Bad news for Microsoft? Windows XP still on the rise as Windows 8 usage drops

Operating Systems

by Ben Sullivan| 01 July 2014

But Windows 8.1 manages to climb a fraction in June.

Uptake of the Windows 8 operating system on desktops fell in June, while the use of Windows 8.1 actually rose, according to the latest stats from web traffic analysts Net Market Share.

In May, Windows 8 held a 6.29% share in the desktop market, but this has now dropped 0.36 points to 5.93%. However, usage of Windows 8.1, the first upgrade to Windows 8 which launched in June 2013, upped to 6.61% in June, a rise of 0.26 points.

In another twist, Windows XP managed to increase its market share in June, climbing to 25.31% from 25.27%.

Microsoft ended support for XP on April 8 this year as it tried to shift businesses onto more recent operating systems such as Windows 7, 8 or 8.1, meaning it no longer issues patches to solve security risks on the 13-year-old operating system.

But data from Bitdefender, an antivirus software firm, points to the fact that one in five SMBs were still using Windows XP more than a month after support expired.

For the enterprise, staying on Windows XP proves much cheaper than migrating systems to Window 8. Analyst firm CIC told CBR migrating IT infrastructure to Windows 7 or 8 could prove less attractive than paying Microsoft for custom support after support ended in April.

Principal analyst Clive Howard said: "Businesses face an enormous task. They're scared. But they have to weigh up how much it will cost to upgrade and whether buying extra life support comes in much lower.

"In a lot of cases XP will be cheaper for a considerable time."

Windows 7 usage jumped slightly in June, with the operating system now holding a 50.55% market share, up from 50.06% in May.

This means Windows 7 is still the most popular operating system in the world on desktops, with an increasing market share being reported every month.

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