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Windows 8 inches up in desktop OS market

Microsoft's latest OS is creeping up in popularity but lags behind the milestone that Windows 7 had reached at this stage, according to new numbers from Net Applications.

Here is the breakdown of the desktop OS in April, according to Net Applications. Net Applications

Windows 8 is slowly scratching its way up the OS food chain.

Microsoft's latest version of Windows took home 3.8 percent of all traffic captured by Web tracker Net Applications in April. That proved a small gain from its 3.2 percent share in March.

Starting with a 1.09 percent share in November, Windows 8 sliced out a 1.72 percent share in December. A 2.26 percent share in January helped it sneak past Mac OS X 10.8 to grab fourth place among all desktop operating systems. And February saw another small gain to 2.7 percent.

The stats also looked at both traditional PCs and touch-screen computers. Of the 3.8 percent share earned last month, Windows 8 touch-screen PCs accounted for 0.02 percent. Windows RT touch-screen computers were unable to register any blip at all on Net Applications' radar.

How has Windows 8 fared in comparison with Windows 7?

Both operating systems officially debuted in October of their respective years -- Windows 7 in 2009 and Windows 8 in 2012. By April 2010, Windows 7 has already carved almost 12 percent of the OS market tracked by Net Applications.

Microsoft tried to push Windows 8 last year with a hefty discount. Windows 7, Vista, and XP users were able to buy Windows 8 Pro for $39.99. And Windows 7 users who purchased their PCs between June of last year and January 31 of this year could buy the new OS for just $14.99. But both of those deals expired in January, which means users must cough up $119.99 for the standard version of Windows 8 and $199.99 for the Pro edition.

Microsoft is busy prepping Windows 8.1 for release later this year. Ongoing builds of the OS update show a variety of tweaks and enhancements so far. Rumors have also suggested that Microsoft may kick in a Start button and a boot to desktop option to appease users unhappy with the new Start screen environment.