Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 combine for 10.58% of the desktop market

Windows 8.1 market share

We know that Windows Phone 8 moved 10.9 million handsets during the fourth quarter of 2013 and by doing so saw a year over year growth of 104% for the platform. But how’s Windows 8 doing? Some new numbers out from Net Applications show how Windows 8 (including Windows 8.1) are doing when compared to other platforms like Windows 7, Windows XP, OS X, and Linux. Time to see check out the current market share for desktop operating systems.

What’s the latest? Here’s the breakdown for operating system market share worldwide for the month of January 2014

  • Windows 8.1 – 3.95%
  • Windows 8 – 6.63%
  • Windows 7 – 47.49%
  • Windows Vista – 3.30%
  • Windows XP 29.23%
  • OS X – 7.68%
  • Linux – 1.60%

It’s actually pretty surprising to see such a high number of users still on Windows 8, especially because Windows 8.1 is a free upgrade available to all users. Either way, if we combine the numbers for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 we have 10.58% market share for the latest and greatest version of Windows. That’s not at all bad when you consider the reluctance of Enterprise to upgrade and those users still clinging onto Windows XP. That's also up from the 9.3% of the market it controlled at the start of December

That also means that Windows 8/8.1 has a higher share than OS X and Linux combined. Of course we’re looking at desktop operating systems and the picture isn’t so pretty for Microsoft when we look at the mobile landscape.

Source: NetApplications Via: The Next Web


Reader comments

Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 combine for 10.58% of the desktop market


Anyways windows and wins is what it really matters like people say android shares highest in mobile landscape regardless of its version .. Which is badly fragmented

Microsoft should push 8.1 via Windows Update, even though it is technically 'R2'. It should at least prompt them with a wizard showing them the benefits, rather than put it in the app store that some never even open.

It says "sponsored by Nokia". Doesn't mean it has to be a Nokia phone ;) I don't see Nokia producing a phone with such a thin bezel for build-quality reasons. I wouldn't be surprised if that device in the picture either doesn't exist or is a Samsung.

No way its Samsung, design of the phone looks like Lumia family. By the way evleaks said the 1080p Samsung WP will look like Galaxy series. So no

I wish jellyfish! That would be amazing if true. I'm Real careful with my phones i promise to look after its fragile edges, please Nokia.. Dare to dream

I'm sure it will, even if not it's taken OSX 14 years to get less than 8% of the market. Yet tech bloggers say Windows 8 is slow at gaining market share.

The fact is that Windows releases have always been compared with.... previous Windows releases. Apple has never been a factor.

Hopefully windows 8.1 update 1 on tablets is different then the pc one because i like close apps just by swiping down and metro apps looks ugly as fu*k on desktop. Microsoft team is fuc*ing up abit.

Yep, the ability to launch metro apps on desktop is solely if they'd been launched from desktop or if you specify from the new multitasker. Nothing about the current multitasking paradigm is changing.

W8.1 is available through the Store not WU. W8.1 Update 1 will be pushed through WU and this will make a big difference.

There's also the issue that the 8.1 update fails for a lot of machines. It failed to install on both my sister-in-law and daughter's laptops. Got it to install on my daughter's after manually running Windows Update.

Also not available for volume license editions of Windows. A bit of a stuff up really, but I know why they did it, to ensure that they could leverage Store as a payment platform if they wanted to charge for some future updates for whatever reason.

I remember that the Windows 8.1 update failed a number of times on my PC until I did a refresh as suggested by one member at the Microsoft Technet forums. Only then was I able to install it without any problems. My Surface RT, on the other hand, updated without any problems whatsoever, which led me to suspect that the 8.1 update must have detected non-Store apps or programs (e.g. Zune software, Winamp, etc.) on my PC and chose to halt the installation.

Other problem with w8.1 is that in order to even see it in the store, there are criteria that have to be met. For example, anyone who doesn't have WU on auto will not see it in the store until all pending updates are installed. There are also a couple problems that can keep it from showing up in the store.

@Electric Jack.... You're 100% correct. Yesterday, I helped a friend with the learning curve for her Windows 8 laptop. While doing so I decided to check for updates. The first round of updates where 92 installs. After restarting her laptop I checked for updates again. There were 12 more. A second restart, and her machine was ready for Windows 8.1. The process was a bit longer than I would like, but nevertheless a smooth one. The update to Windows 8.1 went through without a hitch!

8.1 upgrade is not free for commercial use. My company has hundreds of W8 computers, but they cannot be upgraded for free.

I'm willing to bet that a lot of the people that haven't updated to 8.1 have also installed some other piece of software to bypass the Start screen. They think its just another interface but when it comes to the store its a whole other OS in terms of accessibility to certain options.

MS has to fix 8.1 first. It fails on 2 of our laptops. I went to the MS store, and they are at about 70% success during upgrade....


Same symptons, never ending upgrade.

If you are in the US, bring it to MS store for free support.  I sold my buddy my old surface and found technical issue, so I told him to go to MS store and 2 trips later he got Surface 2 replacement.

Windows 8.1 will rule once support ends for windows 7, windows XP, and windows vista. It is time to switch to the new windows.

Windows 8.1 won't be around the moment support for Windows 7 ends. Probably you'll be at Windows 10 or 11 by then =P

As for me. I'll never get stuck on an older windows version again. Going forward I'll ride the wave, :-).

Speed. Speed of programs and boot. But I'll add one more, Search. I like. Windows 8 much better than Windows 7.

1) it is faster to boot than win7, and a little faster in operation. Not a ton faster than 7, but it is faster
2) built in VCD and VHD support is great
3) lots of old power-user features that XP axed finally came back
4) much more accurate and granular view in Task Manager (which is awesome). Task manager now includes things from msconfig.
5) UAC works much better
6) ability to pause/resume data transfers and manage several transfers at once
7) all of the old keyboard shortcuts still work, making things like searches just as easy as win7, but with a bit more power and screen real-estate for larger searches.

Most things are not major changes, but a lot of them are awesome. Also note that most of those have nothing to do with metro, because you basically never see metro in the first place.

Can I just add to this list:  Apps.

There's a ton of apps/games in the Windows App Store and, of course, you can't run them on W7.  I realize, especially in regards to apps rather than games, there's a website equivalent to most of them, but sometimes there's just something nice about not being in a browser.  And there's a ton of addictive games in the store that either don't have a desktop equivalent or are just easier to find in the App Store.

Question: does Windows 8 "warn" the user that 8.1 is available? I'm thinking about a warning outside the Store, that is.

Yes... A lot of friends are stuck on windows 8 because they don't know there's an update. Microsoft needs to send OS updates using Windows Update.

I disagree.  If 8.1 was pushed via Windows update then core components would change like IE.  I'm pretty sure that 8.1 update 1 will come via Windows Update.  In the case of 8.1, users would have experienced early compatibility issues with IE 11, this is why I think MS pushed the update from the store.  I'm assuming this will be the case with all os version revisions i.e.. 8.1, 9.0 ....

Mine tried to trick me: "If you install that, a leprechaun will eat a unicorn." I threw caution to the wind and tapped Install anyway.

Yes it does give a warning. However it doesn't always work properly, sadly. Sometimes the 8.1 update can be missing from the store, or it won't let you download, or a host of other things. That said, I haven't had a problem with it at all, but I know people who have.

Rule of thumb I suppose. Microsoft should at least make this a seamless process for the average consumer. I'm a fan of Windows, but I must admit that they seam to cater to the geek squad more so than your average Joe.

And, of course, the Enterprise version of 8 can't be upgraded to 8.1 via the store which may explain some of it, as well.

I still have one of my PCs stuck on Windows 8. Even though I was running 8 on that PC since the consumer preview, when I went to upgrade it said my PC couldn't run 8.1. From what I can see, the requirements are the same.

Check for Windows updates, and install all updates that have been detected. Restart when prompted then check for updates again. If you're Windows 8 device is completely updated, the 8.1 upgrade will show in the Windows Store.

All updates have been done, that's not the problem. When I click the upgrade in the store it tells me "Sorry, you can't install the update because its not supported by your computers CPU". When I click for more info or takes me to a page showing the system requirements which are the same for 8 & 8.1. So despite the fact that I've been running 8 for a year and a half, suddenly my PC doesn't meet the requirements for 8.1.

I have a home build PC and when I upgraded it caused my comp to crash continuously with the only solution being wiping the drive and reinstalling windows 8, and I don't feel like trying the upgrade again (although I wish I could because Skype for 8.1 is way better)

This is going to continue to rise because you can barely find a new computer without it.. People just aren't going to totally give up their PC's.. IDroidRT tablets are cool, but they just can't get the job done...
Do you know what this means? Apps, apps, apps, apps are coming. It's immanent❕.. And, those apps are going to get easier and easier to port over to WP.. Do you know what that means???
Back in 2010 MS knew that they had to do something bold to build WP's developer support, and it doesn't take a genius to see what they were up to.. Its just nice to see it moving along at a steady medium pace.... It seems to be working... Looks like they killed two birds with one stone.

Hear hear. I know people get impatient (and so do I) but on happy Microsoft is putting the work in to get everything right. They're focusing heavily on making sure the strategy doesn't fail. And they're the only tech company large enough to pull off something of this scale, so I'm glad they're taking their time.

Yes,, that's the point.. They're doing what needs to be done, and it's working.. "moving at a steady medium pace" is a complement.

Agree 100% Sadly, alot of the (wannabe) geeks that continually bash everything related to Microsoft have zero understanding of this.

The problem is that alot of users avoid the store. They dont know about the update to Windows 8.1 because "Windows Update" tells them they are up to date.

It's the price point, the fact that relatively few applications work on a Mac, and also that Apple forces software and hardware obsolescence very quickly. Enterprises can't afford to upgrade their entire hardware base every few years because Apple decides it no longer wants to support something.

The problem is Win8.1 is an optional update and you are not forced to upgrade. You have to access it through the Marketplace then install it...Pretty silly if you ask me because 8.1 is an improvement on 8...

Just imagine what the numbers would be like if there wasn't so much undue, unnecessary and untrue horse sh*t out there about W8.X.

I'm amazed MS used the Windows store for the 8.1 update. It sounded pretty cool when JLG first mentioned it but the process was painfully long and not at all transparent as to what was happening.

I think it should just go out as a critical update via Windows Update so everyone gets it. Seems ludicrous to have the system in place and not do it. Just maintains a bad perception of Windows 8 as most people then assume MS hasn't actually done anything to make their experience better.

Maybe if 8.1 GDR 1 is via Windows update that's when everyone will be updated?

That's my guess. Because update 1 would give them 8.1 AND update 1. It would only make the update longer, but it's worth every second.

It isn't even obvious on brand new PCs. My new PC didn't show it being available until I found a hotfix to run that did the updates needed to get 8.1 to show up in the Store.

Patting yourselves on the back are we? The fact that more people using windows 8 than 8.1 this late in the game tells you that either people don't know how to upgrade to 8.1 (Really its NOT EASY for the non-geek) or they don't really care about metro and probably don't even notice an upgrade is in the windows store.
Also OSX has a faster upgrade rate than Windows. People quickly move up the chain of updates. This is a failure on Microsoft part.
Next who cares that there are more windows 8 users than OSX? Would you rather have a smaller pool of users who love your product and would recommend it to anyone who could afford it or a larger pool of users who mostly despise it and are forced to put up with what they could afford?
My best friend who i heartily recommended the T100 to still cannot grasp windows 8. Its not a testament to her intelligence that she can't quite figure it out but rather evidence that Microsoft has a clusterf--k of an OS that's alienating their userbase more than its helping them achieve their vision of One OS multiple devices.

I'd say "not easy for non-geeks" is the answer. Average consumers aren't going to look for hotfixes to get their brand new PCs to update in order to get 8.1 to show up in the Store.

My wife as a graphical designer has been using MACs over 20 years, she is really smart and works as a Graphical Designer Coordinator at University level, yet, with the so friendly and simple OSX she could not figure out how to change her desktop image!

Your friend must have trouble getting out of bed in the morning. I learned W8 in 5 minutes. A few swipes, some keyboard shortcuts, that's all you need to know to navigate the entire OS and everything on your machine.

Its a process, I think there are some barriers inherent that they are working on to get through the different barriers which they are just cleaning up and dressing as Windows 9. That is NOT to say that 8 is a failure like so many are trying to suggest. ;)

Upgrading to 8.1 isn't easy for enterprise/VLC installs. You can't upgrade via windows store. It has to be done via ISO file or disc. Plus you have to change the activation code. Hence the high number of windows 8 still around. I've got three computers running 8 that I haven't had a chance to upgrade. I'll get to it eventually.

Windows 8.1 would've gained for from 8 if the person didn't have to use the store. Some people I know didn't know that you had to install it from the store, I had to tell them. And if local accounts can't use the windows store, how could they install 8.1?

Well, that's probably why Microsoft makes the whole online account thing part of almost everything they make nowadays...you can see it right? Not to call them sneaky but its like they're saying, "remain offline at your peril..." =P

there's a lot of people who can't update to 8.1 because they can't get the earlier updates required for 8.1.. I have a friend with this problem, and the solution is restoring windows. not everyone likes to do that I guess.

I told this to my boss who is Mac-centric,and he just couldn't believe it. Because for some reason the "industry standard" in photography is Mac (even though you can get Wacom tablets, and ultra portable, and durable tablets that are Windows now....). People are weird.

I'm running x64 W8.1 on a 5 year old machine that up until recently had x86 XP. Tossed in a lil extra RAM, and it works GREAT!! LOVE IT!!!!!!!

My in laws are still on Windows 8 because the purchased the Windows upgrade from XP while having a dual core AMDx2 4800+. Unfortunately, those CPUs can't upgrade to 8.1 which is a joke.

You don't need new hardware. I'm running 8.1 on a 6 year old desktop at home. At work I am running W7 (we just upgraded from XP) on a 5 year old machine with 3.5GB of RAM and it runs much faster than XP ever did, and it's more stable. No doubt W8.x would run even better. That's one of the problems with W7 and W8, they are so much more efficient that most people don't need to upgrade their hardware.

Hmmm, you say that but I've had quite a few issues when it comes to old hardware. Of course I blame the quality of the hardware in these cases. HP systems from between 07-09 that upgraded from 7 - 8 but then showed some resistance adding the .1 to them and they seemed to lose their minds! I blame drivers and aging Intel processors...but whatever. =/

Most of those XP users are enterprise. They have legacy issues to deal with that the average consumer doesn't. My company just upgraded to 7 from XP and we only did it because XP is being effectively discontinued. Otherwise I am not sure we would have ever upgraded. Not my decision. I would have moved to 7 when it was released.

Windows 8 has higher percentage. Even OEMs in India is very slow to update. On leading Indian online retail store Flipkart, maximum notebooks are running Windows8,very few are with 8.1.


Judging by the responses so far most people really missed the giant elephant in the room... MS way screwed up, most people don't want a smartphone on the desktop, hence the adoption rate after such a long time being so low. I've needed a new desktop for 2 years and have put it off waiting for horse sense to show up in Redmond, have concluded that not going to happen and will instead buy another Win 7 machine. Amazing how slow the Windows team is to understanding market conditions

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Shows you don't know much! XBox OS is not a smartphone on a Game Console, is it? It's called Unification!

and a cluless person like you, with a clueless comment like yours know what consumers want?

last time I opened my windows 8 computer... oh wait, even the one Im using right now, can run any Windows 32/64 bit desktop app that windows 7 ran. even start screen works better.
oh but of course its a smartphone on a desktop /s
sure, where do I put my sim card again? do you know? I want to call someone

please clueless person using crappy android, when you really know how to use a computer, come back, someone will be waiting for you... or not, but stop posting stuff you dont even know.

While I may not be the technical expert you clearly espouse yourself to be, I do have a lifetime in front of a Windows machine, from a user's perspective, both personal and professional... It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that the metro concept for a desktop was clearly not what over 90 percent of current users were willing to adopt. It's equally clear that Microsoft got it too, hence the backpedaling to appease the masses and bring some windows 7 features back.

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I love the Metro interface on my desktop computer. This is the bewst, esiest to use OS that there has ever been, and it just keeps getting better. The problem is that too many people want to stay in the 20th century. I'm surprised they're not still on Win 3.1. The fact that there are so many people still using XP tells you how many ignorant people there are.

@radiohawk, and others - here is my two cents - W8/8.1 is a software generation early. It is the cornerstone to MS' three screen idea they talked about years ago. W8 is the first step of One Windows to Rule Them All. The early adopters LOVE it, the rest of us will avoid it until necessary. I do not want Windows Phone on my home computer or laptop - yet. At some point my attitude will be upgraded, but for now, I remain a reluctant W8.1 user (Surface Pro) and an avid Windows Phone user.

@ScottAB, thanks for getting the gist of my comments... And to others I truly appreciate your passion for Microsoft, although at times in this string one might think we were discussing I-Crapples :-) I recognize that at some point we all have to decide who to trust with our technology needs. Although my posts don't reflect it I really want to escape Google's way over-reaching intrusive nature. Microsoft has been my working environment in one way or another since 1984 and was my first smartphone (win-mobile driven touch pro) before ick-phones existed. The long transition to Windows Phone sent me to try Android and now am just waiting for Microsoft to catch up. There are a half dozen apps that aren't on WP yet, just that simple. The issue with desktops is 8 was not built, nor really intended to be used with keyboard/mouse - tablet software brilliantly made to function on a desktop except I don't use my desktop like a tablet, I need mouse and keyboard. Apparently a lot of win 7 users think that way. Again I REALLY want to escape Google's grasp so WP is in my future and have been drooling over first Gen surface pricing, that's probably in my future as well.

To those that took offense to previous posts, no ill will intended, more like you than you think

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I'll take your comment one further. What came after Windows 7 was truly a .0 product, and the simple fact is that although they are building on everything that has come before, it was meant to be a completely clean BREAK from before, like they did with their phones. It may have hurt everyone but it was absolutely necessary. Now they have begun to build upon it with many of the things they have been able to take into account after the fact. Of course people would just love it if they had been able to Windows 10 instead of 8, 8.1 and 9, saving everyone the hassle of getting accustomed to their processes...someone mentioned backpedaling, but I don't see that at ALL. I championed 8 when it came out and rightly so, but its alien to me now that 8.1 is available and much more a complete OS. Vista? I don't think so, but then I missed that whole rigmarole because I wasn't going to buy a PC and couldn't afford it anyway. The idea was nice enough, but I now know the truth behind what happened and can only take that with some seasoning. Growing pains are necessary whether we like it or not...

I would much rather not be stuck in the past like you are the apparent droves of idiots that can't grasp 5 minutes of instruction to learn a new, and better, way of computing. I have to say thank you to Microsoft for moving technology and UI forward. Stick to your multiple device life championed by Apple, I'll take my "do it all" Surface Pro.

Well, I'm one of those who stuck at Win8. I'm using Enterprise version which, sadly, can't upgrade to Win8.1 until our admins say so. Apparently, the are a lots of enterprise users like me.

Very true. We haven't upgraded to 8.1 on our work Surface Pros because our VPN solution, Pulse, is shite. I installed 8.1 and it rendered the device useless. Uninstall Pulse and it works fine. So until Pulse updates to work with 8.1 we are stuck with 8. F***ing developers.

Microsoft should force upgrade XP users to W8. Maybe release a free Service Pack which introduces 8.1 Store, UI, to XP

Free W8 upgrade for XP users with 2 years support

Free Lumia 625 with New License

Free Lumia 525 with Upgrade License

Just spoil the market...

and how much would that cost? do you think adding those things to XP, its a press of a button and everything will run and be perfect? they are making windows 8 updates as fast as they can, do you think they also have time for XP?

people who had XP had the opportunity to get Windows 8 for $40 dollars, it was really cheap. and they didnt get it, so is it Microsoft fault?
some people think since it works they dont need to upgrade... so I dont get why give away something for free, when there have been 10 years and they couldnt even try to upgrade or buy a legal copy.

Seriously, that whole deal with getting a $200.00 OS for just $40.00 was AMAZING...I can't believe people out there were absolutely ridiculous for not taking advantage of that. All these concerns and issue are beside the point, fear-mongering and just absolute ignorance. I swear I saw one video made by a couple of losers completely flipping out on it and wondering about their upbringing...sigh. There's just no helping the evolutionary dead-ends. =/

It was actually really easy to get it for $15... just say that you bought your PC within the last 6 months and they discounted it even further. I'm only kicking myself that I didn't get more than 1 copy! I'd really love to see how it runs on my old XP laptop and I have a few other PC's kicking around that could gain new life.

In India,

$40 = 2501

2501 * 1000 computers in a company = INR 2 501 000

Avg Salary = 25,000

2501000/25000 = 100.04 person salary for a month...

thats why some crappy corporates are still adament in adoption

It's an investment though... they should be looking to keep the same OS for 2-3 years, so it's really not that much money spread out over 3 years. If they're already on Windows 7 there's actually no point at all to upgrade. It's only if they're stuck on Windows XP that they should upgrade to Windows 8.

8.1 itself is terrific.  upgrading 8 to 8.1 is the problem.  even on an ideal case scenario, it takes a very long time to do it.  I've upgraded 5 machines at work.  3 machines were fine but took a long time and some reconfiguring once it was up and running.  2 machines had problems, one of which took a couple hours and at the end of the upgrading process, ended with a failure error message and rolled itself back to 8.  The other machine, the antivirus that came with the machine (crappy Norton... thanks HP!) interfered with the upgrade process and it took a bit to realize that it was the antivirus program causing the problem (uninstalling it fixed the process).  many regular folks are not going to realize that. 

there has to be a way to easily upgrade these machines without depending on streaminstalling each machine independently.  what happened to the service pack days when you could just download it once and then upgrade every machine, even simultaneously???

There are currently 1.5-1.6B PCs in the wild. 700M of those are Win 7 machines. There are around 150M+ 8/8.1 devices currentlly in use.

Here is the bottom line...

Apple loves to talk about net usage statistics to talk down Android's marketshare. Well, by Q3 Windows 8/8.1/8.2 will have higher net usage than IOS, Chrome OS, Android & OSX combined!!!

The Windows store is the fastest growing app store in history, it's just very late to the game. How many developers will be foolish enough to ignore a 300M+ install base by 2015?

Count me as a satisfied W7Pro and reluctant W8.1Pro user. I still am not ready to abandon W7 yet on my HP Touchscreen. W8.1 is alright on my Surface Pro, but I am considering installing W7 on it. I am not ready for WindowsPhone on my tablet/laptop yet - I use my phone for apps when I am away from home. Other than Bing Maps app, I spend much of my time with my Surface Pro in desktop mode. I am sure I will "update" myself at some point, but it may not be until W9 rolls around.

One app makes it all worth it for win 8.1. Camcard. I scan business cards with my phone. And then I edit it on my 8.1 machine. Much better with a full size keyboard and a bigger screen. Much faster and camcard in win8.1 stays perfectly synced to my phone.

Thanks for the tip dirtyvu. I now have Camcard on my SurfacePro and, ahem, iPhone. I am heading out to get new tires and some preventative maintenance done on my vehicle. I will have about 2+ hours of quality time with my Surface Pro. This is my first real chance to use it in the wild.

former PocketPC onTMo
former HTC WP7 on TMo
former L920 WP8 on AT&T
regretting iPhone 5
future Lumia 93x

The fact that the majority haven't updated from 8 to 8.1 proves no one visits the store. MS should push the update through windows update. Bringing metro apps to the desktop is a good idea.

What percent of the market does Windows 8 have on "tablet" devices running full operating systems? I would argue 100%.

A mobile OS that can run apps and programs back to XP era? Or optimize 8 or more Gb RAM? That can virtualize server OSs or even other architecture OSs (Blue Stacks)? That's not a mobile OS! It is called Unifiaction of OSs; XBox, PCs, Mobile!

I wonder how many of those are people who don't know how to upgrade. It's not like the system forces users to upgrade to 8.1 (which they really should anyway).