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October Saw Dramatic Slide in Windows XP Usage

Six months after the end of support for Windows XP, the user base is finally responding.

Operating system market share figures released over the weekend by Net Applications show the kind of dramatic month-over-month drop in Windows XP's share that seemed like it should have come right around the end of support on April 8, 2014.

Windows XP fell from 23.87 percent of worldwide operating system usage in September to 17.18 percent in October. That 6.7 percentage point drop is a bigger decline in one month than the operating system's usage had fallen previously in the entire year. Windows XP was at 29.3 percent in January and had only fallen 5.43 percentage points through September. That period covered the April support deadline, and Microsoft had loudly and regularly been warning organizations, partners and users that the OS would be completely unpatched against newly discovered vulnerabilities and was therefore a serious security risk.

[Click on image for larger view.] Desktop OS market shares. (Source: Net Applications)

Windows 8 appears to be the prime beneficiary of users abandoning Windows XP. While Windows 7 gained about a third of a percentage point of share from September to October to top 53 percent share, and Mac OS platforms picked up about three-quarters of point to edge over 7 percent, the real gainer was the combination of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.

Windows 8/8.1 jumped 4.54 percentage points to reach 16.8 percentage usage, good for second-most-used operating system version after Windows 7.

Net Applications puts together its rankings based on data collected from the browsers of site visitors to a network of clients that includes more than 40,000 websites worldwide.

Posted by Scott Bekker on November 03, 2014 at 10:54 AM