Windows 8 Continues to Make Gains as XP's Share Erodes

Paul Lilly

Is Windows 7 the next Windows XP?

Now that another month is in the books, we have yet another opportunity to gauge Windows 8's ability to penetrate the market and make some predictions. One of those predictions is that despite Microsoft's best efforts to the contrary, Windows 7 could become the next Windows XP, meaning the last generation operating system could become one that users cling to for years to come.

First things first. Windows 8 continues to climb in market share and is now installed on just over 8 percent of desktops around the world, according to data by NetMarketShare . That's up from 7.41 percent a month ago and 5.4 percent in July. Granted, almost every new PC ships with Windows 8, so you would expect its market share to rise, though that doesn't necessarily explain why it made such a comparatively big jump from July to August.

In any event, some of that share is coming at the expense of Windows XP, which is now down to 31.41 percent. That's still a significant number of PCs, however it's definitely on a downward trend. When Windows 8 launched in October of last year, Windows XP held a 40.66 percent share of the market.

Meanwhile, Windows 7 is quietly gaining ground. After holding steady at around 44.5 percent for several months, Windows 7 climbed to 45.63 percent in August and ended up with a 46.43 percent share of the desktop market at the end of September. While most XP users seem to be making the jump to Windows 8, at least some are leaping to Windows 7 instead.

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