back to article Microsoft's nightmare DEEPENS: Windows 8 market share falling fast

Just when you thought it couldn't get much worse for Microsoft, analysis by Netmarketshare and StatCounter has found Windows 8's market share fell during September 2014. As we point out each month when reporting the firms' data, their methodology of analysing web traffic is far from perfect. On the other hand, the two firms …

  1. Youngdog


    *please note that, due to the unique way Netmarketshare and StatCounter provide analysis, the value of your contribution may not reflect the bollock-sweating effort guys like you put in moving tens of thousands off XP and will instead appear as a just a piddling few hundred IP addresses.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: *

      Right in one. As a survey of consumer device operating systems (lots of IP addresses) it works. I'd even agree with SO/HO & SMB. Otherwise? Meh. And I don't want to think about what my site looks like to the survey dataset.

      1. John Bailey

        Re: *

        So the next time someone is wittering on about Linux only having 1%, I can rely on you guys to set em straight?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: *

      Regardless of which version of Windows is actually being used - it still has over 90% desktop market share - and revenue is steady - so not exactly a nightmare for Microsoft.

      Windows 10 will come along, address the issues some people don't like about Windows 8, and most people will eventually migrate. Yawn.

    3. Bob Vistakin

      Re: *

      Looks like this asshole was spot on to me.

      1. Breen Whitman

        Re: *

        Balmer is spot on about nothing. The recovery from vista was entering into the new apple/android handheld era.

        Even if there was no vista and it went straight to a win 7, they would lose out. They failed to succeed in the mobile market early enough.

        Win CE 5/6 on $3000 dollar industrial handhelds even in 2014, and expecting that to be a "mobile business case", was delusional.

    4. JeffyPoooh

      A suggestion for MS

      As far as I can tell, they refuse to sell Windows 7 (e.g. Professional) FPP ('full retail') at all.

      I bought a used gaming PC for a good price, and it did not include a Windows CoA. So I went looking for an OS for it, specifically Windows 7 Professional. I wanted the FPP version so that if my used PC burned up, at least the license could be moved around legally.

      As far as I could tell, Microsoft's policy was religion-based that "Yee Shall Convert To Windows 8 and Yee Shall Not Be Sold Windows 7."

      I understand that there are some non-intuitive solutions, but they seem to cost about $300.

      The suggestion is: Why don't they turn on the Windows 7 FPP factory again? I've got a crisp stack of cash if they'd be willing to put down the Windows 8 Bible for a minute, and take my money.

      Their Windows 8 policies are equivalent to insane and/or stupid. Now that they've seemingly gotten over the cult-like approach and essentially admitted that Win 8 is a failure, then the next logical interim step is to release a flood of Win 7 Pro FPP for about $100 per copy. I'd guess that they could stir up a few hundred million dollars in sales.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A suggestion for MS

        "next logical interim step is to release a flood of Win 7 Pro FPP for about $100 per copy. I'd guess that they could stir up a few hundred million dollars in sales."

        That might get them some sales right now, but it would shoot Windows 10 straight in the head. They're depending on the current Windows 8 lot, who're desperate to get away from the bloody thing, to give 10 its big initial boost. They're absolutely desperate to avoid Windows 7 becoming the next XP, and hanging around for the next decade eating their new OS's for lunch, and they certainly don't want any new users for it now.

        1. JeffyPoooh

          Re: A suggestion for MS

          "...shoot Windows 10 straight in the head."

          Not if this happens:

          1) Windows 10 is actually attractive, with the stupidity surgically removed.

          2) Windows 10 works well with the hardware from the Win 7 era (2010 +/-).

          3) They offer a reasonably price upgrade (correct answer is $60).

          As of right now, our nice 2nd hand gaming PC is running Ubuntu. So how is their clever (not) marketing scheme working out for them so far?

          1. Naughtyhorse

            Re: with the stupidity surgically removed.

            you mean like;


          2. Phil_Evans

            Re: A suggestion for MS

            I suggest you may have missed a point:

            4) They manage to wrestle folks away from Windows 7

            As of now, MSFT's active code base is supported (in various cocktails) from XP, through vista, Win7, Win8 and soon Win10. Not mention the server derivatives too.

            People have obviously decided that even if looks are different, Win8 smells like a leap to a new vista. they have defined their buying behaviours on mobile by ignoring Surface and Phone. Why produce more answers when people have stopped asking the questions?


        2. Brian Souder 1

          Re: A suggestion for MS

          "They're depending on the current Windows 8 lot, who're desperate to get away from the bloody thing, to give 10 its big initial boost. They're absolutely desperate to avoid Windows 7 becoming the next XP, and hanging around for the next decade eating their new OS's for lunch, and they certainly don't want any new users for it now."

          This is already the stage they set. All of the Windows XP and 2003 server users I finally pried away to Server 2012 and 2012 R2 as well as Windows 7 have no intention of upgrading. Most of the upgrades were fairly painless, but expensive. They end up replacing all their hardware or updating machines that had originally been downgraded from Windows 7/Vista to XP - still tech hours. The economy still is not great - recovering from upgrades takes years. They just got their users over to Windows 7 - etc. I still have one company holding on to their 2003 server and XP for dear life even though most of the apps are up to date (Office 2013 being the exception that will be updated with a purchase). There are odd things going on like WIndows 7 profiles going bad, issues with Office 2013 and IMAP which we are finding solutions to finally. They are so focused on moving forward they have not stopped to get everyone's confidence. I sent out the Windows 10 email to owners to just give them a heads up on what it is and what the hype was about to happen. I think the majority responded along the lines of is this something we have to worry about because we are not planning to do anything for a while. I think their user base really resents them. They especially do not want anything to do with subscriptions. Maybe they will upgrade for WIndows 11 or 12. Maybe Microsoft should listen to their customers for once instead of focusing on too many bells and whistles no one cares about. They don't want their stuff in your data center, they want to own their equipment, and they want to know where their data is and in their control. Oh - the hype about security - in today's world has become keeping their data backed up and mitigating the damage of a possible hack. They have lost confidence that Microsoft can keep anyone out of their systems.

          1. Tom 13

            Re: I think their user base really resents them.

            Bing! Bing! Bing!

            We have a winner!

            And until MS fix that problem, they're never going to have the sort of success they are seeking. Conceding to their customers by allowing vendors to sell Windows 7 might start that process. Holding out for Window 9 10 won't. Especially if between now and release date they try to pull the old Windows 8.x switcharoo.

        3. jelabarre59

          memory evolution

          But consider that there's plenty of perfectly servicable machibes taht can't run Win8, or can run it but not very well. Considering we're still mired in a long-term economic depression, no one has the cash to throw at new hardware. So no Win7 means those machines move to Linux, and suddenly users will start finding how superior Linux is to Windows.

          1. usbac Silver badge

            Re: memory evolution

            I've already converted three of our user's home systems to Linux Mint. They wanted to get off of XP, but expressly didn't want Windows 8.x

            They looked at buying new PCs/Laptops, but couldn't find them with Windows 7 anymore.

            I have one person bringing her home desktop in on Monday for me to load Mint on it (I already converted their laptop to Mint several months ago, as a test for them).

            So far every single one of them has been happy with the change.

            As IT people, we can promote the move away from Windows. We just need to show everyone we know that you can live with a non-Microsoft OS.

        4. Arthur Dent

          Re: A suggestion for MS

          I guess the current windows 8 lot are those who are desparate to escape from Windows 8 were too dumb to cope with some UI changes and then proved their dumbness by turning dow the free upgrade to Windows 8.1 when they were offered it (or never noticed the offer, perhaps because they junked all mail from MS).

          I tried Vista and switched back to XP. I tried windows 95 and switched back to Windows 3.1.1. I tried Windows NT 3.5 and switched back to Windows 3.1.1. I tried Windows 98 and switched back to Windows NT 4.0. I tried Windows ME and switched back to Windows 2000. I tried windows Vista and switched back to Windows XP. I tried Windows 8 and stuck with it until I got windows 8.1 as a free upgrade. To me, Windows 8 seemed nowhere near as bad as Windows 95, 98, NT 3.5, ME, or Vista - - the good verions of windows (for home use) were windows 2, windows 3.1.1, Windows 2000 Pro, windows XP Pro, maybe Windows 7 (I put it on some of teh families machines, never had a complaint, but stusk with my XP Pro on my machine until I bought a new one with Windows 8). I found the widespread anti-windows 8 reaction hard to understand, it wasn't enough different to make it hard to use (a much smaller change than the various Office changes - the new Office UI about years ago was a much bigger jump than that from XP to W 8, and Outlook 2013 is just bugridden junk, bring back Outlook from Office for XP!) and now that 8.1 is out I really don't understand what all the fuss is about.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A suggestion for MS

        I had exactly the same problem!

        I installed Linux Mint while I was dithering about it. I'm no longer dithering, and realised the OS is irrelevant.

      3. Blitterbug

        Re: A suggestion for MS


        I've been buying genuine W7 packages complete with CoA machine stickers online (Amazon, wyb!) which I think originates from a German seller. Not been a problem for me...

    5. big_D Silver badge

      Re: *

      Interesting that Vista market share rose. And according to Netmarketshare Windows 8.x has overtaken Xp...

  2. king of foo

    pwetty cuwors

    I like how vista and 8.x are nicely clustered together. Maybe a nice shade of brown for each would make the chart even prettier...

    Does this mean that w8 users are going -1 instead of +0.1? Or -w

  3. Khaptain Silver badge

    What about Gartner's results

    According to Gartner, Windows 10 will become the next best thing since the invention of fire. And because it is so wondefull , PC sales will fly throught the roof, everyone will buy 3 tablets, own 2 iWatches and have at least 4 connected 3D full wall TVs with every single electronic item in your house wired to the Internet of Things. All of this because market trending tells you so.....

    You think this sounds like bollocks, well have a read at Gartners view on W8 ( dated 2012)

    Windows 8

    The only valid thing they said about Windows 8 wat that is changes Windows as we know it. They couldn't have been closer to the truth.... except that it was for the worse

    Poeple actually pay this company for it "analysis" of markets.......

    1. Pete 2 Silver badge

      Re: What about Gartner's results

      > Poeple actually pay this company for it "analysis" of markets

      It's my understanding that people (well: high-level management) pay consultants for validation of their preconceived plans rather than to provide direction for their new ones.

      1. lotus49

        Re: What about Gartner's results

        Speaking as a consultant, what is wrong with that? We give them what they want and they give us what we want (i.e. money).

        It all seems to work pretty well from where I'm sitting.

      2. We're with Steve

        Re: What about Gartner's results

        Well done sir. You reminded me of the quote "He uses statistics like a drunk man uses a lamp post. More for support than illumination".

        1. Arthur Dent

          Re: What about Gartner's results

          And there was me thinking it would be an aiming point. For people, of course, not just for the dogs.

          Not the statistics, I mean, but the lamppost.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Depends

      Have Gartner put Microsoft into upper left square of their Magic Quadrangle of Death?

      1. John Styles

        Re: Depends

        We at Weasel Consultants limited can go one better than putting you in the magic quadrant, we can put you in the centre of the unholy pentagram, the only place where your soul will not be eaten by Cthulhu. You know it makes sense. As much sense as Gartner, anyway.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What about Gartner's results

      "People actually pay this company for it "analysis" of markets......."

      No, companies pay several companies for analysis, and they cherrypick which one they like. This basically means, if you know your client is Microsoft, say Windows Phone/Surface Tablet/Xbox/Windows 8 is going to sell big guns, and you will get a large payment for your "report". It's in no way a bribe.

  4. P. Lee

    Do they really care?

    It's a bit like Unilever or P&G fretting over which of their brands of toothpaste is doing the best. W8 down, W8.1 up. Meh.

    1. thomas k.

      Re: Do they really care?

      Precisely! Unilever recently discontinued the scent (flavor?) of Caress bath soap which I'd been using for years and years (Velvet Bliss, if you must know). Tried the other 2 scents and was not thrilled by either so I've switched to Dove. It's also made by Unilever but it costs more than Caress so a win for Unilever, I guess.

      1. returnmyjedi

        Re: Do they really care?

        You flamboyant dandy. I use coal dust and a thistle to scrub myself clean.

        1. GregC

          Re: Do they really care?

          Thistle? A thistle? Back in my day we had to make do with some poison ivy (etc etc...)

          1. Vehlin

            Re: Do they really care?

            Poison Ivy? You were lucky!

            In my day the school toilets had that bog roll that was like greaseproof paper, at least poison ivy has some absorbent qualities.

            1. tony2heads

              new meme

              can we have a 4 yorkshiremen icon please

            2. auburnman

              Re: Do they really care?

              School toilets? You were lucky. Back in my day if you needed to go you were sent to fertilise the allotments round back.

              1. Chika

                Re: Do they really care?

                We were evicted from our allotment. We used to have to dig a hole int' middle o't road.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Do they really care?

              That bog roll was designed so it couldn't be stolen and used for something else (you couldn't write on it.)

              Unfortunately in the process it ceased to be usable as bog roll either.

              It is a perfect exemplar of the way the official mind works.

              1. monkeyfish

                Re: Do they really care?

                Not useable for bog roll also means a) no-one nicks it for their home use, and b) people actually start bring their own bog roll with them. It's win-win since you no longer have to re-stock.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Do they really care?

                  Yes, that is the way the official mind works. Making something so bad people decide to provide their own instead is the core operating principle of modern government.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Do they really care?

                    And the principle behind BYOD.

              2. Doctor_Wibble

                Re: Do they really care?

                The only hard bog paper I ever saw was shiny one side and rough on the other - ink tended not to work well but pencil was absolutely fine, thus ensuring its use as actual tracing paper for many generations.

                e.g. one of my dad's old text books (organic chemistry, appropriately enough) still has a square of the stuff with a beautifully-traced crystal structure on it.

                For an even further-away tangent, the book was from the olden days when you had instructions like 'carefully drip' liquid x into mixture y because one had something-benz-something and the other had something-nitric-something and tipping it in by the bucketful would be under the heading of 'somewhat unwise'...

                Mr Teech ikon cos its all edukayshunul innit

                1. Brian Souder 1

                  Re: Do they really care?

                  "The only hard bog paper I ever saw was shiny one side and rough on the other - ink tended not to work well but pencil was absolutely fine, thus ensuring its use as actual tracing paper for many generations."

                  You guys had toilet paper? Must have been those rich uppity types. ;-)

              3. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Do they really care?

                The old grease-proof paper bog roll (brand Bronco?) was brilliant. Most of our geography lessons relied upon it for tracing paper to copy maps etc.. As for its intended use: at least it did not let moisture seep through or tear.

                Ah, skid marks, those were the days.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Do they really care?

                  Our school's smear-paper was "Izal".

                  From the same Ministry of Crap Design that brings us non-absorbent decorative tea-towels that rearrange the moisture on a wet plate into a slightly thinner more even layer instead of actually drying it away.

                  1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                    Re: Do they really care?

                    Our school's smear-paper was "Izal".

                    I believe they have since change their name to ISIS. Oor is it ISIL? Their policy of inhuman brutality has remained the same...

                    1. Tom 7

                      Re: Do they really care? Izal

                      from the latin for 'spread it around until it dries out and drops off'.

                      That was one shit toilet paper.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Do they really care?

                    Izal "medicated" (in what way, I have no idea.)

                    Ah yes, we called it "John Wayne bog paper".

                    Rough, tough, and don't take no shit from anyone.

                    1. Intractable Potsherd

                      Re: Do they really care?

                      My parents actually used to buy Izal for use in our home! I used to think it was normal, and that the tissue stuff that wadded up your bum crack or split so that you wiped your arse on your middle finger was the cheap stuff! I also liked the disinfectant smell of Izal...

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Do they really care?

              Ahh, you mean "Badgers Arse" brand, with added wood pulp and flint chippings...

        2. Cipher

          Re: Do they really care?

          I saw what you did there... :-)

        3. Anonymous Bullard

          Re: Do they really care?

          I use coal dust and a thistle to scrub myself clean

          You clean yourself?? Nancy pretty-boy!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can you even buy Windows 8 now? I thought they had tried to remove all trace of it and replaced it wit 8.1. Since 8 and 8.1 are basically the same OS I think it's fair to sum their contribution which would put the 8 "family" a little behind XP. Either way I'd much rather be using Linux!

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re @AC

      >Since 8 and 8.1 are basically the same OS

      Yes I would of agreed until I had to undo the effects of a client's user who had accidentally okayed the MS update this past week. Basically we discovered that the client's HP laptop platform was incompatible with 8.1, so they have a bunch of laptops that are stuck on 8.0 ( supported until October 2015) for the foreseeable future; with no simple way to prevent users receiving the MS update nag...

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: with no simple way to prevent users receiving the MS update nag...

        other than flagging the update as "don't show me this again"....

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: with no simple way to prevent users receiving the MS update nag...

          It shouldn't even nag. The 8.1 update is done through the Windows Marketplace, that nobody uses.

          As for the OP, the last 3 laptops people I know have bought (all in the last 2 months), came with unpatched Windows 8. So they required about 100 patches to be applied, before the Marketplace would even allow me to install Win 8.1. None of them mentioned the service pack once upgrading was complete.

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: with no simple way to prevent users receiving the MS update nag... @I ain't Spartacus

            Yes the update is via the Windows8 Store. When the full screen invitation to visit the store and update to 8.1 is displayed, the user has to respond - it prevents them from doing anything else, selecting the 'not now'/'don't bother me again' option (I think this the visit store and immediately exit action) will dismiss the invitation and the user can carry on working; however, a few months later it will reappear. I would not be surprised if it reappears because of an update received from Windows Update, like the end of XP reminder.

            From what I saw the only way to determine whether the "8.1 Update 1" service & feature pack has been installed is to look at the update history for KB 2919355 along with the critical precursor KB 2919442).

      2. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: Re @AC

        OK, I'm curious. Assuming the laptops are fairly recent vintage, how can they run 8.0 yet not be compatible with 8.1? Did HP not provide drivers?

        (Of course, if they're ancient crap, all bets are off.)

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Re @AC @Gene Cash

          All are HP 650 series laptops, which were shipped with 8.0 installed. Currently HP don't officially support 8.1 on the 650 series, so provide no driver updates...

          Whilst some have got 8.1 running (but not as stable as 8.0), the main problem is driver related, in that the versions auto downloaded from Win Update as part of the 8.1 update are at fault, but being more recent than the ones that work ...

          The laptop I played around with, worked 'fine' if you didn't want to use the network. It could see and connect to the network (ethernet/Wifi - obtain IP address etc.) but not use it beyond 'ping'.

          I suspect that sometime in the coming year HP will release a new suite of drivers and the update will work without problem...

      3. JeffyPoooh

        Re: Re @AC

        @Roland6 "...HP laptop..."

        Hey! I think I've spotted the problem.

    2. breakfast Silver badge

      I have 8.1 on my laptop and the major improvement the 8.1 update brought was that the drivers for my wireless card stopped working ( my fault I guess for having bought a system with card from a no-name brand like Intel ) and consequently it's all Linux all the time as far as I'm concerned now. Aside from occasionally wishing I had a working office suite - and Google Docs gives me most of that - I can't say I miss Windows at all.

    3. Brian Souder 1

      At least it did not kill an entire product number ...

      "I thought they had tried to remove all trace of it and replaced it wit 8.1. Since 8 and 8.1 are basically the same OS I think it's fair to sum their contribution which would put the 8 "family" a little behind XP."

      At least Vista did not cause them to skip an entire product number. Sad thing is I am finally getting used to all the crazy crap in Windows 8/8.1 and Server 2012/2012 R2. You should have heard some of the swearing the first time I went to shut down a Server 2012 box. First time I ever had to google "SHUT DOWN SERVER 2012" - followed by trying to hit that stupid spot - followed by "What F-ing idiot ...".

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Hedging Bets

    I suspect M$ will be preparing Windows 11 for launch a month after Win 10 - Just In Case!!!

    Paris, about the only thing that still gets me excited about unwrapping.

  7. Potemkine Silver badge

    Our new lenovo had 8.1 on it. Now it has W7, and users are happy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      W8.1 All the way...

      Whereas ours came with 7 and we swapped it to the 8.1 license, and our users are happy. Because we invest in training. And because there are many useful features (particularly for business) in 8/8.1 that 7 has not got. Progress does exist if you ever bother moving forward and trying...

      1. eJ2095

        Re: W8.1 All the way...

        Mind to be fair am also using win 8.1 BUT only read news etc on it.

        Installed classic shell of course.

        Works fine except for every now and then classic shell has a wobbler

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: W8.1 All the way...

        "Because we invest in training"

        Who did you need to train and on what? We had no training rquirements at all deploying Windows 8.1 with just a one sheet A4 guide to new features.

      3. Rocket_Rabbit

        Re: W8.1 All the way...


        I agree on the progress bit but, like a cruise liner, you can't expect even an SMB to stop on a sixpence so there has to be enough similarity to allow the change to be accepted.

        It seems to me this is what Win10 is planning - 'We're still as you remember us, but maybe you'd like to check out this feature' instead of 'YOU WILL CONFORM!!!'

    2. Primus Secundus Tertius


      I just bought a new Lenovo. I ordered the Win7 option, but it also includes recovery DVDs for Win8.1. So after I prepared the Win7 recovery DVDs, I am giving 8.1 a tryout. Lenovo have done customisation, including a start menu, so their 8.1 is more agreeable than the Microsoft trial 8.1 that I tried last year on another machine and did not like.

      US software and chips, Chinese assembled. I guess pretty well any country can tap into that, then.

      1. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Hopefully they're not like HP, where after you reinstall the recovery image, it insists it's pirated, despite entering the key right from the sticker on the god damned thing.

    3. Roland6 Silver badge

      >Our new lenovo had 8.1 on it

      Must be buying the cheap stuff! all the Lenovo stuff I purchase comes with a Win8 license but Win7 pre-installed, giving a much quicker and better out of the box experience...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      new lenovo .... users are happy.

      Yeah right! Unless it's not a ThinkPad. Boy, Lenovo have royally screwed up the new ThinkPads.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Down Redmond way, you'd imagine they're thinking Windows 10 can't come fast enough

    I've used the technical preview - it's no silver bullet. Far from it.

    1. getHandle

      Re: No silver bullet

      Indeed - whereas before you had two distinct personalities, now they have been merged, to a certain extent, so you're never sure whether you'll Dr Jekyll or Mr Hyde!

      Even something as simple as the calculator can appear in metro mode on the old style desktop with some really brain-dead resizing options, like something from fisher price.

      Or you can run the old-style calc in a normal (ie Win7) window... I bet they're completely separate apps as well.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No silver bullet

        It's quite bad. With 8/8.1, metro could be disabled almost completely (via 3rd party). With 10, it's weaved it's way into the desktop.

        Want to perform a quick calculation? WALLOP! Full screen simple calculator in your face! It's like they making us use Google instead.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: No silver bullet

          Can you copy from the TIFKAM calculator and paste to desktop apps yet?

          Still, if all else fails I suppose you can turn the monitor on its side to get it to run in scientific mode.

          1. JeffyPoooh

            Re: No silver bullet

            I just bought a Surface 2 (RT) because it was on sale (Cdn$300). Out of the box, it had Win 8.0. I was struggling to find the Desktop, and the Start page didn't include a Desktop tile to press. I found the instructions on MS's own website. Here is what Microsoft said to do (literally):

            Open the charms, click on Search, type in D E S K T O P, and then click the Desktop icon when it appears.

            It seems to be much better in Win 8.1, with the magic Windows button switching back and forth.

            Win 8 as an OS is fine. But it is surrounded by a swirling cloud of bad 'OS as a religion' decisions by MS. I don't like that.

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              Re: No silver bullet


              I'd forgotten how bad Windows 8 was until a couple of weeks ago. Had to set up a new laptop for a friend, and it came with Win 8. Just installing anti-virus and deleting the odd bit of vendor crap, before applying all the updates and going to 8.1 was a right pain in the arse. I'd forgotten how hard it was to do simple things like getting to the desktop, or shutting down.

              With 8.1 you can right click where the start menu should be - and most stuff you want is there. And the windows key takes you from desktop to Metro, then back again. I'd totally forgotten just how unfinished it was.

              Basically my work PC died, so I made a run to PC World and bought a new one, Win 8 was the only option. I think I got it about 2 weeks before 8.1 came out, so I didn't have long to put up with it. I'm used to 8.1, and so never even bothered to install Classic Shell. Though I have for a couple of friends.

        2. Andrew Jones 2

          Re: No silver bullet

          My Acer laptop bought in the Comet (WIn 7) closing down sale recently stopped performing as a laptop (won't charge and the trackpad died) so I bought a new laptop from PC World (I know, but choices these days aren't much better online either) it's running swanky Windows 8 and it's a HP. I'm actually quite liking the laptop, Windows 8 - not so much. Anyway - I'm keeping the Acer switched on because it's a decent i5 and I'm currently ripping my 1000+ DVDs for Plex as we have 3 Chromecasts.

          I thought - I'll not faff around with VNC because the only decent one that works everytime is Real VNC and that costs money these days, no I thought, it's Windows - Remote Desktop is actually not the worst thing Microsoft ever did - I'll just use Remote Desktop to access the broken laptop......

          Then I learn that after XP - for some backward reason - Microsoft don't supply Remote Desktop anymore unless you are on whatever passes for the Professional version of your version of Windows.

          So - I've seen quite a few people rave about how wonderful Chrome Remote Desktop is and thought I'd give that a go. Wow. Yet one more thing Microsoft messed up that Google swooped in and fixed. And I have to say - I'm using pfSense as my firewall and with no configuration at all, I can access my Win 7 laptop from my Android phone over the mobile network.

          So yes - they really are making us turn to Google.

    2. Arctic fox

      Re:" it's no silver bullet. Far from it"

      Given that it is in fact a pre-beta release which they openly state is substantially incomplete at this stage, what else would you expect? I'm currently trialling it and I wouldn't dream of drawing any conclusions, positive or negative at this stage. It all depends on what they now do in the development process and the extent to which they take any notice of the techies/devs etc. etc. who are involving themselves in the process.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: it's no silver bullet. Far from it"

        what else would you expect?

        I expect people to send feedback to MS telling them exactly what they think of the current version. I hope it does make a difference this time.

        1. Arctic fox

          Re: " I hope it does make a difference this time."

          There I think we can entirely agree! :)

    3. Gray


      MicroSoft have proved one thing for sure:

      If you continue to stand under an elephant's ass, there's no point expecting what gets dumped on you will be any different than the previous version.

  9. Hairy Spod


    couldnt most of the 8-8.1 shift be explained by people upgrading their existing Win8 system rather than a surge of new machines?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: upgrades

      Or people it in the bin?

      I haven't put mine in the bin, I've gave it the kids. Give it time...

  10. Tim 11

    deliberate misinformation

    Since 8.1 is an automatic upgrade from 8, and you are counting the two separately, it would be pretty much inconceivable for windows 8 market share to be increasing.

    You might as well run the headline "google loses browser wars, chrome version 32 market share less than IE9"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: deliberate misinformation

      Since 8.1 is an automatic upgrade from 8

      Unless it's changed, when I upgraded I had to re-enable metro, and use the store to start the >3GB download and reboot a few times. Hardly automatic.

      But yes, they should really be combining the two versions, and have one less article to write.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 8.1 Update 1

    The process of getting from (Windows Hate, Point None) Windows 8.0 -> Windows 8.1 Update 1 + all other downloadable updates is so convoluted, that I can't believe 7% have reached the 'holy grail', they must be new PC's.

    Even Windows 8.1 itself is confused how it go there, and says 'Insert Media' when you try to do a System Refresh (but keep your files intact), well thats 'Rapid Release' for you, a complete fail.

    Windows update will be as convoluted in Windows 10 no doubt, nothing new, just a rearrange of the deck chairs, by the looks of it.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows 8.1 Update 1

      I think the majority of traffic from these machines will be the users googling: "wtf, how do i disable metro" "downgrade rights" "how do i sell on ebay"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows 8.1 Update 1

      "just a rearrange of the deck chairs, by the looks of it."

      Yep, but the deck chairs are now in the corridors and doorways.

  12. article22
    Thumb Down

    Erm their share *has* increased!

    I don't understand this article...Microsoft has released 8.1 as a upgrade to 8.0 so everyone on 8.0 should be moving over...on the graphs it clearly shows that trend plus all new PCs now have 8.1 as well.

    You have to add up *both* 8.0 and 8.1 to find out the proper OS percentage which is at around 14%, a lot higher than the 7% at the start.

    It's not much though :)

  13. johnnytruant

    I don't get it

    I mean, I don't use Windows very often, but I just can't see the problem with 8/8.1. It seems to be no more or less annoying than any other version. Obviously it's slow and it's unstable and it's frustrating but that's hardly news - so is every version of Windows ever. At least 8 looks pretty.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: I don't get it

      It's quite simple: people aren't buying new PCs; companies, in general, are using Windows 7; this article ignores mobile.

  14. MJI Silver badge

    Built two W7 recently

    Also boot into Mint

    Our home PC (as opposed to childrens) is XP as it was built just over 5 years ago and it was the OS of choice, it still runs all I need as I chucked a quad core chip in it.

    BTW XP can run software Win7 cannot

  15. Cipher

    What? No Windows Nein?

  16. JDX Gold badge


    That doesn't seem to show W8 falling fast, unless you mean W8.0 and are conveniently neglecting that W8.1 is gaining share. Unless you combine the W8.x data the graphs are meaningless - by eyeballing it suggests the total 8.x share is slightly increased or stayed about level, but 8.1 growth is pretty obvious.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Huh?

      I think there's one of the two companies' figures show a tiny drop in 8.1 market share for the final month (as against the month before), although the other doesn't and shows a continuation of the obvious rising trend. So they've decided to report it as a story, for some reason.

      It seems to be the same kind of piss poor reporting that newspapers like to indulge themeselves in over opinion polls. So for example yesterday Yougov had the Conservatives ahead of Labour by one point, when all the last week's polls said there was about 2-4 point gap. It may of course be a huge boost from Cameron's speech, or may just be sampling error. May be better to wait a couple of days (and a couple of polls) to see. As when Lord Ashcroft's poll a couple of weeks ago had them drop by 7%age points in one week! And of course it reverted to the mean and jumped by 8 the next, but that didn't get reported as massive rise in support. I guess they missed a crappy headline opportunity there...

  17. ElectricFox
    Black Helicopters

    "Moreover, XP's decline has flattened: cheapskates, ignoramuses and the brave clearly feel little incentive to move to another version of Windows."

    Add into that people who spent £50k+ on a scientific/engineering/electronic/mechanical instrument where Windows XP was the only option from numerous vendors whose corporate structures saw it as "industry standard". Perhaps you should add "The locked in" into this category....

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      I agree...

      ...but I object to the categories, particularly "Cheapskates".

      This does not take into account the low end of the income demographic, where just obtaining a PC was a major challenge in the first place. These people may be faced with a decision like "Do I replace the (working) PC, or do I pay all of the electricity bill, the rent and do the shopping?".

      These are not cheapskates. They may not fully understand the issues but are mainly not ignoramuses, and they are certainly not doing it to prove a point (the "brave"). These are people who effectively have no choice other than to keep a machine with XP, or give up on the Internet completely.

      I can see the tail-off of XP systems being very slow.

    2. Peter Simpson 1

      And said manufacturers, given the option of creating new Win7 software for that old machine (which they no longer sell) or selling you a brand new machine, will always choose the more profitable option.

      So no chance of ever getting Win7 compatible software.

  18. Jonathan 29

    Sticking with 7

    I have had a quick look over Windows 10, but I can't see any compelling reason to upgrade. Maybe if it was free, but otherwise I probably won't bother. I keep looking at Chromebooks and think it might be time to take them seriously.

    1. Boothy

      Re: Sticking with 7

      Doing the same currently.

      Got 2 PCs with Win 7, a laptop and a gaming desktop.

      The laptop is getting a bit old, but only gets used occasionally, bit of web browsing etc. But all the family have Android phones and Tablets, so things like checking email just don't get done on the PCs these days.

      It's still useful to have a portable device with a keyboard on it though, as opposed to a tablet with a keyboard stuck to it, So I think the laptop will be replaced by a Chrome book in the next few months.

      Leaving just the gaming PC on Win 7 for now.

      I have 2 other PCs,

    2. L W J

      Re: Sticking with 7

      Well, no, of course you wouldn't switch .. it's a beta release. The only reason to use it is for curiosity and/or to volunteer feedback to the people at Microsoft.

      It was released to garner feedback, that's it. The thing is loaded with phone home tech.

      The idea, I would venture, is to get a lot of feedback .. sift through it .. and make Windows not only better, but better in a way the public has said they want.

      But I wouldn't even attempt to develop anything for it at this stage. It is very much a 'what do you guys think we should do?' release.

  19. mrfill

    I don't want it

    I have to use win8.1 very occasionally. Last night I actually managed to get the screen split between desktop and mail app so I could see both at once. Very helpful but how the fuck I got there I have no idea....

    1. Andrew Jones 2

      Re: I don't want it

      Open mail app.

      Move mouse to top of screen to reveal window title bar

      Move mouse to the app icon in the left of the title bar and right click on it and choose "split left" or "split right"

      In the blank pane left click with mouse to bring up TIFKAM (metro) screen and choose desktop.

      1. Hans 1

        Re: I don't want it

        @ Andrew Jones 2

        Shit, that was simple, how come nobody comes up with it ? Probably because it used to be:

        "Start > All Programs > Mail app"


    2. Arthur Dent

      Re: I don't want it

      The amusing thing about that is that in windows 8.1 you can resize windows on the desktop exactly as you could in Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and 7 (and NT4 too, if my memory is sound). If you dont know what those funny things to the left of the X in the top right of a frame are, you clearly have never managed to share the screen between two (or more) apps and you clearly have never used windows seriously, so why blame Windows 8.1 (which comes up in desktop mode) for your inability to do something that you apparently didn't know how to do in any previous version of windows? Or do you really mean split between desktop and mail rather than just contolling how much of the deskto mail should occupy? If so that's a new feature, and all you have to do is tell it to split the screen; you couldn't do that in windows 7 or anything earlier.

  20. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    What's missing from this article?

    Apart from the usual attempt to corroborate the reports with El Reg's own numbers?

    Any attempt to take the rise in mobile devices into account. We're seeing + 20% YoY mobile traffic (Android now growing faster and larger in absolute numbers than IOS but elsewhere IOS is still the biggest). This means all other OSs must be losing market share. See Akamai's numbers (not broken down by OS

    The XP to 7 migration is still going on in companies but consumers are going Windows to Android or IOS.

  21. This post has been deleted by its author

  22. Yugguy

    So, Windows 8 FANBOIS

    When are you going to finally accept the fact that Windows 8 is rubbish and noone wants it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So, Windows 8 FANBOIS

      "When are you going to finally accept the fact that Windows 8 is rubbish and noone wants it?"

      Right after the Linux and OSX users announce their utter lack of progress on desktop due to rubbishness.

  23. Naughtyhorse

    newly sidewaysgraded

    don't want to rush to judgement, there seems to be a few things that are very clunky - like putting something that looks like a start button where the old start button was, that does the opposite of a start button does, and just adds a few clicks to your workflow, seems a bit annoying, but partly my 'fault' for not being used to it.

    the whole having to unzip portable apps to the fking desktop because I 'don't have the rights to write to the program files folder, but I do the the right to cut and paste from the desktop to program files (I mean WTF??) is probably going to be a deal breaker. (what genius came up with that?)

    I'll give it a few more weeks, but I am leaning toward reloading 7

  24. Rogue Jedi

    did anyone else notice that according to StatCounter the 8+8.1 share was steadily increasing.

    I am not a fan of Windows 8 but on seeing the 8 + 8.1 market share from 2 diferant sources I did some maths, it seems the Reg found 2 contradictory sets of results and averaged them, as the average shows a drop they decided the share was decreasing, one source saying increase while another says larger decrease is not enough to prorve anything or to form any scientific conclusion, they need more sources (preferably at least another 3 all showing a decrease) ti conclusively declare that the Windows 8.x share is decreasing

    1. Anonymous Bullard

      There are lies, damn lies, statistics, then el reg articles based on statistics.

    2. Bob Camp

      I noticed the overall Windows 8 increase too. I'm using the latest version of 8.1, and it's good. It's fast, very stable and can actually be used with just a mouse and keyboard (though my laptop also has a touchscreen, which is nice for the Metro apps. But we only use a couple of those). The problem is it took Microsoft over two years to get it to that point, so no matter how much you try to convince people it's now good, they're just going to remember the horribly botched rollout.

      Having said that, I'm not upgrading my other Windows 7 PC to Windows 8.1 simply because I see no need for it. The Metro apps aren't worth it, and I don't think there will be that much gain in performance. I'm also not upgrading my young daughter's XP PC, either, because it does the job and I honestly don't care if it gets hacked.

      1. Kepler

        The problem with Windows 8.1

        "[T]he latest version of 8.1 [is] good[,] . . . . fast, very stable[,] and can actually be used with just a mouse and keyboard . . . . The problem is it took Microsoft over two years to get it to that point . . . ."

        That, and the fact that it's still not a proper Start Button, leading to a proper Start Menu.

        And it now appears that M$ may not ever make a proper Start Button and Start Menu available to users of Windows 8.x, opting instead to try to make us pay for what it should have left available from the outset!

        Charging us to upgrade to multiple desktops and other genuinely new (at least for Microsoft) capabilities is defensible, but there is no excuse for charging us to put back a basic feature that has been there all along and only recently and erroneously/stupidly taken away.

        1. L W J

          Re: The problem with Windows 8.1

          Um .. you can get a Start menu for Windows 8.x either for free or for a nominal fee (e.g. Start8 is five bucks). I did that a long time ago. With the boot to Desktop and the Start8, Windows 8 is almost like Windows 7, except perhaps it is a bit quicker, and ships with Hyper-V.

          I get that folks hate Windows 8.x. I groaned too when they removed the Start button from the beta. And I hammered away at the keyboard pointing out to anyone who'd read just how much I hated Metro. On the Windows 8.0 Desktop PC it amounted to nothing more than a cheap and sleazy marketing scheme. But, you know, with Windows 8.1 toning things down, and with Start8, it doesn't seem much of an issue to me anymore.

          Microsoft though, must put Windows 8.x behind (and be very careful regarding Metro). It's doing really really badly for an MS OS.

          The good thing is that there seem to be nice improvements in the pipe for Windows 10, both in features and appearance. Looking forward to it.

    3. Kepler

      Simon Sharwood's maths

      "did anyone else notice that according to StatCounter the 8+8.1 share was steadily increasing"?

      "I noticed the overall Windows 8 increase too."

      There's only a discrepancy between Netmarketshare's numbers and StatCounter's in regard to the most recent one-month period. If you look at the full 12 months of data points (making for 11 months of change), both series show slow but steady growth for Windows 8 and 8.1 combined, with a slow but steady shift within the combined total from 8 to 8.1. On the face of the data as they presently stand, the one-month decline per Netmarketshare must be presumed to be a temporary blip — at least until another month or two's worth of data points confirm it or contradict it.

      I, too, am no lover of Windows 8.x. I would be happy to see the numbers say otherwise. But they don't say what Simon said they do — that "the overall share of 8.x is now trending downwards" — at least not yet.

  25. Stretch

    I'm not sure why they bother

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Hence all the Linux flavours.

  26. Oninoshiko

    most interesting thing

    What I find interesting is that windows 7 is still rising! hurry up and get us 10 so TIFKAM can die the death it so richly deserves.

  27. Tom 13


    The next time you run this report please add a line for combined Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 sales. Don't drop their individual lines, just add the additional one.

    MS has fuzcksed analyzing their data with the 8/8.1 dichotomy and the only chance at maybe figuring it out is seeing all the trend lines.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I would like to see an overlay of the overall Linux use in relation to the various Windows.

  29. Brian Allan 1

    What does Win 7+++ Offer?

    Can't see anything I really need beyond Win XP! All the new OS's simply add more useless overhead...

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: What does Win 7+++ Offer?

      It's faster, has far better driver support, is much more secure, and is still being patched.

  30. Kepler

    The REAL Mystery in the Numbers:

    Why is anyone still using Windows 8 rather than 8.1? The upgrade is free, and easy to download and install, and unambiguously superior. There is nothing Windows 8 offers that Windows 8.1 lacks.

    (Often with Microsoft we have to put the word "upgrade" in quotation marks, but this is not one of those instances. The "upgrade" from Windows 7 to 8 was such an instance — notwithstanding some genuine improvements under the hood — but the upgrade from 8 to 8.1 is not.)

    So why have victims of Windows 8 been so slow to upgrade? I ask this not as some kind of an argument or snipe disguised as a question, but because I am genuinely puzzled. I would like to know the reason.

    1. The Blacksmith

      Re: The REAL Mystery in the Numbers:

      Because the laptop (Lenovo X131e) shipped with 8, and cannot upgrade to 8.1 - don't ask me why, it just refuses to with a message saying it's incompatible. It does nag about the upgrade though ;-). If I had my way it'd be Linux in an instant.

      1. Kepler

        Re: The REAL Mystery in the Numbers:


        (1) You have my condolences!*

        (2) While some people may find themselves in your boat, could you and they together possibly account for the numbers, or user percentages, reported by Netmarketshare and StatCounter?

        Not being able to upgrade is, of course, a very good explanation — indeed, the best imaginable! — but I question whether it could apply to some 5.5-7.5 percent of all (desktop?) Web-browsing devices. So I remain somewhat puzzled.


        * Perhaps we should have a new icon that's a photo of Bill Clinton with the caption "I feel your pain"? Or maybe the empath (Kathryn Hays, or "Gem") from the Star Trek episode "The Empath"?

  31. Anonymous Coward

    I feel a little sorry for Redmond....

    I'm still operating under the belief that an unpublished part of MS' settlement of monopolist charges with the U.S. Department of Justice is a requirement that, starting with XP, every second iteration of Windows desktop OS must be confusing, resource-gobbling bloatware.

    Otherwise, I just can't understand why, only 5 years later, MS would sign up to repeat so many of the mistakes they made with Vista.

    Who says that the DoJ let Microsoft off easy!!

    1. Hans 1

      Re: I feel a little sorry for Redmond....

      >I'm still operating under the belief that an unpublished part of MS' settlement of monopolist charges with the U.S. Department of Justice is a requirement that, starting with XP, every second iteration of Windows desktop OS must be confusing, resource-gobbling bloatware.

      I'm still operating under the belief that an unpublished part of MS' settlement of monopolist charges with the U.S. Department of Justice is a requirement that, starting with Windows 2000, every iteration of Windows desktop OS must be confusing, resource-gobbling bloatware.

      There, fixed that.

      Now, I have now just moved from Gnome 2 to Gnome 3 and am trying very hard to adapt ... of course, <super> ↓↓↓→<enter> no longer opens the browser (yes, I could have made it <super>→<enter> very easily) ... I now have to re-learn ... <super> "fire" <enter>

  32. herman Silver badge

    Linux market share

    Well, on my web site, Linux visitors consistently ranks about 60%. Well, it is a Linux web site. That may skew things a tad I suppose...

    Anyhow, there are likely waaaay more Android Linux cell phones out there than MS Windows clunkers, not to mention all the Linux embedded machines. Linux won. Winders just has to shrivel up and drop off still.

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