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After a little more than three months, Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system is installed on 2.26 percent of all desktops, according to market share data provided by Net Applications. Windows 8, which was released to the general public on October 26, 2012, has seen a slow but steady rise, grabbing a 1.09 percent share of the desktop market by the end of November and 1.72 percent at the end of December.
Part of Windows 8's growth has come at the expense of Windows 7, which lost market share for only the first time since it launched over three years ago. It wasn't a big drop, dipping to 44.48 percent in January, down a little over half a percentage point from December. Windows 7 is still the most popular desktop operating system in the world, followed by Windows XP at 39.51 percent. Interestingly, XP's share was up in January.
More and more users continue to break up with Vista, which now has a 5.24 percent share of the market, down from 5.67 percent in December.
The next few months will prove an important measuring stick for Windows 8 as upgrade promotions wind down and more hybrid systems are released.