Windows 8 should finally overtake Vista by the summer.
Net Applications has released its OS usage report for March, revealing that Windows 7 still dominates the world, commanding 44.73 percent of the operating system market, up from its 44.55 percent share in February. Usage of the platform has seemingly flatlined since 2Q12, owning 40.51 percent of the market in May 2012 and 45.11 percent in December 2012.
Unsurprisingly, Windows XP settles in at a close second, grabbing 38.73 percent of the market. However, unlike Windows 7, usage of the OS continues to steadily decline, dropping from its 38.99 percent share in February and 39.51 percent in January. Windows XP had a 44.85 percent market share in May 2012 and a 39.08 percent share in December 2012.
As for Windows 8, which was released last fall, the new OS continues to slowly gain ground. In January, the touchy platform had 2.26 percent of the OS market. That number jumped slightly in February with a 2.67 percent share and then 3.17 percent in March. Adoption reportedly isn't as quick as Microsoft would like, possibly due to a lack of affordable touch-based solutions and consumer reluctance to change.
On the Windows Vista front, usage of the third most popular OS on the planet continues to decline. In January, it had an OS market share of 5.24 percent, followed by 5.17 percent in February and 4.99 percent in March. Mac OS X 10.8, falling into fifth place behind Windows 8, had a market share of 2.65 percent in March, up from 2.61 percent in February and 2.44 percent in January.
Net Application's report also reveals that Windows RT commands a mere 0.02 percent of the OS market, falling behind Windows 2000 (0.05 percent), Windows NT (0.07 percent) and Linux (1.17 percent). Windows 8 Pro used on touch-based solutions had a better showing than its ARM-based RT cousin in March with a 0.12 percent share.
The good news here for Microsoft is that Windows 8 continues to grow and Vista continues to decline. At this rate, the revamped OS should surpass Vista and assume third place on the usage chart by the summer. Maybe we'll even see a significant increase once Windows 8.1 is released, and cheaper touch-based solutions arrive on the market.
The bad news is that Microsoft's ancient Windows XP platform still consumes 38.73 percent of the OS market, and support will officially be severed in a little more than a year from now. That means no more security updates no matter how much you plead to the Redmond company. It will definitely be interesting to see these statistics again in April 2014.