Skip to main content

Windows XP and 8.1 desktop OS share rises, while Windows 7’s falls very slightly

Windows 8.1
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Here’s a bit of a surprise: Windows 8.1’s desktop OS share rose last month. 

However, so did Windows XP’s. If Windows 8.1 were Homer Simpson, it undoubtedly would be saying “D’oh!” right now.

According to Net Marketshare, Windows 8.1’s desktop OS share stood at 3.9 percent in January. While that rose last month to 4.3 percent, a bump of .4 percent, Windows XP’s share also rose; for the second consecutive month no less. After dropping from 31.22 percent in November to 28.98 percent in December, Windows XP’s OS share rose to 29.23 percent in January, and inched upward again last month to 29.53 percent. Though that’s a smaller uptick of .3 compared to Windows 8.1’s (very) modest surge, the fact that more people are opting to use an OS that’s more than 12 years old says something.

Though marketshare for Windows 7 is still dominant, (and it’s not even close),  Windows 7’s share dipped ever so slightly from  47.49 percent in January to 47.31 percent last month. That comes after a spike of nearly one full percentage point from November, when it stood at 46.64 percent.

It’s worth noting however, that’s the increase in Windows 8.1’s share likely cannibalized Windows 8’s, especially considering that Windows 8.1 is a free download for those already running Windows 8. In January, Windows 8’s share was rated at 6.62 percent, and fell to 6.38 percent last month. 

Microsoft is apparently steering people back to the desktop after trying to ween them off it with Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, as indicated by a reportedly leaked version of an upcoming Windows 8.1 update that boots straight to the classic UI by default. This combined with dominant marketshare enjoyed by its predecessors points to a continued pattern of anemic OS marketshare levels, especially considering that Windows 9 is rumored to be released sometime in the middle of 2015.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.

Editors' Recommendations

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…
Best gaming chair deals: Save on Corsair, Razer, and more
Razer - Iskur Gaming Chair.

Playing video games for hours can be pretty brutal to your back and body, especially if you're an older gamer; as such, buying yourself a purpose-made chair can certainly help keep you healthier. While gaming chairs won't compete with chairs that are made specifically to take your health into account, they do offer better padding and a more hugging feeling than you'd find with your average low-end office chair. To that end, we've gone out and found some of our favorite gaming chair deals out there to make your life a little bit easier.

That said, if you're still in the shopping phase and haven't fully built your gaming setup yet, be sure to check out these gaming PC deals, gaming monitor deals, and gaming console deals to deck yourself out with the best stuff.
Homall Massage Gaming Chair -- $80, was $170

Read more
Google just broke search
AI Overviews being shown in Google Search.

Google AI Overviews were announced a couple of weeks ago at Google I/O, and they've already proven to be rather controversial. The aim to provide high-quality answers to your questions summarized from the web, but a series of recent X (formerly Twitter) threads show how big of a fail it's already proven to be.

The response that went viral involves a very dubious pizza recipe. As reported, when prompting Google for an answer to the issue of "cheese not sticking to pizza," the AI Overview suggests adding nontoxic glue to your pizza to prevent the cheese from sliding off. The exact words the AI overview gave are as follows: "You can also add about 1/8 cup of non-toxic glue to the sauce to give it more tackiness." Where did the Google AI overview get the info as a source? An 11-year-old Reddit comment from this thread, in what was clearly a joke.

Read more
Windows is about to axe these three iconic apps
A top-down view of the Surface Laptop Go.

Microsoft's upcoming Windows 11 24H2 update will include many new features, including a controversial new app. But PCWorld reports that the following major Windows 11 24H2 updates will also remove three iconic apps you may currently use: WordPad, Cortana, and Tips.

Although each of these are being discontinued, there are some specific details for how Microsoft is rolling out the changes. This change affects Cortana in Windows as a standalone app, but it will remain within other applications, such as Microsoft Teams Display, Outlook Mobile, Teams Mobile, and Microsoft Teams Rooms. Of course, Microsoft's push into AI with a full-screen version of Copilot will take the place of Cortana. This update to Copilot treats it more as a proper app, not unlike the ChatGPT Mac app that was recently announced.

Read more