Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system has had a difficult journey since its launch. Steve Sinofsky predicted that the new OS would have a rocky start before consumers ultimately embraced it, but a year on from its release, it still pales in comparison to its far more popular predecessor, Windows 7.
Now a chart from Statista (based on data from Net Applications) draws some stark writing on the wall for Windows 8, which was supposed to be the future of Microsoft's platform strategy. The new operating system is being used by only 9.3% of the computing market. In comparison, Windows 7, which launched in October 2009, was twice as popular 12 months after launch.
Worrying for Microsoft
Windows 7 took only a few months to surpass 10% market share and reach 20% at the close of its first year. In comparison, Windows 8 has started slowly and continued to grow slowly, and, despite a small increase in sales over the summer, appears to have plateaued in recent months. It took the new platform more than half a year to reach just 5% adoption.
Perhaps more worrying for Microsoft, however, is another report from Net Applications which gave Windows 8 a market growth of 0.05% while Windows 7's growth was a far bigger at 0.22%. Essentially, Windows 8 is actually being outsold by its 4-year old predecessor, despite Microsoft actively spreading the OS's 'look and feel' to other platforms such as the Xbox and Windows Phone.
Of course, the numbers don't necessarily foretell the doom of Windows 8. Microsoft will be hoping that Christmas and holiday sales of devices supporting that platform will drive its market share up into more healthy figures. It seems, however, that Microsoft's user base overwhelmingly shown its preference for Windows 7, the company's tried-and-trusted stalwart.
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