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Windows 7's growth strides ahead of Windows 8.x

Windows XP users might be able to (sort of) cheat the aging operating system’s end of life, but ultimately the only real way to stay safe is, as Microsoft says, by upgrading to a newer, more modern version of Windows. NetMarketShare’s monthly snapshot of the desktop OS share trend shows users are continuing to slowly migrate away from XP. The OS’s share dropped 1.02 per cent from 26.29 per cent in April to 25.27 per cent in May.

So the question is, where are XP users moving to? I think you probably know the answer to that by now.

Windows 8 continued to lose market share, going from 6.36 per cent in April to 6.29 per cent in May for a drop of 0.07 per cent. Windows 8.1 grew share, going from 5.88 per cent to 6.35 per cent, for an increase of 0.47 per cent. You don’t need a calculator to work out that in total Windows 8.x share grew by 0.4 per cent. The previous month it grew by 0.9 per cent, which was its biggest market share gain since December 2013.

It might be hard to get hold of Windows 7 these days, but that hasn’t stopped the OS packing on growth. It went from 49.27 per cent in April to 50.06 per cent in May - finally breaking through the 50 per cent barrier - for an increase of 0.79 per cent, nearly double that of Windows 8.x.

It seems no matter what Microsoft does with Windows 8.x, it can’t persuade users to switch to it. You would think that rolling out the superior Windows 8.1 would have improved the tiled operating system’s fortunes but it didn’t. Windows 8.1 Update, a mandatory update designed to make the OS more appealing to keyboard and mouse users, has had virtually no impact on share, and killing off an old operating system with over a quarter of the market and trying to move people on to "new Windows" hasn’t had the desired effect either.