Windows 8.1 Desktop Usage Inches Past Mac OS X 10.9, Windows 7 Remains Dominant

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News Posted: Mon, Dec 2 2013 10:31 PM

Prior to the Windows 8 launch last fall, Microsoft had a strong belief that it was going to change the computing world forever. Instead, it became one of the worst-received OSes the company had ever pushed out. I'd bring up the definitive "worst", but I fear for reoccurring nightmares.

Still, while much of the world continues to scoff at the idea of using Windows 8, Microsoft has gained itself a bit of a right to gloat: The OS has seen a constant increase in usage since its release. To be fair, a lot of this increase owes its thanks to OEM builders, but even so, the fact that most people are not backtracking to Windows 7 should prove that Windows 8 isn't as bad as a lot of people make it out to be.

According to Net Applications, a firm that gathers its data from a large number of the world's biggest websites, Windows 8's overall marketshare increased from 5.1% in June to 9.3% in November. That's a far cry from Windows 7's market-leading 46.64%, but given the flak Windows 8 has received since its launch, the numbers could be much worse. Plus, let's not ignore the fact that a lot of Windows 7 users consider it to be the "perfect" OS, so the need to upgrade would feel nonexistent - no one likes spending money just for the sake of it. 

When singling Windows 8.1 out, November saw its usage surpass Mac OS X 10.9 - 2.64% vs. 2.42%. There are a couple of things that makes this notable: Both were released 100% cost-free (to owners of the previous version), and both were released 5 days apart. That said, given Windows 8 had already surpassed OS X as a whole a couple of months ago, this overtake was inevitable.

For the Linux fan, the above pie chart might come off as a bit depressing, but month-over-month, its dropping off and coming back seems to be typical. Still, at a current 1.56% usage share, it's a relative runt to the other OSes.

As we're in the midst of the annual mega-buying season, it will be interesting to see how these charts will change over the next couple of months.

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Windows 8.1 is great

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Did they put back the start bar ?

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You should be ashamed to call yourself an IT professional then. Anybody who has actually given W8 a chance would know that you can get around perfectly fine without metro. It has a bit of a learning curve, but so do most things that are different than what you're used to.

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sevags replied on Tue, Dec 3 2013 10:15 AM

I am definitely siding with Nick...

I updated my new MacBook Air to Maverick the day of release. But then I went and purchase windows 8.1 and running dual boot now. I love windows! The number one benefit right off the bat is video out works MUCH better from the windows environment than from OS X! I am noticing a bit of a learning curve and it took me an hour the first day to find control panel and a way to get there easily but I'm slowly getting it. I'm not afraid to learn something new and I'm liking it enough to use it over Mavericks so....

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Upgrade from 8 to 8.1 wasn't smooth

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ESilow replied on Tue, Dec 3 2013 11:52 AM

It wasn't smooth FOR YOU. For me, it couldn't have been smoother. A few clicks in the store, download, and done.

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RWilliams replied on Tue, Dec 3 2013 12:18 PM

I agree with Nick and sevags.

As for 8 > 8.1 not being a smooth transition (@Adnan), I admit it could have been a bit better for me as well. While the actual process completed without issue, it's not just an upgrade... it's a full OS reinstall. So I found a couple of apps afterwards that no longer worked (Futuremark and VMware in particular), which required me to reinstall them. Fortunately, I didn't run into an actual roadblock... it was just not as smooth or straight-forward as I anticipated.

It's also worth noting that Microsoft keeps mum about the Windows.old folder it keeps after upgrading to 8.1. It's just 1GB or so, but that's 1GB hogged for no reason (It can be deleted through the System Disk Cleanup tool).

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Ramtruck replied on Tue, Dec 3 2013 12:58 PM

As a nearly-16-year-old computer geek and slightly cancerous gamer, I don't care about TButtons' opinion and love all my unused RAM that I can use for other things and love how nice Windows 8.1 looks.

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They should have, it would have made it better . I'm not a fan of making a PC like a smartphone touchscreen they need to leave the PC as a PC just make a tab like everyone else, let people have a choice and not push a crappy OS on people . I think they change to much to soon .

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Hmm just Windows 8 & 8.1 combined out number all versions of OS X total.  That is sad considering how long various versions of OS X have been out in the wild.

I have a funny feeling that when we get to mobile browsers the "Android Browser" that is default with most older Android devices which are no longer supported will have the largest market share among the available web browsers on the Android platform.

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I really like windows 8.1, its the best OS to date. Its fluid fast and very different. I really like the direction MS is going with their OS.

Once everyone gets past the Metro UI just like when every other OS was release people bitched about something, it will do really well.

That's just me :)

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Win-8 may be ""FIXED"" now, but I still can't see paying for it to replace Win-7 that still works fine for me.

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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JMeloni replied on Tue, Dec 3 2013 9:40 PM

8.1 can die in a fire, hell even on surface pro its better just to use a linux distro of your choice then 8.1

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3 things....

1: windows 8 has a massive performance increase from 7.

2: windows 8 is a lot easier to use than windows 7 after a point(I find one of the main differences is it's a lot different from 7,xp,and vista and people are basing how good it is off of that).

3: torrent windows 8 and don't give a crap.

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Nice sarcasm, any IT person will tell you that the average user will visit the metro side as often as the average user accessed the registry editor.

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Any update keeps that folder, and interestingly enough, windows.old magically disappeared after a week or so on my installs despite not using disk cleanup.

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As much as I love my Windows 8.1, the only down-side my laptop isn't touchscreen which is extremely helpful in times of Windows 8.1... and I wish Windows 7 had some features of the 8.1

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Until I have a touchscreen on my primary PC, I have no reason to go to 8/8.1

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