Windows 8 uptake remains listless after public launch

Far behind Windows 7's adoption; will have to double its share in November to match Vista's gains in 2007

By , Computerworld |  Windows, windows 8

Driven by millions of upgrades, Windows 8's global usage share climbed by a third last month, but the new OS's adoption pace remained lethargic compared to that of its predecessor three years ago.

According to data released Thursday by Web measurement firm Net Applications, 0.45% of all computers running Windows during October were powered by Windows 8. That number, which represents 45 out of every 10,000 Windows machines, was a jump of slightly more than one-third over the month before.

But it's a far cry from Windows 7's uptake: At the end of October 2009, Windows 7 accounted for 2.33% of all Windows PCs, or 233 out of 10,000. That puts Windows 7 as the easy winner in the early race. Its share of all Windows PCs in its release month was more than five times that of Windows 8's.

There is at least one caveat, however. Windows 7 went on sale Oct. 22, 2009, four days earlier on the calendar than Windows 8, which hit retail Oct. 26.

Windows 8's jump, small as it was in absolute terms, could be attributed to the large number of upgrades sold so far. On Tuesday, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that the company had sold 4 million upgrades to Windows 8 Pro in the first three days of availability.

Last Friday was the first day that customers could download the $39.99 upgrade to Windows 8 Pro, take advantage of a $14.99 deal if they had purchased a new Windows 7 PC starting June 2, or pick up a DVD in a boxed copy for $69.99 at retailers.

New PCs, tablets and so-called "convertibles" -- systems that share characteristics of a light notebook and a tablet -- also went on sale Oct. 26, all with Windows 8 pre-installed.

Windows 8's October gain was its best-ever since Net Applications began tracking the new operating system, but it's fallen further behind Windows 7's pace. In 2009, Windows 7 added 0.69 of a percentage point during its release month, a jump of about 40%. Windows 8, however, added just 0.12 of a percentage point, less than a fifth as much.

In fact, Windows 8 will have to hustle to match the uptake of Windows Vista. That problem-plagued edition accounted for 1% of all copies of Windows after its first full month. To equal that, Windows 8 will have to more than double its share during November.

Other versions of Windows stuck with the their long-established trajectories.


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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