Windows 8 Finally Passes OS X In Market Share

End-of-August-OS-Percentage

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.

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  • Andrew Newsome

    I have an iPhone, Macbook Air, iPad, Apple TV. They are all great! I also have a desktop computer with Windows 8 installed.

    It is a nice operating system, which is an upgrade from Windows 7, just like Mountain Lion is an upgrade from Lion. It’s basically the same thing, but with a nice start menu.

    The OS itself isn’t the let down. The let down is the lack of developers and good apps for Windows modern interface.

  • eldersignin

    John, Either you have lost it, really needed something to post to make schedule or really work for PC Mag.

    Really, desktop computer share??? Hmmm, lets look at delivered computers. iOS and OSX compared to everyone else…. This last year….

    Not machines delivered 10 years ago and most are on the scrap heap, not gas stations and kiosks etc… real users of computer machines…

    PS, compare OS Lion or MT. Lion upgrade to Windows XP upgrade to Windows 7 or 8… Something meaningful…

    Market share….. I mean, cockroaches outnumber people in life forms on earth….. maybe we should just give up…… right….

    Just a tuesday.

  • iFan41

    I’m not surprised they force it on their customers and all new low / high end computers. It’s still a dud and a piece of crap. I had it on my laptop for two days…

  • daov2a

    I have fully dumped Mac OS X for Windows 8. It is the better OS by far. The gestures work, the lack of Start Menu speeds it up considerably and it is just smarter than Mac OS all the way around. I would complain about the lack of apps but realistically, I do not use apps on my iPhone or iPad except for maybe Pulse and the Mail apps; both of which are better on Windows 8. In addition, I have dumped Firefox and Chrome for Internet Explorer 11, which is just amazing. I know I sound crazy saying that but I am still amazed how much better it is than the other browsers I used to use.

    The only problem I see with this article (and anyone disputing the numbers has not looked at the source link http://www.netmarketshare.com) is how these things NEVER include iOS and Android, which are operating systems and should be included. Either way, John Brownlee writes a decent, un-biased article for once. Kudos!

  • Thesixler

    They’re combining ARM and PC versions of Windows 8 on these graphs. Windows 8 and Windows RT are not the same operating system.

  • lowtolerance

    I have fully dumped Mac OS X for Windows 8. It is the better OS by far. The gestures work, the lack of Start Menu speeds it up considerably and it is just smarter than Mac OS all the way around. I would complain about the lack of apps but realistically, I do not use apps on my iPhone or iPad except for maybe Pulse and the Mail apps; both of which are better on Windows 8. In addition, I have dumped Firefox and Chrome for Internet Explorer 11, which is just amazing. I know I sound crazy saying that but I am still amazed how much better it is than the other browsers I used to use.

    The only problem I see with this article (and anyone disputing the numbers has not looked at the source link http://www.netmarketshare.com) is how these things NEVER include iOS and Android, which are operating systems and should be included. Either way, John Brownlee writes a decent, un-biased article for once. Kudos!

    Yeah, you don’t sound like a paid shill at all. I absolutely believe everything you just said, especially the bits about how you don’t actually use any apps, so it’s totally alright that Windows 8 is lacking in the respect, and also your talk about how Internet Explorer is somehow the best browser out there is something I’m sure that most anyone would agree with.

  • rammo123

    I think the most alarming part of this graph is that a third of people are using an OS that was released 12 YEARS AGO. XP was good, but it’s 2013 for god’s sake!

  • FreaknUnoriginl

    Share of internet traffic is interesting, it gives you an overall consumer perspective, but I also like tighter market focus like the Steam Hardware Survey. As of August it shows 50% Windows 7 (64 bit) and 12% Windows 7 (32 bit). But it also has 14% Windows 8 (64) and almost 1% Windows 8 (32). XP is a little under 7% of Steam gamers, Vista is a little over 7%. A little under 4% for all versions of Mac OS X, and slightly over 1% for Linux. So among Steam gamers, 8 has overtaken XP and Vista.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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