If you asked any Apple fan what they thought of Windows 8, they’d probably laugh and say it was a total dud, the perfect example on why Microsoft is just too hopeless to survive in the post-PC age. And you know what, there’d be something to that argument. After all, when Windows 8 shipped, it was fragmented between ARM and x86 versions from the start, and Windows 8 has been much lambasted from a usability perspective by both pros and casual users alike.
However, to call Windows 8 a total flop is probably going a little overboard. The latest operating system market share numbers suggest that Windows 8 is now installed on more computers than all versions of Mac OS X combined.
It’s an impressive bump. According to the latest figures from Net Applications, Windows 8 has a 7.4% share of all desktop operating system web traffic for the month of August. This is up from just 5.4% that the operating system held at the beginning of August. That’s a 2% jump in under a month. Not only that, but at the beginning of July, Windows 8 was still basically level with Windows Vista when it came to web traffic, both around 4%.
In other words, after a slow start, Windows 8 is starting to build momentum despite the criticisms. When it comes to desktop operating systems, Windows is a juggernaut, so this is to be expected: while the juggernaut may be getting older and have a hard time getting moving at first, you still can’t stop it.
Comparatively, OS X is small potatoes compared to Windows. Combined, all three of the last versions of OS X only account for about 7.32% of all web traffic in August. Mavericks probably won’t have much an effect on that number, since Apple’s upgrade numbers usually hover around 100%, so most of those using Mountain Lion will likely upgrade to OS X Mavericks. That’s not a big deal, though: unlike Microsoft, Apple doesn’t need to sell the most software to survive.