sounds like dire news for Microsoft, don’t fret: Windows 7 claims a dominant 51.98 percent share and even Windows XP still gets 20.59 percent. In contrast, StatCounter lumps all versions of OS X into its 6.98 percent figure. Compare all versions of OS X to all versions of Windows and you’re looking at 6.98 percent for Apple versus 80.03 percent for Microsoft. As we’ve pointed out before, the numbers often lie.

The better benchmark might be Windows 8’s adoption compared to previous versions of Windows. It matched Windows 7 by selling 40 million licenses in the first four weeks, but later numbers showed it lagging behind the Windows Vista uptake, and sales of touch-based PCs with Windows 8 have been disappointing.

The next big test will be surpassing the previous version of Windows in popularity. With Windows 7 holding strong at around 50 percent through a year of Windows 8 availability, those Live Tiles will have their work cut out for them.