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Report: Windows 8.1 Finally Surpasses Windows XP

StatCounter revealed on Monday that on a global scale, Microsoft's Windows 8.1 finally surpassed Windows XP in November, making it the second most-used operating system on the Internet. This should be good news for Microsoft, showing that consumers and businesses alike continue to ditch Windows XP, which is no longer supported by Microsoft as of April 2014.

According to the report, Windows 8.1 earned a 10.95 percent slice of the OS market pie in November, while Windows XP earned a smaller 10.69 percent. Although the difference doesn't sound like much, this is the first time Windows 8.1 has broken past the 10 percent mark. The number is expected to rise as consumers and businesses make desktop and laptop purchases throughout December.

As for the other operating systems, Apple's OS X came in fourth place during November (8.11 percent), followed by Apple's iOS (6.61 percent), Windows 8.0 (4.9 percent) and Windows Vista (2.7 percent). What appears to be unchanged since November 2013 is Microsoft's Windows 7, which is still dominating the OS market with a huge lead of 50.34 percent.

"Following a somewhat mixed reaction to Windows 8, Windows 8.1 has made steady progress since its launch," commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter. "It passed Windows 8 in August and has now passed Windows XP in November. The growth trajectory for Windows 8.1 has been positive, but if current trends continue it will not topple Windows 7 before Windows 10 is launched in 2015."

On a local scale, Windows 7 still dominates the market, claiming a 43.86 percent share. Apple's OS X (14.88 percent) comes in second place followed by Windows 8.1 (12.21 percent), iOS (9.51 percent), Windows XP (5.48 percent), Windows Vista (4.11 percent) and Windows 8 (3.3 percent). The good news here is that Windows XP numbers are falling while Windows 8.1 may surpass OS X in the next several months.

Based on the StatCounter numbers, we should continue to see Windows 8 usage decline as more and more businesses and consumers upgrade to Windows 8.1. These updates are undoubtedly pushing the monthly numbers along with decent sales generating from desktops and laptops. The rise in numbers may even stem from anticipation for Windows 10, which is slated to be friendlier with desktop users.

What's surprising is that there are still some consumers and businesses across the globe and locally running Windows Vista. Here in the United States, the numbers have dropped ever so slowly, with a 7.49 percent share in November 2013, a 3.52 percent share in October 2014 and the current 4.11 percent share. For being one of the most disliked operating systems to date, Windows Vista shows that it still has some staying power.

So what will we see for December? Expect a numbers fight between Windows 8.1 and Mac OS X. Do you plan on purchasing or building a Windows 8.1 machine this month?

Follow Kevin Parrish @exfileme. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

  • yumri
    Last articale like this had Windows XP at aroudn 50% of market share so i am glad that businesses decided to upgrade in mass as i am assuming that they are the bulk of what makes it up. personily i am trying to decide wether to wait for windows 10 or go now with windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit DSP ... either way i am going to end up with windows 10 in a year i hope
    Reply
  • junkeymonkey
    is that like saying the 2014 ford cars surpassed the ford 1927 model A's ??
    Reply
  • yumri
    14711355 said:
    is that like saying the 2014 ford cars surpassed the ford 1927 model A's ??

    no it is more of saying the 2014 ford cars surpassed the year 2000~2001 ford cars
    Reply
  • trevor_dennis
    Just wondering why the various Windows versions are treated as separate entities, whereas all the OSX versions (Yellow Pebble, Baby Kitten, Slightly Rebellious) are rolled into one?
    Reply
  • trevor_dennis
    Yumri, I think computer years are at least as long as dog years.
    Reply
  • junkeymonkey
    bill cant make money that way. see what worked fine on xp and vista may not work on 7 or 8 so now you got to go rebuy stuff, the Microsoft way
    Reply
  • skit75
    "What's surprising is that there are still some consumers and businesses across the globe and locally running Windows Vista. Here in the United States, the numbers have dropped ever so slowly, with a 7.49 percent share in November 2013, a 3.52 percent share in October 2014 and the current 4.11 percent share. For being one of the most disliked operating systems to date, Windows Vista shows that it still has some staying power."

    When you own a Windows Vista machine and then see all vendors simultaneously pull all copies of Windows 7 off the shelf, can you blame the desktop user for not buying a tablet OS? Give them another desktop option and watch the Vista/XP numbers fall off the chart.
    Reply
  • junkeymonkey
    I run a xp box a vista box and a 7 box so all my programs can be used
    Reply
  • johnnyb105
    Well yeah they had to go up in the number Microsoft isn't supporting XP anymore those users where forced out and since windows 7 isn't being sold on oem computers its a no brainer folks are forced to use win 8 or 8.1 ..
    Reply
  • johnnyb105
    14711660 said:
    I run a xp box a vista box and a 7 box so all my programs can be used

    You should be able to run all your programs on windows 7 alone seems like a waste of hard drive space but even tho win vista SP2 Is more less windows 7 anyhow...
    Reply