Windows 8.1 closes in on Vista among desktop OS users

The newest version of Windows is behind Vista by just a hundredth of a percent, based on the latest stats from Net Applications.

Net Applications

Windows 8.1 will soon outscore Vista as the fourth most common desktop OS, according to Web tracker Net Applications.

For December, Windows 8.1 sliced off a 3.6 percent share of all desktop OS traffic recorded by Net Applications. Just a breath ahead, Windows Vista snagged a 3.61 percent share. By the time February rolls around, 8.1 will surely have outpaced the 7-year-old and much maligned Vista.

Combined, Windows 8.1 and Windows 8 snagged 10.5 percent of all desktop OS traffic in December, up from 9.3 percent in November and 9.25 percent in October. A free upgrade to Windows 8 users, Windows 8.1 debuted in June as a preview edition before officially launching in October.

Windows 7 continues to gain more users, capturing a 47.5 percent share last month, up from 46.6 percent in November. And Windows XP continues to lose more of its audience, ekeing out a 29 percent share in December, down from 31.2 percent the prior month.

The distance in Web traffic between Windows 7 and XP will likely ramp up over the next few months. Microsoft has vowed to cut off support for XP starting April 8, 2014. That means no more security patches, bug fixes, or other updates. As such, businesses and organizations have been scrambling to upgrade from XP before the deadline arrives.

Read the full CNET Review

Microsoft Windows 8.1

The Bottom Line: If you're a dedicated Windows 8 hater, the update to Windows 8.1 isn't going to change your mind. For everyone else, this collection of tweaks, fixes, and new features is useful, but everything here should have shipped in the original version last year. / Read full review

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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