back to article Windows 7, XP and even Vista GAIN market share again

Whatever Microsoft is doing to get punters adopting Windows 8.x isn't working, at least if the latest figures from Netmarketshare showing its older operating systems growing faster than its latest progeny are any guide. We've now tracked Netmarketshare's data for nine months and as the table below shows, Windows 7 has enjoyed …

  1. John Tserkezis

    I haven't been keeping up with the numbers for a little while now, but looking at them now, it's quite telling, even if I've ignored the amount of time an OS has been around to gain traction.

    Most notable that 8 and 8.1 *combined* has less than half market share of the remaining XP users, and XP is about half of Win7.

    I've called 8.x "Vista v2.0", and going on market share, it seems I'm not too far off.

    1. Don Dumb
      Windows

      History repeating

      @John Tserkezis -

      I've called 8.x "Vista v2.0", and going on market share, it seems I'm not too far off.

      I agree. The problem with Vista was that people were, on the whole, content with XP, there was no real need to upgrade, anyone who really didn't like it moved to Linux or Mac - Vista wasn't going to help that. The problem with Win 8 is that, again, no one who uses Win 7 is crying out for a new OS.

      It seems evidently clear that Microsoft just don't understand their customers. Home users are happy to simply buy the machine with the OS loaded and don't care what the OS is - no real gain for Microsoft there, they would get the money for Win 7 or 8. Business users move slowly, OS upgrades across hundreds and thousands of machines can take years of preparation and, more importantly, if there is no compelling reason to upgrade, then they wont do it.

      Once again Microsoft are trying to push an OS no one wants, just like they did with Vista. By the time Win 9 comes and matures, large businesses may start to move from Win 7 to Win 9, if they need to. Until then the big marketshare change will be XP being gradually replaced by Win 7 through large migrations. (I don't think any later migration will be as painful as moving from Win XP has been as there shouldn't be as many browser lock-in related issues that IE6 has caused)

      1. Test Man

        Re: History repeating

        Actually YOU don't get it.

        The only reason why people were content with XP was simply inertia brought on by the totally once-in-a-lifetime gestation period of Vista (through the period when it was Longhorn and after that was scrapped).

        Even so, Vista was necessary in order to move people onto new designs and features that Microsoft intended. Having Vista effectively "skipped" by releasing the next version of Windows after XP around the time of Windows 7 instead of when Vista shipped wouldn't have changed the supposed backlash.

        Of course Windows "9" will be more readily accepted, they would have one OS' worth of experience with the new technologies introduced with Windows 8, in the same way Windows 7 was more accepted compared to Vista.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: History repeating

          Windows 7 was accepted because it was less ass than Vista.

          Windows 8 has "one OS' worth of experience" over Windows 7 and it is significantly more ass than either 7 or Vista.

          There is no reason to expect Microsoft will "get it right" with Windows 9. They either will, or they won't. But their corporate hubris is powerful, and it may crowd out the sort of thinking required to make an OS that will be widely accepted. Only time will tell.

          1. Joseph Haig

            Re: History repeating

            There is no reason to expect Microsoft will "get it right" with Windows 9.

            On the contrary, they "got it right" with Windows 7 after messing up Windows Vista (believe it or not, people do actually like Windows 7) so there is every reason to think that Windows 9 will clean up the mess of Windows 8. I predict that this will be the future pattern of Windows releases; even numbers are a complete hash when they try to do something new and innovative and the odd numbers are where they actually make it usable.

            1. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: History repeating @Joseph Haig

              You're missing that MS got it very wrong after XP, firstly failing to deliver to market - the long pre-announced Longhorn, secondly rushing out Vista in a mistaken attempt to try and salvage something from the annus horribilis they had created for themselves. Windows 7 was effectively a more considered update/rework of Vista in the same vein the rumoured 8.2 release seems to be a more considered update/rework of 8.0/8.1 annus horribilis, so still not wonderful (particularly from an enterprise XP migration viewpoint) - hence why many delayed looking at it until SP1.

              So MS's recent history (ie. since XP-SP2) is one of repeatedly getting it wrong, so with respect to Windows 9, I'll wait until it has been launched and I can actually touch it before I pass any judgement on whether it might be fit for purpose. But given the rumours are that Windows 9 will be a ground-up rewrite taking account of cloud et al. the odds of it being another Longhorn are looking good...

              1. Danny 14 Silver badge

                Re: History repeating @Joseph Haig

                XP->Vista was a UAC nightmare for us plus they screwed up the NTLM security initially before first patch which rendered our (at the time) filtering ineffective. Back to XP we went and stayed there till 7 came along. 7 was a joy to work with (over vista) and since we already deployed GPP packs to XP all our GPO were 7 friendly.

                8+ 8.1 started playing silly tricks again. This time it was the pre-network logon, for some stupid reason, if the system has a wireless card then it reaches out to networks pre-logon (good), handshakes if it can (good) logs onto the network (good) then proceeds to ignore the proxy settings for the first "check to Microsoft to see how our licencing is doing" (bad). I believe this has been patched but still, getting "log onto proxy" before a CTRL-ALT-DEL screen is bad, especially on tablets (where typing usernames and passwords once is bad enough).

                coupled to that the metro/lack of proper start menu that can be easily organised into alphabetical order is bloody shocking - try using server 2012 RDP (R2 at least dumps you on the desktop and does have a "start" button but it still has silly metro. Core is a much better option and teaches you to do things properly anyway.

                1. Vic
                  Joke

                  Re: History repeating @Joseph Haig

                  > we already deployed GPP packs to XP

                  You work for the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation ?

                  Vic.

            2. Firvulag

              Re: History repeating

              " I predict that this will be the future pattern of Windows releases; even numbers are a complete hash when they try to do something new and innovative and the odd numbers are where they actually make it usable."

              Hmm a bit like the early Star Trek films except it was even numbers = good (e.g. 2 - Wrath of Khan) and odd numbers = bad (e.g. 5 - The Final Frontier).

              1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
                Childcatcher

                Re: History repeating

                So, the inverse of Star Wars trilogies, then.

          2. Don Dumb
            Thumb Up

            Re: History repeating

            @Trevor_Pott - forgive me I don't exactly know what you mean by 'less ass' and 'more ass'. Do you mean something that I might understand along the lines of 'less of an ass' and 'more of an ass'?

            As others have posted, my (uninformed) guess is that Win 9 will fix the errors of Win 8. In the same way that Win 7 did for Vista. And due to a product of corporate infrastructure lifecycles and Microsoft fixing Win 8's problems - Win 9 will get taken up en masse.

            Of course, Microsoft could still easily mess that up.

            1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

              @Don Dumb

              Things which are ass are bad. Sorry, it's the 90s slang that got bred into me. You'll just have to cope.

              As to your magical woo-woo crystals sending you a positive vibe about Windows 9...what proof you have? Vista/7 are ages behind us. The brass involved all got shuffled or canned. "Microsoft" isn't a person, it's people, and there's no reason to believe any previous patterns will hold.

              Microsoft has been getting more self-insulated and subject to corporate hubris, not less. That says to me that the chances of them "not getting it" for Windows 9 are rather high.

              1. Don Dumb
                Pint

                Re: @Don Dumb

                @Trevor_Pott - As to your magical woo-woo crystals sending you a positive vibe about Windows 9...what proof you have? Vista/7 are ages behind us.I don't, that's why I said it was 'my guess' and I did declare it as uninformed.

                You read like you need a weekend, have a beer.

        2. Avatar of They Silver badge
          WTF?

          Re: History repeating

          Just what are the benefits for working at Microsoft? You seem to be well on the way for employee of the month, so do you get extra benefits?

        3. Chika

          Re: History repeating

          Actually YOU don't get it.

          Oh good! I like a joke!

          The only reason why people were content with XP was simply inertia brought on by the totally once-in-a-lifetime gestation period of Vista (through the period when it was Longhorn and after that was scrapped).

          That's part of the reason, not the whole shebang. Consider the required for more memory, more disc space, more everything to get Vista to work, various incompatibilities, that rather annoying "Vista Ready" scandal, and you are getting a little closer to the mark.

          Even so, Vista was necessary in order to move people onto new designs and features that Microsoft intended. Having Vista effectively "skipped" by releasing the next version of Windows after XP around the time of Windows 7 instead of when Vista shipped wouldn't have changed the supposed backlash.

          Windows 7 has certainly become a success but it has its problems, just as Vista had. That's part of the reason why XP lasted so long after Microsoft realised that Vista wasn't going to work. Of course you will always get the situation that people will not move from an existing OS if the computer it is running on is too recent and Windows 7 also benefitted from that. Actually it has Vista to thank for that much!

          Of course Windows "9" will be more readily accepted, they would have one OS' worth of experience with the new technologies introduced with Windows 8, in the same way Windows 7 was more accepted compared to Vista.

          Then you know more than anybody else as we have yet to see the final product and have no idea if users will find a necessity to move. If anything, the "technologies" introduced in Windows 8 may drive users away so don't be to surprised if Microsoft hide all that under another layer.

      2. P. Lee Silver badge

        Re: History repeating

        > It seems evidently clear that Microsoft just don't understand their customers.

        MS understand their customers perfectly. They just prefer to look after their own interests which don't coincide.

        They should have saved the billions they spent on 8.1 and ploughed it into making WinPhone/WinTab really good. Mobile market share is their goal, after all. They should have done an equivalent of iLife/iTunes, teamed up with Amazon for media purchases, Nokia (or old-school GPS like Garmin) for maps and written a WinTab emulation system so you have the option of running tablet apps on a touchscreen W7 PC. It would have saved them a world of grief.

        You can't own the ecosystem when you're third in the market. You have to go best of breed.

    2. Jaybus

      XP gains market share?

      The problem I have with these numbers is that XP has apparently gained market share. Since the gain cannot be from new sales, how was this accomplished?

      1. Pookietoo

        Re: how was this accomplished

        Websites got more hits from XP users. Quite possibly some of the users had just heard about XP going EOL and had fired up their machines to order a nice new (old stock) Surface Pro, which some sites are knocking out at half the launch price.

  2. ocratato

    Shrinking Pool

    I suspect that what we are seeing is a side effect of more people using tablets and smart phones for their browsing. Thus the percentage size of the desktop market in the web logs is shrinking. Hence a constant number of users on XP is showing up as a percentage increase.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Shrinking Pool

      Also, given that this is websites visited, not installed copies and the almost insignificant changes, this could be down to surfing habits and rounding errors.

      The only significant changes were Windows 7 gaining nearly half a percentage point, which is what you would expect, people are slowly moving away from XP and most corporates began their evaluation of Windows 7 a while ago and they aren't going to suddenly change to Windows 8. And the other one is Windows 8 is declining and Windows 8.1 is growing as people perform the free upgrade from 8 to 8.1.

      Even so, I would think that such small gains and losses could fall into the statistical error range.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Stop

      Re: Shrinking Pool

      I'm not sure that's the case at all. It's a bit of an over-simplification.

      Of course I'm speaking anecdotally, but a wide range of people I support use tablets and smartphones to supplement their computing - not to replace it entirely. Generally, I find arguments to either side touting extinction to be extreme and not representative of most people's usage pattern.

      My own opinion for these figures is that Windows 8 took away something crucial that the average joe needs to use a computer - usability. It seems rudimentary, but it's true - and I think most of us are now familiar with '8 reaction face'. When affronted with change, humans do what humans do, and scramble for familiarity.

      I know I'm not the only to have wiped several 8 machines, at user request, for something else. For me, that's been a 40/60 split between Ubuntu and Windows 7, respectively.

      In any case, I take any 8 'turf gain' stories with a Tesco condiment aisle of salt.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Shrinking Pool

        You should always use a condiment.

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          Re: Shrinking Pool

          depends on the metrics too. We buy windows 8 machines then put our windows 7 image on them.

  3. Chairo
    FAIL

    It would be interesting to see, how many of the Win8.x users are using ClassicShell or Start8. I suspect a good percentage.

    Yes, some people like the Win8 shell, on the other hand, you will always find some people who like the strangest things. Some even enjoy pain.

    And don't say, this is a temporary thing. Win8 is now out since a long time and had time to prove itself. It's kind of the dvorak of OSes. Theoretically a good thing, but the big majority of people don't get it and don't like to use it.

    1. Adam 1 Silver badge

      I don't mind the new start screen. But I have a touch screen so it makes sense. I have however also tried it with a mouse. The adjective turd comes to mind...

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        I use Windows 8 on PC and laptop. No touch screen. Push start and type for the app works for me.

        Rarely see much of the start screen. Still don't understand why the search for apps can be slow though.

      2. tony2heads
        Headmaster

        @Adam1

        That is a noun!

      3. Lost in Cyberspace

        Re:

        That's exactly the point. If people are given a Windows tablet and spend 10 mins learning touch gestures, they are by and large quite happy (the apps are still a bit behind iOS / Android though).

        Force a mouse and keyboard combo upon them and most people are frustrated that it's not as easy as XP to operate. Perhaps Windows 9 will fix all this properly, in a way that 8.1 hints at.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Downvoted for comparing w8 to Dvorak.

  4. Shannon Jacobs
    Holmes

    Still asking why (anything post XP)

    My primary OS these days is, per force, Windows 7, but I still can't say why. Seriously, I cannot give you a single solid reason to adopt any new Microsoft OS. I was going to say "after XP", but I'm kind of hard-pressed to see anything really great about XP, now that I think about it. I suppose you can argue that XP was the ready for prime time version of Windows 2000, and Windows 95 certainly added some crucial TCP/IP support, but...

    There are some fuzzy reasons, mostly in terms of speed. However, I think that's mostly a matter of Microsoft playing games. I firmly believe that Microsoft could have souped up XP to run faster than Windows 7 if they had expended about half the effort in that direction. These days it actually seems like Microsoft is trying to make Windows 7 run slower and slower, especially in booting. (Anyone else noticing increasingly slow boots on their Windows 7 boxes?)

    The new feature justification is really thin, especially as the new features increase the sheer number of potential security vulnerabilities. At this point, I have given up trying to figure out what services and overhead is being wasted on my newer machines. Yeah, Microsoft has reduced the BSoDs, but Adobe seems to be picking up that slack very nicely. (My newest theory about Adobe is that they think the crashes and constant updates are some kind of cheap marketing visibility.)

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Still asking why (anything post XP)

      XP was a dog and the Fisher Price look-and-feel didn't help sell it to me over Windows 2000. I hated it. In fact, I switched to using Linux as my primary OS between 2002 and 2007; when I got an iMac. In 2008 I switched back to Windows with Vista and then 7.

      I would say there are lots of nice touches in Windows 7 that makes it a step forward over previous versions. The Start Menu / Start Screen search in Windows 7 and 8 make the upgrade worthwhile for me - that is about the only time I ever use the Start Menu in Windows 7, all of my common apps are pinned and I only use the Start Menu + keyword when I need an application that I don't use so often or I am looking for an email or document.

      I certainly wouldn't go from 7 back to an earlier version of Windows by choice and, given the choice, I would use Windows 8.1.

      As to booting, yes, my 2010 Core i5 desktop boots slower with Windows 7 than my Clover Trail Atom based Windows 8 tablet.

      1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Still asking why (anything post XP)

        That's because Windows 8 doesn't "boot" in the conventional sense of the word. When you shut down Win8, it closes all of the apps, then hibernates the kernel. When you power up, it resumes the kernel, and restarts the userland apps. This means that if you are in the habit of making use of a Win8 volume with another OS (say you are multi-booting), the volume will most likely be corrupt. It doesn't even sync the file system!!!!!! Pending writes are left in RAM, which is then saved in the hibernate file. Couple this with background defragging, and you have a recipe for serious data loss.

    2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Still asking why (anything post XP)

      Windows just gets slower over time, the more modern incarnations suffer more through increased complexity. While I haven't wasted a mammoth amount of investigation time into it, there are a few main culprits:

      1) The Registry. Bloats and bloats and bloats, never shrinking, always getting slower.

      2) The entire .COM / ActiveX DLL hell, requiring huge numbers of the same libraries, in a version number hell, all underpinned by the registry. The smallest of changes adds even more bloat to the registry.

      3) .NET - it is neither fast nor elegant. The more this becomes used for operational parts of an OS, the slower the OS will run. When .NET is used with device drivers, it gets worse - luckily this is still very rare.

      4) Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware software. While these are more stable than they used to be, they do seriously impact system performance. With more templates and variations to check with every new virus / malware that is released, the more work these systems need to do.

      5) Application update software. Little can bring a system to its needs quicker (ha) than multiple competing applications all running their own update check process every time the system starts. A good, flexible API and service from Microsoft could have helped with this, but no... and the hoops that some of these applications go through to provide background updates without a stream of UAC prompts is just horrible. And then the AV/AM software checks every file access and update by each of these update processes....

      1. CADmonkey

        Re: "windows gets slower"

        @ Nick Ryan,

        Get an SSD!

        My Win7 box flies like shit off a stick and has done since day 1, about 2 years ago. Registry bloat? AV? updates? GTF....

        ....mind you, I don't have iTunes on my PC. If so, please disregard the above.

        1. Lost in Cyberspace

          Re: "windows gets slower"

          Just replaced HD with SSD in my laptop and shoved on 8.1 (was 7).

          Boot time is now 11 sec instead of 90.

          But that is a clean system, without iCloud installed now...

        2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

          Re: "windows gets slower"

          Optimise software by deploying new hardware? That's Microsoft thinking...

          1. big_D Silver badge

            Re: "windows gets slower"

            Have you tried WIndows 8 on an Atom tablet? It works very nicely, even full Office etc. which means it absolutely screams on my 4 year old Core i7 notebook - faster than 7 did when it was new.

      2. Davidoff
        FAIL

        Re: Windows just gets slower over time

        That's pure nonsense, like the rest of you post which talks about Windows, ActiveX and NET (the myth of Windows getting slower has been debunked a long time ago, and saying that a growing Registry is slower just shows your lack of understanding of how the Registry actually works).

        The main reason your Windows PC gets slower is because of what you said in your last point:.nowadays almost every progam comes with its own quick start launcher and update assistant, and of course most software developers believe that all this crap has to be loaded at boot time as of course their application is the epithome of importance.

        Install the same crapware onto any Mac or Linux computer (although admittedly, it's more difficult to find such crap on these platforms) and you'll see the same 'slowdown' you see on your Windows PC.

        As to virus scanners: they can consume quite a lot of ressources, but this has nothing to do with (as you claim) the increasing (through updates) number of viruses they have to look for (first, the scanner doesn't scan their whole database anytime they scan a file as there are more intelligent ways of doing a database search, and second, there aren't many new viruses coming out, and that has been the case for more than a decade now, because main attack patterns have shifted).

        1. Nick Ryan Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: Windows just gets slower over time

          That's pure nonsense, like the rest of you post which talks about Windows, ActiveX and NET (the myth of Windows getting slower has been debunked a long time ago, and saying that a growing Registry is slower just shows your lack of understanding of how the Registry actually works).

          Really? So a badly structured and inefficient database that grows and grows and never shrinks and is referred to repeatedly and continuously by the Windows Shell won't slow a system down?

          .NET is inefficient. While there are a lot of optimisations in there (particularly on the fully compiled side), it is still slower and less efficient than non-managed code. This isn't always a bad thing, just an important thing to understand when using .NET. ActiveX / COM is the same.

          There are continuous new viruses coming out, although you are quite correct in the reduction as the difficulty level of introducing new viruses has steadily risen and the alternative attach vectors that are easier to attack. The daily definition updates and AV software updates demonstrate this (and from a marketing point of view, make the AV software look more useful). However it is not possible for an ever growing definition database to not have a steadily increasing impact on scanning resources. While a lot of clever filtering goes on, the more definitions, heuristics and adaptive scans that are required, the more resources are used.

      3. Vic

        Re: Still asking why (anything post XP)

        Little can bring a system to its needs quicker (ha) than multiple competing applications all running their own update check process every time the system starts

        Microsoft could trivially - and perfectly legally - port yum or similar to Windows and get it adopted as the way to do software updates.

        This would give Windows much of the update ease we G/L types crow about. It would also give users a single interface to find out what software is on their machines, what is out of date, and a method to update it.

        It amazes me that they haven't done so...

        Vic.

        1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

          Re: Still asking why (anything post XP)

          Microsoft's problem is likely that they insist on being in control (and able to charge) for every part of an application installation and distribution system. The Windows 8 App store system provides updates for installed applications, however it does not allow a user to add additional repositories in the way that we can easily do with Linux.

      4. Chika

        Re: Still asking why (anything post XP)

        1) The Registry. Bloats and bloats and bloats, never shrinking, always getting slower...

        Agreed, though a reasonable registry cleaner such as CCleaner can help if you are careful about using such tools (backups are your friends!).

        4) Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware software. While these are more stable than they used to be, they do seriously impact system performance. With more templates and variations to check with every new virus / malware that is released, the more work these systems need to do.

        The problem I see with many anti-virus systems is that they attempt to add more and more bumf to themselves to justify increasing pricing and to make it look like they are doing something worthwhile. Generally I tend to stick to an A/V tool that only does A/V. It's not a perfect solution but it's a start and it tends to be cheaper too.

        5) Application update software. Little can bring a system to its needs quicker (ha) than multiple competing applications all running their own update check process every time the system starts. A good, flexible API and service from Microsoft could have helped with this, but no... and the hoops that some of these applications go through to provide background updates without a stream of UAC prompts is just horrible. And then the AV/AM software checks every file access and update by each of these update processes....

        Totally agreed, which is why I either switch the buggers off or, at least, tell them to only alert me when an update is ready then give me the option to use or ignore. Biggest culprits here would be Adobe, IMHO.

  5. Mark 85 Silver badge

    I don't see the mystery.

    After all the mis-steps in designing and releasing Win8, people simply either hate or don't want mess with it. For most, it's too different to be comfortable with. I daresay that as far as home users, those I know who have bought a new PC have "upgraded" to Win7. Win7 is reasonably mature and self-contained. No mumbo-jumbo about cloud based apps or any of the other hype that MS is shoveling.

    I suspect many businesses feel the same way as a certain amount of retraining the troops and even then, some not grasping it present problems. As well as the software issues. Again all the hype and BS coming from MS about the cloud.

    People don't want mumbo-jumbo about stuff they've not had experience with. They simply want things to work and work in a way they're comfortable with. I supposed the Apple kids would feel the same way if the OS suddenly changed and caused the same feelings of uncomfortableness.

    Yes, I smell downvotes, but this just an opinion based on observation. Non-scientific and purely anecdotal based.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: I don't see the mystery.

      My experience is the other way round.

      Either the new Windows 8 users find it okay and get on with using it - especially with the boot-to-desktop in Windows 8.1 - or they love it. At work we probably have around 30% users asking for Windows 8 on new installs (although we did have one user install Windows 7 on his Samsung 10" tablet!).

      One user could never get on with Windows XP or Windows 7. Even after getting her books and going through the OS with her, she still couldn't grasp the concepts of applications and files and folders! When Windows 8 came out, I thought it wouldn't hurt to upgrade her machine. Half an hour later, she came to me, proud that she had installed her first ever app (a weather app with live tile); something she had never managed on Windows XP or Windows 7. Windows 8 gives her a confidence in using her computer that she has never experienced until now; she actually checks her email daily and surfs the web regularly, as opposed to checking her email once a month and never using the web.

      This makes the whole thing easier for such users; they may not be the majority, but for some users Windows 8 is a big step forward for them.

      1. TheOtherHobbes

        Re: I don't see the mystery.

        >she still couldn't grasp the concepts of applications and files and folders!

        And this is who Win 8 was designed for - not the millions of PC users who can.

      2. Def Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: I don't see the mystery.

        ...she actually checks her email daily and surfs the web regularly, as opposed to checking her email once a month and... working.

        There, I fixed that for you.

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: I don't see the mystery.

          I think that is part of the problem, she doesn't use a PC at work, only at home...

  6. DougS Silver badge

    Is this really possible?

    Windows 8 has dropped from over 7.5% to under 6% in nine months? Despite millions of new PCs being sold with Windows 8?

    Granted businesses and technically knowledgeable people may install Windows 7 on them, but the average person just uses what they get. I wonder if the way they're doing these measurements isn't as statistically valid as they believe?

    1. Steve Knox Silver badge

      Re: Is this really possible?

      Most of the decrease in Windows 8 as a percentage is due to uptake in Windows 8.1 (1.72% to 6.61%).

      Win 8.x combined has gone from a 9.25% to 12.54% share, a gain of 3.29 percentage points. This is certainly not stellar, but Windows 7 only gained 4.13 percentage points over the same period, and despite the sensationalistic statistical selectivity employed in the article, XP and Vista both dropped over the last nine months, XP significantly.

      Separating out Windows 8 and 8.1 is a little disingenuous: XP, Vista, and Windows 7 aren't separated into their respective service pack levels, and whatever Microsoft might want you to think, Windows 8.1 is really no more than a service pack for Windows 8 with a few UI tweaks.

      This is not to say that Windows 8 is performing well at all; by this time it ought to be on par with Windows 7 in market share.

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Is this really possible?

        Separating out Windows 8 and 8.1 is a little disingenuous

        I agree. Things still don't look brilliant for Win 8 but no worse than I'd expect for an even numbered version. As has been noted many times MS seems to alternate good versions with bad versions when it releases an OS. I think that Win 9 will be a good release and will do well. What's odd is that (to me at least) it even sounds like a good 'un - Windows 9.

        We shall see. Things have changed a lot in the desktop market and if Win 8 was a stepping stone to something Win 9 should be the full blown effort.

    2. Peshman

      Re: Is this really possible?

      @Doug S. "Windows 8 has dropped from over 7.5% to under 6% in nine months? Despite millions of new PCs being sold with Windows 8?"

      I bought a 'new' PC that came with windows 8 preinstalled and upgraded it to Win7 Ult. Maybe there are a good few others doing the same thing as me, even at home and as you say also in the office I work in. Win7 is stable and works. It's an OS that launches apps. Isn't that the purpose of an OS? It lets me run the apps I use to be productive and manage my data,

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Is this really possible?

        @Peshman, yes, but did you surf to the monitored sites in Windows 8 before downgrading? This is about browsing habits more than OS licences sold / in use.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is this really possible?

      Our computer store offers a downgrade service for new machines, and it's really busy. Consumers hate windows 8 so much they are willing to pay £45 to have it removed from their new pc

  7. Goat Jam

    XP

    My old man has an XP laptop. He is one of those types who think "Windows" is what you open a Word document with. He hates the ribbon that he got when some well meaning person "upgraded his Windows" for example.

    The laptop is nigh on 12 years old with a Celeron processor and something like 512Mb RAM so it won't run any post XP Microsoft OS which leaves me with the option of telling him to buy a new PC to just browse the internet with or sticking Linux on it for him.

    To be quite honest, I haven't got the energy to do either considering his complete lack of computer competence and the chaos and confusion that will surely follow either option. The thought of dealing with that shitstorm is enough to drive me to drink.

    1. Chairo

      Re: XP

      I "upgraded" our family netbook with similar hardware spec to xubuntu and installed Libreoffice. The Missus was surprisingly happy about it. She still calls Firefox "Internet Explorer", however.

      There were some quirks, like the thing going in hibernation, whenever the lid was closed, but apart from that, it was a surprisingly painless operation. Base installation took about 30min. and went through without too much trouble. It even remembered the WIFI setup, I entered prior to the installation. Printer setup was easy, too.

      It took me a bit time to set up the keyboard in a convenient way, but I suppose not too many people are going to mix several different layouts, including Asian ones. Still, remembering the pain of mixing 105 and 109 key keyboards in Win7, ubuntu was far less painful.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: XP

        "The Missus was surprisingly happy about it. She still calls Firefox "Internet Explorer", however."

        At least she's not surfing the 'net with a variety of cheese, most notable for a regional specialisation made with buffalo milk.

        1. Syntax Error

          Re: XP

          I dunno wimin are so thick when it comes to the internet and computers. Need a good husband to help them click the hyper links.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: XP

          "At least she's not surfing the 'net with a variety of cheese, most notable for a regional specialisation made with buffalo milk."

          I'm afraid only Italians (or those who have lived in Italy) will get that, but it sure made me laugh, have my upvote!

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: XP

      @Goat Jam, I replaced a Windows 98 machine 2 years ago for a family member - eBay stopped working! :-D

      They handed the old Windows 98 machine on to a friend who was still using a slower Windows 95 machine!! :-O

    3. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: XP

      " He is one of those types who think "Windows" is what you open a Word document with."

      It is.

      Though you do open the email and the internet with it too.

    4. Nigel 11

      Re: XP

      Well, if you have to preserve an XP environment to preserve various people's sanity ...

      Get a modern desktop system, preferably with an SSD. Install Centos (or other Linux of choice). Install XP and all apps into a KVM VM (using a Linux LV as the XP system's "hard disk").

      Advantages: you can make backups of the VM with all apps installed, so recovery after it borks itself is straightforward. (Using LVM snapshot you can do this remotely or automatically, while the XP VM is running). You can use a "network" share for the user's data, and set Linux to work safeguarding the data in it. You can configure firewalling for the poor old XP using Linux. You can be sure it'll never stop working for lack of compatible hardware. Lots of other smaller advantages.

      It'll still be much faster than XP native on the old box.

      BTW VMware player is slicker and easier and free as in beer but not libre ... and probably not high on VMware's list of things to maintain support for. Which is why I'd recommend KVM, if you would rather put in more effort now than risk handling a problem years down the line when your elderly relative is even less able to adapt to using anything other than XP.

      Edit - on second thoughts, probably not an SSD. Lots of RAM so Linux can cache loads without starving the XP VM, and software-mirrored hard disks, so your elderly relative isn't one disk device failure away from losing his sanity. (With smartd sending you regular reports, so you can turn up with a replacement disk drive when it's needed or soon will be).

    5. keithpeter
      Windows

      Re: XP

      "The laptop is nigh on 12 years old with a Celeron processor and something like 512Mb RAM so it won't run any post XP Microsoft OS which leaves me with the option of telling him to buy a new PC to just browse the internet with or sticking Linux on it for him."

      That vintage it will have a CD-ROM drive built in I think (and a decent keyboard unless nostalgia is clouding what is left of my memory).

      Try a Lubuntu live CD. Presentation basically same as XP, there is even a theme that mikes it look like XP SP2. See how a live session goes down before spending time on installing and adding needed software. Explain that the times they are achanging and the alternative is *spending money* on new kit. You might be surprised.

      The tramp: I'm 'the old man' to my neighbours!

    6. Kiwi

      Re: XP @Goat Jam

      Could be worth a try - you never know your luck!

      Keithpeter suggests using a live CD and I'd agree. I have an elderly gent customer who was having no end of problems with XP. He was upgraded to 7 and still had all sorts of problems. I set up a dual-boot with Mint.

      Not only has he never looked back, he swears by how easy it is to use for most things. He upset my *nix-hating boss by coming in one day and saying how much he loved Mint, and how easy he found his computer to use. He's gone on to get his elderly sister and a few other friends using Mint as well.

      Who also all come to love it.

      With a Live CD, you have no install to do. Reverting to XP is as easy as pulling the disk out. You may find your life gets that much easier (not a good thing to do for all your customers though - the loss of revenue from no longer having to fix their regular messes can be considerable!)

      HTH, as late as it may be :)

  8. Tsunamijuan

    My frustration with 8.1 and opinion on such matters of why upgrade

    I've been using 8.1 on my laptop lately. Which is the machine I use in the field every day. Originally I was going to avoid even touching 8.1. However Since I am having to start supporting 8.1 clients now I figured it was time I learned it and got use to its quirks. Also because when I replaced my laptop (old one died after 5 years) it came with 8.1.

    I can say that 8.1 is quite annoying at times. While the interface is fairly fast. In places it seems to be much sharper and a better user experience than 7 sp1. However when it comes to compatibility and support for software, its definitely lacking. Its been a major pain in the butt to get semi unsigned executables to run correctly or install. In fact a large portion of the time stuff seems to show up without options to choose a user to run them as or even the availability of compatibility options. (though I really haven't dug into looking a solution for when this happens). Its more than once made me consider wiping everything and putting windows 7 on it. Its amazing when even development apps like visual studio have large glaring functionality bugs in them in windows 8.1. One would think that since they are trying to encourage people to support and write apps for 8.1 that it would be a little more agreeable than it is.

    Onto the question of why upgrade your os if your not seeing any real gains in the form of user experience. The big thing that newer Operating systems bring to the table are security. Windows vista despite being a giant pain in the ass in a good majority of situations, forced programmers to write safer software. By doing away with a number of questionable practices. Now it didn't do away with all of them but it did provide the start of a more secure platform. Compared to windows XP. As time when on and nobody moved to vista some of these features made their way into xp. Others where improved on made more programmer and public friendly and became core components of 7. Windows 8.1 carries on this tradition when it comes to security.

    Security is always going to be a sore point when it comes to programmers and users. Good security often affects ease of use. So its a game of balance, often ease of use takes priority and security is compromised. At the same time if they don't force some degrees of security on users, then the complaint would be why are you not doing what you can to protect us. UAC is an example of this. You can turn it off if you don't like it, it has been a huge source of complaints by many users. However if it wasn't turned on to begin with the level of rampant malware that makes its way onto systems would most probably be much higher. Those that dont turn it off and just live with it really turn out to loose very little extra time in dealing with it. Enough at this point that its complained about very rarely compared to its introduction.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: My frustration with 8.1 and opinion on such matters of why upgrade

      I'm not sure why you are struggling with compatibility in Win 8....there are only a couple of programs that have caused me grief.

      The big one is that PoS of a thing called Java, when you go to apps with self-signed certs and another is oddly another app that uses a macro in Excel.

      Both of these can be got rid of fairly easy and may work for your programmes

      Go to the .exe, create a new shortcut, then do a properties, advanced and set to always run as Admin with elevated privileges,

      Copy this to the start menu folder and jobs a goods a good 'un. pin to start if you want. Run from here.

      Oh turn off ActiveX filtering in i.e. if having problems with crap intranet pages as well.

      Maybe it's because I've been dealing with badly written, cluster fuck of programmes for 20 years that I've learnt nearly every trick in the book.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: My frustration with 8.1 and opinion on such matters of why upgrade

        Ironically we had some keyboards (Yamaha) that worked in windows 2000, wouldn't work in XP or vista but *DID* work in windows 7 out of the box! That really shocked us (and made our Sibelius teacher very happy).

  9. 9Rune5

    Wife uses 8.1. Last week she got a new laptop. I remembered something about an easy way to transfer personal files and settings. Sure enough, there is an aptly named utility called "easy transfer". The only problem is that Microsoft, in their infinite wisdom, lobotomized it. They no longer let you export anything from the old 8.1 system.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Lobotomized software. Designed to match their market research people then.

  10. naive

    Miracle statistics

    Given the fact that MS does all to push W8, for instance private buyers do not get offered the W7 option when shopping for a new PC, but have to look in the section for company solutions to find a windows 7 offering, these statistics are a miracle and show the dislike people have for something that resulted from changes that where made as a result from the wish to change but not to improve.

    Except from that, it is fairly anti social too from Microsoft to change the UI so radically. Millions of older people, 65 and older, are used to the UI introduced by Windows 95, and with W8 they have to fight them selves through this cluttered mess on the desktop ?. If W7 was not an option, many people would be cut off from internet if their system died, MS should perhaps be forced by regulators to maintain an OS with XP style GUI, just like cars have a fixed order for the pedals.

    1. GregC

      Re: private buyers do not get offered the W7 option when shopping for a new PC

      Not true, and entirely dependant on where you shop. I'm speccing up a new laptop (well, have been for months really - one day I'll actually get around to spending the money....) and the place I'll be buying from lets me choose from 8.1, various flavours of 7 (HP, Pro, Ultimate) or even, shock horror, no OS.

      Shop around.

  11. Ol' Grumpy

    I've been using 8.1 for a while now at work and at home and the only issue I have is the same one everyone moans about namely, the unintuitive UI. Since installing ClassShell, that even that particular problem has gone away. The OS itself seems to run nicely enough on the budget Dell laptops provided by work and very well on my more powerful desktop at home.

    I guess Microsoft are still suffering from the "One UI to rule them all" paradigm if they get that sorted with Windows 9, they could be on to a winner.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Ol' Grumpy

      ".....they could be on to a winner." On the desktop at least, M$ has been the winner for years. Whether it's Win7 or 8.x, just look at the total number of Windows systems compared to Mac or - amazingly - Linux ones. And did Chromebooks even register a presence? The death of XP was a massive chance for the Penguinistas to really make a step change in the adoption of Linux, but they wasted it arguing over their own GUIs. The FOSS companies should have been deluging the TV channels of the World with adds saying "Don't want to pay for a new PC just to run Win8, then just download DistroX FOR FREE!" Even big Linux companies like RedHat seem to have sat on their hands. Very disappointing, TBH.

      1. Gray
        Devil

        Re: Ol' Grumpy

        Mebbe it could be that the "Penguinistas" don't fancy getting into some silly-arsed contest to "make a step change"? Those who can discern the need for something different will make a self-informed choice; the others are perhaps better left alone. Go stir the shite in some other pot.

  12. Ian Emery Silver badge
    Boffin

    Back in the old days.......

    I have been building PCs for family and friends (and work) since Win95 was KING, in that time nearly every OS has been tried (except Vista).

    My personal experience has been :-

    Win98 - an Improvement.

    98SE - ditto

    ME - SE with some interesting new features, but lack of driver support.

    XP - A little buggy at first, but head and shoulders above the rest, even if the underlying code still allows exes originally written for Win3.1 !!

    7 - M$ attempt at an Apple OS - looks and feels great, but frustrating when something doesnt work and it WONT let you tinker without a fight.

    8.1 - Without a touch screen it is painful to use, weird inconsistencies to how it switches between PC and tablet screens, nothing old works, even more restrictive than 7 (more like an unrooted Droid phone).

    Worst of all, M$ seem to have got sooo desperate to shift boxes, they are allowing it to be put on devices that are far too weedy for it to work properly; a friend recently bought a Tosh laptop, (no touch screen), and it was soooo slloooowwww I though he had already picked up some malware on it.

    I do mean REALLY slow, I have an old Asus EEEPC901 running XP/Win7 that responds faster when running in battery saver mode, although I will admit the 901 SSD has been replaced with a faster "Patriot" SSD

    BTW.

    I think touch screens are easier to understand and use - in the same way a Fisher Price Cassette Player is easier to use than a Linn/Naim set-up - my 17 month old daughter has already mastered the iPhone and Lenovo P780 smart phones.

    PS, I suspect XP is hanging around because there is so much sturdy, reliable office gear around that the manufacturers refuse to issue Win7/Win8 drivers for; I am talking to YOU HP !!!!! I bought a new office printer mere MONTHS before Win7 came out, yet you have NEVER produced proper drivers for it, so if I use it on a Win7 box I lose double-sided printing, collating, calibration, wireless connectivity, ...........

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Ian Emery Re: Back in the old days.......

      ".....there is so much sturdy, reliable office gear around that the manufacturers refuse to issue Win7/Win8 drivers for; I am talking to YOU HP....." In my local office I print from Win7 to a Laserjet 4! Oh, that might be because my office has a PRINTSERVER......

      Besides, just like all the other vendors, hp will want you to buy a NEW printer, hence the lack of drivers for obsolete models. If they are that old I'm surprised you can even get cartridges for them, TBH.

  13. eJ2095

    Classic Shell

    I have changed every one in my house to win 8.1 and banged classic shell on.

    Works fine

    Get the odd quirk every now and then but seems stable enough.

    My only Gripe these days is with Sodding Flash player (Stupid facebook games)

  14. RISC OS

    MS should have

    Subsidised manufacturers to make every laptop with Windoes 8 have a touchscreen. They have billions, they can afford it. Screens are the most expensive part of a laptop, most people just can't afford a good spec laptop with a touchscreen. If it's a choice between a good spec laptop or an expensive touchscreened laptop with low specs I know what I would choose, and clearly buyers made the same choice.

    But win 8 was designed for touchscreens, so most people that have it can't see the benefit or need of having the OS, they then tell their friends that there is no point in upgrading and you have the stats that are presented in this article.

    MS shot themselves in the foot. Plus of course there is the crap software centre... the apps are terrible, they are all ad platforms designed to make money. Most are useless or complete the same as 50 other apps by the same developer. The quality of most apps is just dire. Also it's hard to know where the data for these metro apps is being stored. I don't trust using the apps because I have no idea how to migrate the data somewhere else. The only metro app I use is yahoo mail, apparently this is one of the most used metro apps. It's not brilliant but shows what metro apps could be if time and development were spend on the apps instead of people just dumping clones of apps laced with adverts: There was whole series of shit database apps that I found: "My book collection", "My cd collection"... you name it, it had an app. They were all the same, just a one word label change. The apps were terrible.

    Also MS should have invested more on showing devs how to "design" metro apps. Devs are not know for strong design skills and metro apps require design skills to make them look great be a pleasure to use... this is something that will be difficult for MS to overcome.

    1. Gray
      Facepalm

      Re: MS should have

      yeh ... so the shiny new laptop must needs have a touch screen ... and what do I do with that heavy, clunky keyboard portion hangin' down from the screen? Take a set of shears and hack it off so's all I got to grab and fondle is the screen?

      It seemed so logical to expect a touch-screen OS fer poke n' tickle slabs, and a keys-pointer OS fer regular gear ... until MS decided otherwise. Piss on 'em ... it's actually a MS marketing move to force all consumers to buy a monthly subscription package for slabs connected to the MS cloud.

      1. RISC OS
        Facepalm

        Re: MS should have

        I guess the same thing you would do when you're not typing something, watching a film, reading something - ignore it

        > "It seemed so logical.."

        Yes it is logical, for an OS that is designed with touch in mind.

        1. Justicesays
          Trollface

          Re: MS should have

          As I lie back in my chair, moving my mouse an infinitesimal amount to switch between stories, while tiny motions of my finger on the mouse wheel cause whole pages to roll smoothly by, I often dream of those days in the future where I will be hunched over my desk, swiping oily fingers across the 22" screen while my outstretched arm waves around the room like some demented conductor.

          What a boon the touch screen is for desktop computers, and how nice of Microsoft to fully support that dream of mine by making it harder and harder to use mice.

          How forward looking of them to drive users to typing their desired applications into text boxes, and encourage them use hot keys by removing any obvious visual cues, while simultaneously pushing keyboard-less devices.

          This strategy is without flaw.

          1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

            Re: MS should have

            You might have a troll icon... but... ah dammit. There does appear to be a concerted effort to **** everything up doesn't there?

            Not all interface devices and not all user interfaces are suitable for all form factors and uses. There's a reason why we don't have mice on our phones and a reason why we don't poke the screen on our desktop computers.

  15. Bert 1
    WTF?

    Why all the bells and whistle?

    I'll be honest here.

    When I get a new OS, I tinker a bit to understand where everything has moved to.

    But after a few weeks..

    ... the OS just becomes the thing I use to access programmes.

    On a regular basis I use:

    Current Internet Browser of choice; MS Word (I tried Libre/Open Office but they crash frequently and scramble documents); Powerpoint; File Manager (for copying backups of photos - I don't altogether trust these automagic solutions); Irfanview (re-size images); PDF viewer; Citrix reveiver

    Hardware wise its Printer, Camera, USB drives, NAS.

    On an occasional basis I use:

    Calculator; Excel; Zip software; Gimp

    Hardware - Scanner

    Background use:

    Antivirus etc

    What I DONT DO is play around in the OS. Why does it need to be so complicated? Can't it just be simple and secure?

    1. Chika
      Happy

      Re: Why all the bells and whistle?

      Why does it need to be so complicated? Can't it just be simple and secure?

      People have been asking Microsoft that for years!

      Mind you, the computer is possibly the only piece of complex equipment that people are generally expected to sit in front of and immediately understand. Think about it. You don't get into a car and drive it having never taken lessons. Why do we expect it of computers? Mind you, you don't hear too many stories about people being hit by a computer.

      Well, not unless you read BOFH, of course!

  16. JDX Gold badge

    One query

    That W7 users aren't upgrading is no surprise - I don't think even Vista users rushed out to upgrade when 7 came out because an OS upgrade isn't very exciting.

    What I'm curious about is how W8 cannot be gaining share, when (nearly) all consumer PCs now ship with it installed. Granted, PC sales are not what they were but people ARE buying PCs and those new PCs ARE running W8.x... so that surely MUST push the W8 userbase slowly higher rather than dropping.

    I mean, how can the market share of XP be increasing unless people are doing new XP installs?

    1. Jess

      I can see how Vista would increase its market share by users with dual licensed machines doing a factory re-install.

      Maybe the increase in XP is old machines that have been given away, coming back in service?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: One query

      The average home user running XP will be happy to live in ignorance and not spend any money.

      Most business will be jumping on replacing their XP PCs due to online scare mongering. I find it funny that people are being told that XP is no longer secure as there will be no more patches issued, off the back of this people are upgrading to windows 7, but when our guys get to site to swap out the PC they find that updates are turned off and XP is about 6 months patch free anyway.

      Businesses will buy in windows 8 boxes. and promptly install windows 7 on them. Because it is

      a) more business orientated rather than the "Home" look and feel of windows 8

      b) any bespoke Software may not run on windows 8

      Case in point I expect IT to deliver my new laptop today which will have a windows 8 product key on it but run windows 7.

    3. Nigel 11

      Re: One query

      I mean, how can the market share of XP be increasing unless people are doing new XP installs?

      How? If Microsoft's market share is decreasing, and an increasing percentage of Microsoft's home users are those who have an old system running XP and don't intend ever to change it. (Businesses ought to have migrated to Windows 7, or even 8, before XP EOL'ed, though we know that there are a fair number that haven't finished their migration yet.)

      Which feels right. An ever increasing percentage of the students at the uni where I work arrive with Macbooks rather than notebook PCs. Then there are the many domestic users who don't work with a computer but just consume media and web-browse. They'll be scrapping their Microsoft PC without replacing it, buying tablet devices (Apple or Android) instead. They bought PCs in the past only because there was no alternative.

    4. rizb

      Re: One query

      > I mean, how can the market share of XP be increasing unless people are doing new XP installs?

      It's not market share, it's browsing share.

      Therefore, clearly the now unsupported XP has new malware that's hitting a lot of webservers.

  17. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Rule of thumb

    Tecchies do things to computers

    Users do things with them.

    The OS that tecchies want to see is safe, secure, quick, reliable.

    The OS users want to see is quick, reliable and easy to use. But pretty helps.

    It's a formula that's worked well for fruit based technology.

    1. Chika

      Re: Rule of thumb

      The OS that tecchies want to see is safe, secure, quick, reliable.

      The OS users want to see is quick, reliable and easy to use. But pretty helps.

      It's a formula that's worked well for fruit based technology.

      Agreed. I defy any end user not to find an Acorn running RISC OS easy to use. ;)

  18. David Roberts Silver badge

    W8.1 is gaining share

    Nobody so far has mentioned that new laptops can ship with 8.1.

    I know because I helped a friend migrate from ax XP tower PC to a laptop recently.

    I was all geared up for a painfully slow update from 8 to 8.1 but it wasn't required.

    I installed Classic Shell and she seems perfectly happy.

    I am running 8.1 on an old Dell laptop because the initial offer made it a cheap option to replace Vista.

    At the moment it boots faster than Vista did but then Vista booted quickly when we first got the PC.

    The laptop has been running Ubuntu but Windows wins when you need/want to use applications which only run on Windows.

    I also found Samba counter intuitive and a general pain when trying to network with Windows machines. I could fix it if I dedicated a chunk of time to the task but hey - it should just work!

    I see nothing special in W8.x to justify an upgrade from W7 (which I run on one of the PCs) but again I see nothing terrible enough to justify installing W7 instead.

  19. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    0.1% down

    Yeah I fail to see how this confirms Windows 8 is a complete disaster, I would have thought if 0% of people were using it then it would be a disaster.

  20. Nigel 11

    It just confirms what someone working in electronics-store retail will tell you, that there are lots of customers saying "I want a new computer, but I absolutely don't want Windows 8". If the shop is clued up it can offer them Windows 7. If it's not, I suspect that they buy an iMac, or in a few cases get steered to Linux by a clueful relative. (Are the figures for desktop iMac vs PC available, or do iPads and iPhones muddy the waters? )

  21. teapot9999

    bad recruiting

    "she still couldn't grasp the concepts of applications and files and folders!"

    How did she get hired and then make it past the probationary period?

  22. TRT Silver badge

    Have people been...

    using Vista as a migration route to 7 from XP?

  23. BigAndos

    I would kind of like to upgrade to Windows 8.1 now the interface changes are less intrusive. From my limited use of it the OS seems a bit quicker on the same hardware than windows 7. However, I refuse to pay £100 for the upgrade! There aren't really any significant new features. I would pay £10 for example, but £100 is a joke considering Apple give you a new OS for free.

    1. rizb

      Remember that Apple stung you bigtime on the hardware.

  24. Blank-Reg
    Facepalm

    Well, those annoying Microsoft TV adverts can't be helping. I seriously want to throw things at the telly when they appear

  25. axemanrj

    It simply doesn't work on Windows 8

    There is a small proportion of windows users that still cling on to legacy hardware that won't run on Win 8 (ok probably just me), but I cannot afford to replace, things like music interfaces, graphics tablets etc until I absolutely have to.

    Also Metro screen? What were you thinking Microsoft? (yes I know it is slightly improved in 8.1, but as this comment thread proves, techies never forget!)

    1. Steven Raith

      Re: It simply doesn't work on Windows 8

      Virtualisation is your friend, chum.

      Either Virtualbox using the XP license from your old machine (cheeky, but will install it) or if the version of Windows 8 your using supports it, Virtual XP mode (which comes with it's own license).

      As long as you keep the virtual machine off the network and away from dodgy file sources, you can apply filters to allow the virtual machine to talk to the hardware the host machine is connected to.

      Done this a few times in cases where the user genuinely had a need (IE old XP machine died, was being used to control a laser-cutter for shaping perspex signs, bought from china, no NT6+ support, etc, replacement tool would cost £5k....).

  26. Tank boy

    I understand

    What MS should have done is make different versions of 8/8.1, one for touchscreen the other for laptops/desktops. I did what a lot of other people have said and downloaded the classic shell, but I shouldn't have to jump through those hoops, and it's still a pain in the ass to go through all the menus. MS failed with 8.1. I said I'd give it 6 months before I made a change to something else, whether that be 7 or jumping ship and head back to Linux.

  27. Martin Yirrell

    Bought a new PC

    It was a quite nice HP minitower. It had Win 8 on it. My wife wondered why I was screaming at it.

    Upgraded (?) to 8.1 and the screaming lessened. But I went back to my _old_ XP machine.

    Question - why aren't you using your new computer you paid so much for?

    In the end I ripped out Windows, installed Linux Mint, installed VirtualBox, bought a copy of XP & of 7 and installed those as virtual machines for a) Flight Simulator & b) any M$ programme I might need. (Itunes runs better on 7 but that is not to say that it runs well)

    The result - no screaming at the computer. Joy!!!!!

  28. George 24

    Windows 8.1

    My 2 cents worth (talking from a desktop perspective, not tablet):

    Windows 8.1 is a good OS. It is stable, integrates well in active directory, runs just about any programs that was running on Vista and 7. The biggest issue by far is the modern UI. It does not make sense when the OS is used on a desktop or laptop for that matter.

    If MS decided to listen to the customers and managed to detect the hardware platform and docking status to present either the classic desktop with a real start menu if no touch screen is available, if it is a desktop chassis, if it is docked or the modern UI if it is tablet chassis and it is not docked, the OS would be much more accepted.

    We are about to roll-out windows 8.1 in the corporate environment. Classic Shell is our savior. From a user perspective, with classic shell loaded, it is like using XP or 7 (close enough), no re-training needed.

    As a tablet, I am not a fan. Android and IOS are far friendlier to use, but they don't run our corporate apps...

    Maybe Windows 9???

    1. Tank boy
      Thumb Up

      Re: Windows 8.1

      Concur. 8.1 is decent, just not really productivity friendly, especially for just regular users. My major complaint is that I have to tweak it to make the thing work the way I want it. Classic Shell has made my life a lot easier.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'Windows 9'

    Slightly off-topic, but 'Windows 9' has been aforementioned and an amusing thought occurred to oneself that Microsoft might not even call their next operating system 'Windows 9', because Microsoft, with their 'logic' of applying titles in accordance with version numbers (i.e. W7=V6.1, W8=V6.2, W8.1=V6.3) may assume that potential customers for this new operating system could confuse it with the likes of Windows 95 or 98, thus one would not be surprised if the next version of Windows did not use the digit '9' anywhere in its title. One shall leave it up to the community to speculate what that title may be.

    1. Gray
      Angel

      Re: 'Windows 9'

      ==> "One shall leave it up to the community to speculate what that title may be."

      Ummm ... Windows Hit

      Say that really fast a few times and see how it tastes.

  30. thejimthing
    Coat

    What doesn't work on Win8?

    Running windows 8 on a 4 year old laptop from pre-release versions through to 8.1 and now on a Mac Air with VMware (got it for the hardware, not the OS and found boot camp annoying) I have to say I've yet to find anything in either business or personal terms that doesn't work. Admittedly there's some aspects I like more or less than others but I've yet to use a client machine in c25 years of being in the IT game that I couldn't say that about.

    Win 8 difficult to use without a touch screen? Really not in my experience, I've been into it for some time and simply haven't felt the need to fondle my OS (even on the Air), I don't see the issue.

    Metro interface? I've seen some really useful and imaginative uses for it aimed at process workers, if they only need three buttons on a screen to do their job then why give then 250 and a set of menus? If you are a knowledge worker and need all that stuff then it's fine, just switch it to desktop mode by default and move on.

    The focus on market share based on a number of people hitting websites is a highly spurious correlation at best as others have mentioned, the nature of the way people use IT is in a permanent state of flux but using pontificating on how we like various flavours of the OS seems a moot point, as has already been said the issue is with delivering the services people want in an easily consumable manner; my mother uses an iPad because it's easy for her to do what she needs (consume content)and she also has a PC for when she needs to create content. as/when the PC gives up the ghost I'll move her to Win 8 or 9 or whatever makes her life easier (and limits the support calls!) but I'd be amazed if she knows what an OS is let alone what one she's using.

    It's a tool that does a job, pick the right one and deliver service to people in the way that best suits them, if that's fruit flavoured or wears a suit it really doesn't matter

  31. ProperDave

    Where's the Embedded angle?

    Granted it's not the most appropriate comment on here but - all those self-service till points in shops and most ATMs are powered by a flavour of XP. The stores have only just finished mass roll-outs. They won't be upgrading any time soon. And I would hazard a guess all the smart-payphones BT has been rolling out with Internet capability are probably XP-based.

    We're going to be stuck with XP for years to come - if not in the machines on our desks, in the machinery we interact with when out and about.

    1. Chika

      Re: Where's the Embedded angle?

      Embedded XP is still supported at present. The current end of life being advertised by M$ is January 2016. http://www.microsoft.com/windowsembedded/en-gb/product-lifecycles.aspx. Even NT4 seems to still be supported for embedded versions unless M$ made a typo.

      Go fig...

  32. jzlondon

    This stuff is such a crying shame. Why can't Microsoft see what they need to do? It's not hard.

    Bring back the Start Menu. Sure, improve it by all means. But it's got to be functionally rich.

    Focus on the desktop experience for laptops and desktop and the tablet experience for tablets. Don't try to mix them.

    Give the desktop UI a damn good cleanup and overhaul. Declutter it and remove the pointless complexity and fiddliness.

    Replace the umpteen control panel(s) with some sort of cohesive, straightforward settings system that doesn't require you to dig five layers down to do simple things.

    Replace creaking subsystems such as printing, scanning, sound control, bluetooth management with new up-to-date versions.

    Bundle a couple of decent apps for home users

    Build a Windows Store for desktop apps.

    I could go on. If they did some of these things, people would upgrade.

  33. This post has been deleted by its author

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    XP migration? What XP migration?

    Who are these enterprises that have migrated off XP? I don't know very many in London.

    This bank has some Win7 in Legal Services and Gp Comms and Marketing and that's about it. They did actually migrate us off IE6 about 18mths ago...

  35. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Mine is now the only computer where I work that is using a sane OS. I go in, do stuff, fetch & save stuff, print stuff, then leave.

    The others are forever faffing about fighing the machines (which all seem to have a variable dislike of printers and email). They also frequently call a Microsoft 'expert' to sort things out.

    Oh yes, they're all on 8.1

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Forced to stay put :D

    I have a P4EE 3.4 with 4GB of memory and SSDs - I cannot run Windows 8, but Windows7 runs a treat and I rarely feel the need for more CPU power during normal operations.

    I won't be upgrading to Windows8 because, well, Microsoft decided that I would be allowed to.

  37. CLD
    FAIL

    Shame he can't read the stat's properly

    Another article which is set to divide and get people espousing how they like / hate a certain OS.

    By combining the stat's of Windows 8 and 8.1, we can see that (based on the numbers in the table provided by Netmarketshare) Windows 8 has been achieving market growth.. by working our the average difference each month, Windows 8 and 8.1 has achieved a growth rate of 0.41125% per month. Nothing flash, but growth non the less.

    Looking at the figures for Statcounter, Windows 8 and 8.1 combined hold 14.27% of the market. This surpasses OSX (8.57), Linux (1.37) and Other (1.1) who have a combined total of 11.04%.

  38. Brian Allan 1

    Win 8++ Worst Yet

    We tried to get Win 8 (and 8.1) operational for our personnel. No go! We're back Win XP and Win 7 (32 bit). We simply can't afford to rebuy all the peripherals to get 64 bit Win 7 or Win 8 operational!!

  39. Wepamyepi

    Funny thing nobody's mentioned system requirements...

    ... and how the financial shellacking that oh-so-many small businesses and other organizations took back in '08 and are still working on recovering from had turned hardware budget attitudes from "upgrade according to (industry-predicted) lifespan schedule" to "make it last as long as you can."

    As it turns out, many of the aforementioned businesses & organizations learned that their hardware was quite capable (with a little TLC) of lasting far longer than the three years that sales reps from companies like Dell, HP, Samsung, and Lenovo kept insisting was the time you had to upgrade to a newer system.

    This in turn meant that many of these long-in-the-tooth systems were incapable of accepting more than 4GB of memory on their motherboards, and I'm going to guess (from what I've encountered out in the wild) that a lot of those probably had a 2GB or lower maximum RAM installation limit.

    Now, let's face it. Windows 7 and 8 machines work with 4GB of RAM about as well as Windows XP machines work with 512MB of RAM -- they'll do the job, but as the need for more memory increases they'll get really slow in a very short span of time.

    This means that, although it may be possible to upgrade a good chunk of these older machines to Windows 7 (lets leave 8 out of it for now) you'll still wind up with a system that will suffer a major performance hit compared to running XP with only 2GB of RAM... to say nothing of working with applications that haven't had EAS file creation/renewal/registration with Microsoft.

    When all of that -- and the potential cost of "forklift upgrades" -- is taken into account, it's little wonder that there are a lot of systems out there that are still relying on Windows XP.

    Here's a tip for Microsoft: if you want people to adopt your new products, make sure that it'll run perfectly fine (i.e., with no performance hit) on what would have been considered an "enthusiast" system ten years ago.

  40. JustNiz

    Bogus stats biassed towards Microsoft.

    They are using statcounter which only gets data from what the browser identifies itself as in webpage hits on associated websites.

    Apart from the fact that it makes a massive assumption that every type of computer is necessarily hitting the same webpages at the same rate, it is also assuming that the browsers are correctly identifying themseleves, which they are usually (on purpose) avoiding doing.

    Many websites serve up different html based on what a browser identifies itself as for compatability reasons. Many browsers identify purposely themselves incorrectly (as internet explorer and windows even if they really aren't) to make sure they get the "standard" website. Consequently browser ID does not actually identify which computer is connecting. Its more used to identify which standard the browser adheres to.

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