Windows 8's 2.5-point increase was the second-largest one-month gain by a Microsoft operating system since late 2006, when Computerworld began recording Net Applications' data. It was especially impressive after a slow-down in Windows 8's adoption during July.
Windows 8 faces a much different environment than did either Vista or Windows 7, as those predecessors were released as PC shipments were on the rise, not in a historic slump. Nor did they have to contend with tablets as rivals for consumer and corporate attention and spending.
Microsoft will release Windows 8.1 on Oct. 17 to current Windows 8 customers, then follow with a retail debut -- and with systems running the update -- on Oct. 18. Windows 8.1 is essentially a redo meant to answer customer complaints about the radical changes in Windows 8, which split workspaces between two wildly-different user interfaces.
Windows 8's user share of 8.4% was ahead of Vista's but far behind Windows 7's at the same point in their post-release adoption cycles. (Data: Net Applications.)
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is email@example.com.
Read more about windows in Computerworld's Windows Topic Center.