Windows 8 ekes out 3.2 percent of desktop OS market

Microsoft's latest OS is gaining ground but is still in fourth place behind Vista, according to Web tracker Net Applications.

Net Applications

Windows 8 is slowly carving out a slightly larger slice of the OS market.

The latest flavor of Windows captured 3.17 percent of all desktop OS traffic tracked by Net Applications in March. That was a small gain from the 2.67 percent share in February .

Since its official debut last October, Windows 8 has very gradually risen up the ranks, at least in Net Applications' Web traffic reports.

Starting with a 1.09 percent share in November, the OS carved out a 1.72 percent share in December. It then grabbed a 2.26 percent share in January, pushing it past Mac OS X 10.8 to take the fourth spot among all operating systems.

Windows 7 remained comfortably ahead of Windows XP as the top OS last month, though the respective shares of both barely nudged from their February numbers. Windows 7 wrested the top spot from XP last August , according to Net Applications.

The much-maligned Windows Vista stayed in third place with a 5 percent share, a drop from the previous month.

Assuming Windows 8 keeps growing and Vista keeps falling -- both at a consistent pace -- Microsoft's new OS should steal third place sometime this summer.

Overall, Windows' share of Net Applications' desktop OS traffic was a bit more than 91 percent, a number virtually unchanged over the past several months. The share held by Mac OS X dipped slightly to 6.94 percent, while Linux was a distant third with 1.17 percent.

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