Windows 8.x market share crippled by December drop

Over the past two months Windows 8 and 8.1 have shown tremendous usage growth.

According to web analytics firm NetMarketShare, the tiled OS went from a paltry combined 12.26 per cent share of the desktop OS market in September, to a much more respectable 18.65 per cent share in November.

That’s a growth of 6.39 percentage points in two months (October and November). Impressive. Which is why last month I declared Windows 8.x was no longer a huge embarrassment to Microsoft.

After all that celebration and jubilation the tech giant is going to be suffering from a New Year’s hangover today though, as the latest figures show the tiled OS has tumbled to its lowest usage share since March 2014.

In December, Windows 8 dropped 3.27 percentage points (from 6.55 per cent to 3.28 per cent) and 8.1 fell 3.8 percentage points (from a high of 12.10 per cent to 8.30 per cent).

Combined, 8.x dropped a whopping 7.07 percentage points (11.58 per cent total share), wiping out all recent gains and putting it back below XP levels. Way, way below.

In December, XP gained 0.65 percentage points, going from 13.57 per cent in November, to 14.22 per cent in December. A minimal gain of 0.65 percentage points.

Windows 7 dropped share in the same time frame, going from 56.41 per cent to 54.57 per cent.

As to where Windows 8.x’s share went, Mac OS X 10.10 took a chunk, as did "other" operating systems, a category which shot up 9 percentage points in December. A spot of investigation reveals that NetMarketShare has Windows NT jumping from 0.11 per cent to 7.64 per cent share in a month. Something not quite right there.

As to how Windows 10 is doing, the web analytics firm shows the Technical Preview at 0.3 per cent. That’s the same share as commanded by both Windows 98 and Windows 3.1, apparently.

It will be really interesting to see what happens to Windows 8.x's usage share next month.

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