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Windows XP Falls Below 25% Market Share, Windows 8 Drops Slightly 336

An anonymous reader writes: Despite support for Windows XP finally ending three months ago, the ancient OS has only now fallen below the 25 percent market share mark. To add to the bad news for Microsoft, after only nine full months of availability, its latest operating system version, Windows 8.1, has lost share for the first time. For desktop browser share, Chrome is up, taking mostly from Internet Explorer and Firefox. For mobile browsers, Safari continues to fall while Chrome maintains strong growth.
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Windows XP Falls Below 25% Market Share, Windows 8 Drops Slightly

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  • by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Saturday August 02, 2014 @11:52PM (#47591831)

    From the article:

    Microsoft will likely one day struggle to woo users off Windows 7, just like it is currently trying to do with the headache that is Windows XP.

    I wonder if Microsoft is learning the wrong lessons from their "good" versions. They're having a hell of a time getting people to leave them. In the future, if people hate the version they're on, they'll be much more likely to buy a new version in the hopes that it's better. Brilliant!

    That's the only think I can think of to fully explain Windows 8, and why even now they're refusing to admit that Metro apps are a steaming turd on top of an otherwise competent OS. The only idiots who like using those "apps" are the ones who would probably be better off with a tablet or smartphone instead of an actual desktop computer, for whom the actual power of a desktop is apparently wasted.

    Ok, maybe I'm just a bitter throwback who's resentful that my desktop is being marginalized. Maybe it's also because I hate the new skeuomorphic design aesthetic. What's wrong with gloss, gradients, transparency, and attractive animations, or even a bevel or link here and there so we can actually tell something is clickable rather than playing mystery-meat navigation? I swear, everything is going flat-shaded, blocky, ugly, and indistinguishable, all because that's now the new "hip" look.

  • If Windows XP runs better than Windows 7 on your legacy PC, consider trying Xubuntu or Lubuntu. The apps you currently use under Windows may have Linux equivalents or may work under Wine.
  • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @12:09AM (#47591869)
    A question, and please give this some thought before answering...

    If something does what its user needs it to do, then how is it outdated?

    I'm typing this on a nine-year-old Dell Latitude D410 running Windows XP. I've got a current version of Firefox, current versions of all of the plugins I use on a regular basis, and just about the only thing the laptop won't do well is full-screen flash video at high res, but that seems to be more a function of the poor implementation of flash than of the computer itself, and even with only 2GB RAM it's still faster than the four-years-newer Atom-based Ideapad S10-2 with Windows 7 that we got free with my wife's then-new computer. In some ways it's superior in that when my fancy Linux box's graphics broke I was able to use the serial port on the docking station to TTY in to the Linux box to work on it with just a null-modem cable, didn't need anything else.

    For web surfing this old thing does just about everything that I need it to do, with the licensed OS that came with it, even with the original amount of RAM and the original hard disk drive. So, why should I change this? Because Microsoft wrote shitty code full of holes and now refuses to fix those holes?

    This machine doesn't go out of the house, and at home it's behind a firewall. I've got noscript, flashblock, adblock, and https everywhere installed, so it'll be very difficult to infect it through the web browser. without a compelling reason to change it, why would I spend my hard-earned money on something that won't be used for more than I use this thing for now? It's for when I'm lounging on the couch being lazy.
  • by lucm ( 889690 ) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @12:13AM (#47591881)

    I would be curious to see how Azure is impacting Windows Server market share. They made it very easy to automatically deploy instances for those cloud services, and most people run multiple instance for load balancing.

    I don't know the exact number but from what I've read Azure is gaining about 1,000 customers per day. That's a lot of Windows Servers.

    AWS was first in that business but their console/dashboard is just too clunky, this scares a lot of people away. No wonder that Microsoft is making shitloads of money while Amazon is almost to the point where they will ask employees to sell their blood in order to finance the price war in the cloud.

  • If something does what its user needs it to do, then how is it outdated?

    The user wants the operating system to work. In order for it to do that, it has to not be vulnerable to common threats, and it has to be compatible with common technologies. The former fades quickly, the latter typically a bit more slowly but it's still an issue. If you wanted filesystems over 2GB or USB support you had to "upgrade" to NT4. If you were otherwise happy with 3.51 you know how distressing that move was. Stability went way down in NT4. Not when using it as a desktop, but definitely when using it as a server.

  • by armanox ( 826486 ) <asherewindknight@yahoo.com> on Sunday August 03, 2014 @12:23AM (#47591923) Homepage Journal

    Trying to be Windows is what will be the death of Linux. Easy to use? KDE, GNOME, and Unity are all very easy for the average user to use. Local libraries near me have Linux (an Ubuntu variant IIRC) installed on all the PC's there. Users have no issue getting online, using the card catalog, watching Youtube, etc. It all works fine. We have a small collection of native games via Steam, and it's just a matter of time before a major publisher (Blizzard, would you please release your internal WoW client to the wild?) puts out a major title that runs on Linux.

  • by Luckyo ( 1726890 ) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @12:26AM (#47591927)

    In other words, business as usual. Windows dominates the desktop, Mac remains the desktop fashion accessory for those who care about style over function and linux on desktop remains mainly a marginal toy for the techies like us.

    This is also a pretty good reference point of where we're going with mobile I think. There linux is currently headed for that 90ish percentile of all phones (well, android, but you get the picture), with IOS sinking towards that 5-7% market share and others taking the rest.

    And hilariously enough, "others" is formed mainly by windows phone, which sits pretty much where linux is on desktop. It certainly shows how market works for operating systems on consumer devices.

  • by Luckyo ( 1726890 ) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @12:32AM (#47591941)

    Not really. 7 is supported until 2020, and from previews, it looks like 9 is going to be just like 8 in all the aspects that people hate. It's more of the "hey, phone's touch interface on on desktop can be made to work (and we want to use it to stop our phone strategy from being a trainwreck that it is)".

    I suspect that 7 is the new XP in that it's currently the most functional desktop OS in windows family, matched only by XP in usability and functionality. So in a way, it is a good news for microsoft, as it means that it's desktop domination and income from "microsoft tax" isn't going anywhere.

    It's bad news for microsoft because it continues to show that their design paradigms, with which they are sticking for 9 btw, are an abysmal failure. And while they have five more years to produce replacement for 7, it's not looking like they have the people who want to. Instead they are still focusing on leveraging desktop dominance to push for marketshare in mobile by destroying the desktop windows.

    And as long as 7, the last actual version of windows designed for desktop exists, any such attempts will likely fail just like 8 did. Because there will always be a much better alternative to whatever "mobile OS interface on desktop" version of windows microsoft will continue to try to peddle. As we have seen with 8, even forcing OEMs not to offer 7 at all in favour of the newer OS doesn't fix the problem.

  • by Luckyo ( 1726890 ) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @12:36AM (#47591951)

    Just because they put a slightly different shade of lipstick on the pig that was 8, doesn't make it any more suitable for being a human being.

  • by gfxguy ( 98788 ) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @01:24AM (#47592065)

    I bought a laptop soon after 8 came out. Of course, I hated the tiles... and installed classic shell and told it to boot to the desktop. After that, I don't understand what all the complaining is about. When I finally, after over 10 years, rebuilt my desktop a couple of months ago, and XP was retired (I had XP Pro), I got 8.1 Pro... installed classic shell, and don't understand what all the complaining is about.

    Sure, 95% of the time I'm using Linux anyway, but I installed 8.1, the software I use to do work when I have to write stuff for Windows, and I don't understand what all the complaining is about.

    My experience... again, after installing classic shell, is much like 7, only smoother and a few different ways to access certain things (like control panel) that you rarely use anyway... and it's not worse, it's just different.

    So the only complaint really is that you need to install something like classic shell, but since I need to spend time customizing out of the box linux distributions, too, I fail to see the problem.

    I'm serious... I really want someone to explain to me why they think Windows 8/8.1 is so bad (once you get rid of the tiles/apps paradigm by using classic shell and going straight to desktop). I'm not a Windows fanboy, I'm writing this on Linux, and mainly use Linux out of choice... but it seems to me people are just jumping on the hate bandwagon for anything new. I get that desktop and tablet experiences are different, and companies (not just MS) should stop trying to force feed us a single UI paradigm for all platforms... it doesn't work, but like the last few versions of Ubuntu, if you don't like it, you can tweak it to where it works for you.

    Please refrain from feigning pity for "Joe User" that can't figure these things out for themselves... that's not who any of us here are, and most of us have little sympathy for Joe User otherwise.

  • by jbolden ( 176878 ) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @01:40AM (#47592107) Homepage

    How about the obvious.

    Microsoft is being disrupted from below by Android. Overtime Android will get more capable. Right now they have established a lock on enterprise desktop so the likely move will be for Android to replace Home / Small business. For them to compete with Android's 2017 version they need to offer the functionality of Android at the very least and that means a good tablet / phone experience as well as a desktop experience. Which is ubiquitous computing. To get to ubiquitous computing they need applications that support multiple form factors. To get those they need both hardware and OSes that support ubiquitous computing. To get the hardware they need an OS. So they release the OS which allows OEMs to have a target platform to work against.

    What isn't required is that end users appreciate the advantages yet. As a point of fact Windows 8 is pretty cool on the right hardware but most of the critics are shocked that Windows 8 runs poorly on Windows 7 hardware. Microsoft would have done better to make 8 touchscreen or digitizer mandatory and not allowed Windows 7 hardware at all. But regardless Windows 8 accomplishes their key objective of moving the platform forward.

  • by Belial6 ( 794905 ) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @02:30AM (#47592211)
    I always find it amazing how Apple users keep trying to convince everyone that 'everyone' is buying Macs 'now'. OSX only has ~5% more market share than Linux for the desktop. Certainly, if Linux on the desktop is a toy, then certainly so is OSX.

    That being said, with ~2 billion computers in the world, that means there is somewhere in the ballpark of 33.6 million Desktop Linux users. That is nothing to sneeze at. And there is somewhere in the ballpark of 132.8 million OSX users.
  • by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @02:47AM (#47592237)

    Had they limited Windows 8 to touchscreens and digitizers only, it would have made things worse. Poor adoption rate is their big problem, and further limiting your user base with hardware restrictions would only exacerbate the situation. The platform doesn't move forward in practice if people don't actually upgrade. Here's the issue: Touch screens make sense for certain form factors, but not for desktops. Search the term "gorilla arm" to see why.

    Even beyond that, the "metro" concept of full screen apps runs counter to what desktop users actually need for productivity. The desktop is not a "legacy" platform. It's a platform that's very specifically optimized for getting work done with a keyboard, mouse, and large form factor screen. That sort of work is not going away anytime soon, as the business world has demonstrated loud and clear by their absolute refusal to move to Windows 8. Naturally, the relevance of PCs is diminishing among home and casual users - people who didn't use the PC for production purposes, but mostly as a consumption, communications, and entertainment device. Smartphones and tablets are perfect for that. For actual production work, the desktop/laptop will remain king for the foreseeable future, albeit in much more of a specialized role than before.

    Windows 8 would have been a fine OS had they discarded the idea of one-UI-fits-all devices, and instead focused on the coolness of Metro as a side-channel application experience. That would have meant allowing cross-platform tablet and phone apps to run on your desktop seamlessly with native or managed desktop applications, but without trying to make the whole OS touch-focused. Instead, the marketing hype overtook common sense and usability concerns, and they began touting it as the future replacement of the desktop, which is absurd. Not surprisingly, after the actual market kicked the marketing department's ass, they're starting to move in a sensible direction with Windows 9 by focusing on the benefits of cross-platform application development, and they're slowly backing off of the ridiculous notion that their desktop OS should behave like a tablet.

  • by kamapuaa ( 555446 ) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @04:08AM (#47592441) Homepage

    Well if programming for OpenGL is more difficult and requires elite skills just to be passably decent, that's a huge knock against OpenGL.

    You're approaching this like a college student rather than like an engineer.

  • by jbolden ( 176878 ) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @06:36AM (#47592687) Homepage

    Only because they have incompetent programmers that can't understand code closer to hardware than four levels of abstraction away, and don't understand how to write their own graphical extensions, which OpenGL supports, and will always kick DirectX's ass on.

    Assume that's true. So what? Writing your own graphical extensions introduces costs. Testing them across video cards and supporting that introduces huge costs. Of course going low level is faster but that's not issue.

  • by Teckla ( 630646 ) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @08:11AM (#47592929)

    I'm typing this on a nine-year-old Dell Latitude D410 running Windows XP. I've got a current version of Firefox, current versions of all of the plugins I use on a regular basis

    Your fully patched browser and plugins still make heavy use of operating system DLLs, and those DLLs are no longer getting security updates. This puts you at risk.

    Continuing to use old hardware is fine, as long as the OS is updated and secure. I have a similarly old machine that I put Linux on.

    I'm afraid your highly modded comment might make non-technical people think using XP to browse the web is still OK. It's not. Even with a fully updated and patched browser.

  • by TitusC3v5 ( 608284 ) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @09:24AM (#47593145) Homepage
    What world do you live in where only kids play video games?

"What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying." -- Nikita Khrushchev