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Windows 8 Uptake Falls Behind Windows Vista Pace

Net Applications, a web measurement company, reports that the online usage share of Windows 8 through December 22 was 1.7-percent of all Windows PCs currently on the market, a small increase in usage compared to the 1.4-percent share in November. However the numbers also reveal that Microsoft's new OS is falling behind Windows Vista which saw a 2.2-percent usage share in the same two-month period after its initial release in 2007.

According to Computerworld, Net Applications generates its numbers by recording the specific operating system and version used by the desktops and laptops of consumers who visit approximately 40,000 of its clients' web sites. There are also nine days of Windows 8 data still left in December, including Christmas, that hasn't been released by Net Applications, so the actual usage share could actually rise or fall by January 1.

As the site points out, in order to catch up to Windows Vista's 2007 two-month total, the online usage share of Windows will need to jump up to 4-percent in the last week of December to at least be on par with Vista. So far Windows 8 doesn't look to be on track, earning a 1.6-percent share in the week ending December 15, and a 1.7-percent share in the week ending December 22. The usage share is obviously gaining, but not quick enough to keep up with Vista.

But even if Windows 8 were to catch up with Vista by December 31, the report claims that the new OS will have a hard time keeping pace. By the end of Vista's third month on the market, it managed a 3.3-percent share of all Windows-based machines. In order to equal that, Windows 8 will need to double its current share by the end of January 2013.

When compared to Windows 7, the latest OS is even more sluggish. By the end of its second month, Windows 7 accounted for 6.2-percent of all Windows machines – that's nearly four times that of Windows 8 as of December 22. By the end of its third month, Windows 7 had an 8.2-percent share of all Windows machines.

The data offered by Net Applications seemingly backs up previous reports that Windows 8 isn't making the same initial impact in sales as seen with Windows XP and Windows 7. Back in late November, the NPD Group claimed that during the four weeks surrounding Windows 8's October 26 debut, 21-percent fewer PCs were sold to U.S. consumers than during the same period in 2011. Even more, sales of Windows machines from late October through the first week of December were down 13-percent compared to the same retail window last year.

Windows 8's sluggish attraction is undoubtedly related to its new Modern UI interface. Both the consumer and enterprise sectors have expressed a desire to postpone upgrading from even the older Windows XP platform, possibly believing that the new interface has completely taken over, making customers reluctant to change. On the contrary, Microsoft's Modern UI is merely an overlay that ties together the desktop, laptop, touch-focused tablets, Windows Phone 8 platform and gaming consoles. Underneath the modern exterior is mostly the same desktop consumers have grown to love over the years, hindered by the lack of a Start menu.

To read the full report from Net Applications, head here.