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Windows 8 ekes out 2.2 percent market share

Microsoft's newest OS ended January with a market share just behind that of Mac OS X 10.8, according to stats out today from Net Applications.

Net Applications

Windows 8 may not be setting the PC landscape on fire, but at least it's heating up some gains in market share.

The latest flavor of Windows scored a market share of 2.26 percent in January, as recorded by Web tracker Net Applications. That showed a slow but steady rise from 1.72 percent in December and 1.09 percent in November.

Windows 8 has been floating around for a while as beta and preview editions became available, but the official release debuted at the end of October.

January's numbers showed Windows 8 in fifth place among the various operating system versions, just behind Mac OS X 10.8 with a 2.44 percent share.

Windows 7 remained in first place with a 44.4 percent share, down slightly from the previous month. No. 2 Windows XP grabbed 39.5 percent of the market, up slightly from December. Though still in third place, Vista continued to shed users with a 5.24 percent share.

How has Windows 8 fared in comparison with Windows 7 during its initial launch months? Not too well.

Windows 7 officially debuted in October 2009. By January 2010, Windows 7 had already won a market share of 7.71 percent, according to Net Applications' stats.

And how Windows 8 will fare moving forward remains a question mark.

The new OS has so far failed to ignite PC sales, which continue to slump as tablets surge. And even people who want to upgrade to Windows 8 now may be discouraged by the higher price tag.

Microsoft had been dangling the Windows 8 Pro upgrade for just $39.99. Even better, anyone who bought Windows 7 after June of last year was able to snag Windows 8 Pro for just $14.99.

But that promotion is no more. As of today, upgrading to Windows 8 will run you $119.99 for the standard version and $199.99 for the Pro version.