Windows 8.1 is Finally More Popular than Windows XP

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Windows 8.1 is Finally More Popular than Windows XP

Microsoft Windows XP 310x

Windows 7 still controls a 50 percent-plus market share, however.

Windows XP, despite all the dust it's accumulated over the last 13 years, has kept the Number Two seat warm all these years behind Windows 7. Flash back to this time last year, and everyone's favorite 32-bit operating system from Microsoft was sitting pretty with a 19.3 percent market share (compared to Windows 7's 51.81 percent).

But the times? They are a-changin', friend.

According to OS tracker StatCounter, Windows XP has finally been overtaken by Windows 8.1. November 2014 saw Windows 7, 8.1, and XP with market shares of 50.34, 10.95, and 10.69 percents, respectively.

Apple's OS X (version unspecified) is also on the chart with an 8.11 percent share.

So where did the OS shift come from? Windows 8.1 has been on a serious upswing since the summer, as it's gone from 6.75 percent in July to its double-digit position today. The surge can likely be attributed to two serious sale seasons: Back to school at the end of the summer, and the current holiday season (which if we're being honest typically starts before Halloween for many shoppers).

Another, smaller contributor could be the Windows 10 news, as anyone running Windows 8.1 will get a free upgrade to Microsoft's next OS. If you're running Windows 7, you could buy Windows 8.1, enjoy (or hate) it for a year, then push on to the free Win10 release.

But Windows 7 is still going strong, while Windows XP has been on a steady decline over the last 12 months; half of the latter's consumer user base peel off for greener (newer) pastures. Many of these users are going to Windows 7, and not 8.1, as the former's numbers have grown over the last two months (49.51 percent in October to over 50 percent now).

Which version of Windows are you currently rocking? And why? Drop your preferences in the comments.

Source: PCWorld | StatCounter

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It's probably also that business are finally migrating away from XP, now that it is out of support and a security risk. They are unable to buy Windows 7 as Microsoft forces everyone to go to Windows 8.1.

I'll stick with Windows 7 thank you very much. If I wanted to run a mobile OS designed for touch screens, it'd be Android, not Windows Mobile... err "8".

Maybe Windows 10 will be usable. If not, I'll keep running Win7 for as long as possible or at least until things like Wine are able to run all my games.

erbkaiser:
It's probably also that business are finally migrating away from XP, now that it is out of support and a security risk. They are unable to buy Windows 7 as Microsoft forces everyone to go to Windows 8.1.

That's not true, if you yell at Microsoft long enough they'll sell you Windows 7 still, when the phrase 'Windows 7 or we'll be unable to renew our contract' comes up it's miraculously available.

Win 7 still has better compatibility modes, so on that here and quietly hoping that the skip from 8 to 10 means that 10 breaks the tradition of even numbers Windows being awful.

More popular or were people forced to stick with it because they had no other option. You can't buy a computer from most shops without Windows 7 anymore, only 8 and the only copies of 7 you can buy are OEM copies. Plus lets face it your average PC user is unlikly to goto the effot of changing there OS even if they don't like it either because they don't know how, they cannot affored to buy a new one or they cannot be arsed.

Reading this article on Windows XP. :P

For just about every game up to (but not including) 2012, XP is the better operating system. I've got plenty of old games to finish or play over, so it still works well. Plus, I'm a surround sound junkie and Directsound isn't properly supported on later OS's. Windows 7 isn't too bad either though since games are starting to be 64 bit and use DirectX 11 consistently. For my purposes then I've set my system up to dual boot the both of them and that works just fine.

Feck Windows 8 though. Blecchh

I made the switch a couple of weeks ago ago and after installing "startisback" I don't see why people hate on it so much, it's a given that the traditional start menu should've been there from the beginning but other than that... nothing.

I have a desktop with Windows 7 and a Surface Pro with 8.

8 is a great tablet OS and a terrible OS for anything without a touchscreen.

I bought 8.1 about a week ago. I can't help but feel slightly responsible for this.

The article forgot to mention that microsoft stopped supporting the windows XP OS as of april 8th this year so people were more or less forced to upgrade to a new OS or have a huge security risk with XP.

This is less of consumers accepting 8.1 as it is Microsoft forcing computer illiterate consumers to migrate.

That's because that's the version that comes installed on almost all current new laptops. Also, Windows XP would have issues due to the lack of driver support for new hardware. It's not more popular - it's the only choice for most consumers.

I run 7 and I quite like it. None of what I've seen or heard of 8.1 has ever interested me and 10 is going to have to break the even number curse before I'll buy it.

I think 7 is my niche right now. I wonder how long I can keep that going...

Actually, I'd like an OS X breakdown. How many people are still using PowerPC Macs (aka stuck at Leopard), and how many others have reused to upgrade to the very latest editions because of the various problems with them?

"Another, smaller contributor could be the Windows 10 news, as anyone running Windows 8.1 will get a free upgrade to Microsoft's next OS. If you're running Windows 7, you could buy Windows 8.1, enjoy (or hate) it for a year, then push on to the free Win10 release."

Or, I could buy an unopened copy of Win 8 that's $20-40 below retail price (like I did with Win 7, twice) on ebay and install it only when I want to upgrade to win 10. In fact, I might need a full retail copy of Windows by then anyway for my future PC build. The great thing about that is, if 10 turns out to be a turd, I can go back to an OS that, while not really graceful in the UI department, at least is stable and reliable.

When my old computer crashed I decided to buy a new one, which came bundled with Win 8 of course.
If not for that I would still use Win XP.
I could dual boot with XP and Ubuntu but I've heard that the new boot system either refuses to work unless it's 8 or doesn't work as well.

Sorry I got a new laptop that came with 8.1, I demand it be removed from the list! It was quickly cleaned, purified with chants to the machine spirit and Linux installed. I should be safe...

It still blows my mind, I will never understand why any home user would prefer XP still. I know why it's still in use by businesses though.

It's antiquated, it's just plain garbage, and it's been depreciated for well over a year.

I've been on 8 for some time on my desktop. I prefer 8's UI for multiple monitors as it's simply better for what I use it for. 7, which is on my touchscreen laptop runs alright For the things age, it's not a bad setup. I'd still prefer 8 to it, but the poor thing just can't handle it with a dead heatsink.

I'm sticking with Windows 7 Pro 64bit for now; I got it filthy cheap through a site that sells to students, and nothing about 8.1 convinces me it's worth spending money on.

I use a PC, I do PC things, I play PC games, I do not have a touchscreen, I'm not interested in a load of flashy bollocks, I just want an OS that lets me do what I want to do how I want to do it. If Windows 10 is that, then I'll upgrade, if it's not, then it can bugger off and join Vista and 8.1 until I'm literally forced to upgrade by potential security issues or a comprehensive switch in the gaming industry to DX12(which, lets be honest, won't happen until Windows 11 or even 12 are out).

I use Win7 as I have a tonne of media production software setup just the way I like and need it. Migrating would be a compatibility and preference nightmare.

Also, compatibility issues with many Win 95-98 games that I had to hack to get to run.

ClockworkUniverse:
I have a desktop with Windows 7 and a Surface Pro with 8.

8 is a great tablet OS and a terrible OS for anything without a touchscreen.

Why? Are the tiles too hard to click? You know, you still have your desktop if you like clicking smaller icons instead.

My problem with Windows 8 and it's variants is that the metro apps like News, Trend, Heath and Fitness and so on don't really work all that well. They load incredibly slow and that's if they load at all. Also since 8.1 and the mandatory title bars came out, sometimes they simply refuse to allow you to pull them down. Sometimes the title bar also refuses to show up so you have to Windows key back to the desktop and close it from the taskbar.

Why wouldn't Microsoft's own Metro apps work well?

*looks at OS version* Oh dear, I must be a bad or stupid person because I have 8.1... *looks at the difference in games performance on the old install of 7 and now* A jump in framerates, a significant drop in CTDs (if zero isn't significant, I don't know what is) AND all my legacy game installs work just fine?
What am I doing right that so many other folks aren't?

Captcha: Nul points

Well Inglip, you're right... I'm a Win 8.1 user so anything I have to say is automatically disregarded anyway.

In my personal opinion Windows 8.1 isnt that bad... don't get me wrong it has it flaws, some major flaws (start button for one and the whole tiles thing they have shoe horned in there) but its not to bad. It runs fine, the desktop runs better than windows 7 and I still prefer it to Mac's OS (which seriously mac, if I didnt have to use you for work I would chuck you into the nearest wall).

Would I recommend upgrading from XP to Windows 8.1? I would

Would I recommend upgrading from Windows 7? eh...... no if you have anything but the basic windows 7

It doesn't mean much when MS actively stopped supporting XP and basically forces anybody getting an OS to get Windows 8.

WeepingAngels:

ClockworkUniverse:
I have a desktop with Windows 7 and a Surface Pro with 8.

8 is a great tablet OS and a terrible OS for anything without a touchscreen.

Why? Are the tiles too hard to click? You know, you still have your desktop if you like clicking smaller icons instead.

My problem with Windows 8 and it's variants is that the metro apps like News, Trend, Heath and Fitness and so on don't really work all that well. They load incredibly slow and that's if they load at all. Also since 8.1 and the mandatory title bars came out, sometimes they simply refuse to allow you to pull them down. Sometimes the title bar also refuses to show up so you have to Windows key back to the desktop and close it from the taskbar.

Why wouldn't Microsoft's own Metro apps work well?

It's just not optimised for keyboard and mouse: Horizontal sliding menus, having the taskbar menu hidden in many of it's "Apps" so you have to hover the mouse over a specific area to get menu controls, having the clickable buttons to manipulate your way through the menus on opposite sides of the screen, so you are constantly swiping the mouse from side to side to navigate anywhere.

I also found that safemode has a bizarrely unintuitive different method of opening up, and seems to allow unnecessary programs to boot up on launch, so adware is super difficult to erase from the system as it operates even in safemode (this was a problem I discovered at launch, they may have fixed it along with a dozen other issues that I won't mention because there are fixes for them).

Needless to say I will stick with Windows 7 for as long as I can.

GAunderrated:
The article forgot to mention that microsoft stopped supporting the windows XP OS as of april 8th this year so people were more or less forced to upgrade to a new OS or have a huge security risk with XP.

This is less of consumers accepting 8.1 as it is Microsoft forcing computer illiterate consumers to migrate.

Not quite true. You can still get support for Windows XP, but you have to pay Microsoft all the moniez.

I've still got plenty of fresh memories of my former employers migration from Windows NT to Windows XP (we're talking 2004 here, so over 10 years ago), and how much of a nightmare that was. We had 2000 here and there, but 95% of our internal apps were developed with NT in mind.

Glad to not be in that business any more. Now I just have to worry about being stabbed all the time.

BeerTent:
It still blows my mind, I will never understand why any home user would prefer XP still. I know why it's still in use by businesses though.

It's antiquated, it's just plain garbage, and it's been depreciated for well over a year.

I've been on 8 for some time on my desktop. I prefer 8's UI for multiple monitors as it's simply better for what I use it for. 7, which is on my touchscreen laptop runs alright For the things age, it's not a bad setup. I'd still prefer 8 to it, but the poor thing just can't handle it with a dead heatsink.

I find Windows 8 to be awkward and slow, I don't like the interface (7 looks far better, esp with transparency vs flat boring colours) and it runs better. Specifically Windows 7 has been the best OS when it comes to compatibility, I rarely find software that I can't get running on 7 however 8 has given me headaches with games in the past. Also it runs slower than 7, we have 4 gaming laptops which we play LAN over a lot and found that Win 8 that came with them was slow, software often crashed (or explorer itself) and in general gave headaches. My friend bought 2 copies of Win 7, I did the install and now his laptops run perfectly, I will be doing the same on my (currently Win 10) laptop as there's no way I'm putting 8 back onto it.

Imperioratorex Caprae:
*looks at OS version* Oh dear, I must be a bad or stupid person because I have 8.1... *looks at the difference in games performance on the old install of 7 and now* A jump in framerates, a significant drop in CTDs (if zero isn't significant, I don't know what is) AND all my legacy game installs work just fine?
What am I doing right that so many other folks aren't?

Captcha: Nul points

Well Inglip, you're right... I'm a Win 8.1 user so anything I have to say is automatically disregarded anyway.

Eh luck of the draw, the problem with computers is one set of hardware and software configuration can run perfectly and yet another can have all sorts of issues in performance etc. 8.1 runs well on my Samsung ATIV hybrid device, but on the laptops it doesn't seem to be so happy. Perhaps it's because the laptops don't have SSD's, if Win 8 is optimised for SSD's that could explain the difference in performance.

Hero in a half shell:

WeepingAngels:

ClockworkUniverse:
I have a desktop with Windows 7 and a Surface Pro with 8.

8 is a great tablet OS and a terrible OS for anything without a touchscreen.

Why? Are the tiles too hard to click? You know, you still have your desktop if you like clicking smaller icons instead.

My problem with Windows 8 and it's variants is that the metro apps like News, Trend, Heath and Fitness and so on don't really work all that well. They load incredibly slow and that's if they load at all. Also since 8.1 and the mandatory title bars came out, sometimes they simply refuse to allow you to pull them down. Sometimes the title bar also refuses to show up so you have to Windows key back to the desktop and close it from the taskbar.

Why wouldn't Microsoft's own Metro apps work well?

It's just not optimised for keyboard and mouse: Horizontal sliding menus, having the taskbar menu hidden in many of it's "Apps" so you have to hover the mouse over a specific area to get menu controls, having the clickable buttons to manipulate your way through the menus on opposite sides of the screen, so you are constantly swiping the mouse from side to side to navigate anywhere.

I also found that safemode has a bizarrely unintuitive different method of opening up, and seems to allow unnecessary programs to boot up on launch, so adware is super difficult to erase from the system as it operates even in safemode (this was a problem I discovered at launch, they may have fixed it along with a dozen other issues that I won't mention because there are fixes for them).

Needless to say I will stick with Windows 7 for as long as I can.

I don't really want to beat you up...

But I haven't had a single problem you described here. I'm on 8.1, and I've troubleshot 8.1 computers. I've managed to go in with and without safemode (But if we're smart about it, the ASR Console is the way to go.) to clean out malicious software. Most utilities I use boot fine from a flash drive though. I'm able to get the unit to a usable state without needing to use the ASR Console.

As for the sliding menus? I haven't come in contact with them. I tend to avoid the charms with a shortcut to shut down the computer in the start menu, and I'll agree that most of the built in "apps" are just plain shit, but who the fuck would use anything from Bing in the first place?

Perhaps the problems are with the "apps". In that case, I understand where you're having problems. As for everywhere else? Never had an issue. Pick up the keyboard shortcuts, and you'll find using the operating system is easier. But that's really no different than Windows 7, now is it?

RicoADF:

BeerTent:
It still blows my mind, I will never understand why any home user would prefer XP still. I know why it's still in use by businesses though.

It's antiquated, it's just plain garbage, and it's been depreciated for well over a year.

I've been on 8 for some time on my desktop. I prefer 8's UI for multiple monitors as it's simply better for what I use it for. 7, which is on my touchscreen laptop runs alright For the things age, it's not a bad setup. I'd still prefer 8 to it, but the poor thing just can't handle it with a dead heatsink.

I find Windows 8 to be awkward and slow, I don't like the interface (7 looks far better, esp with transparency vs flat boring colours) and it runs better. Specifically Windows 7 has been the best OS when it comes to compatibility, I rarely find software that I can't get running on 7 however 8 has given me headaches with games in the past. Also it runs slower than 7, we have 4 gaming laptops which we play LAN over a lot and found that Win 8 that came with them was slow, software often crashed (or explorer itself) and in general gave headaches. My friend bought 2 copies of Win 7, I did the install and now his laptops run perfectly, I will be doing the same on my (currently Win 10) laptop as there's no way I'm putting 8 back onto it.

Keep in mind, hardware is a factor. I built my desktop when 7 was new, and 8 runs better on my desktop than 7 did. I have no compatibility issues running older software, but I don't run stuff that was designed for Windows XP 10 years ago like your place of work does. :P My laptop was released when Vista was new, and 8 does not take well to it.

Stick with what your computer's capable of. As for the interface? It takes next to no time to get used to it. I figure that the hate on the OS is 90% people looking at tiles and going, "IT'S NOT THE SAME! [Insert fabricated problem here]!!" Another issue to take note of is that Manufacturers get money by installing pre-bundled software on your computer. Often, this software causes problems. I recommend a format of every new computer you get as soon as you get it. This should significantly increase performance.

RicoADF:

Eh luck of the draw, the problem with computers is one set of hardware and software configuration can run perfectly and yet another can have all sorts of issues in performance etc. 8.1 runs well on my Samsung ATIV hybrid device, but on the laptops it doesn't seem to be so happy. Perhaps it's because the laptops don't have SSD's, if Win 8 is optimised for SSD's that could explain the difference in performance.

Edit: Source on that? Nothing in A+ suggests that Windows 8 has any particular design to prefer SSD over the old platter drives.

BeerTent:

Keep in mind, hardware is a factor.

Agreed, as my edit of the post adds.

BeerTent:
I built my desktop when 7 was new, and 8 runs better on my desktop than 7 did. I have no compatibility issues running older software, but I don't run stuff that was designed for Windows XP 10 years ago like your place of work does. :P My laptop was released when Vista was new, and 8 does not take well to it.

I often like to run my older games like Star Trek: Elite Force, Age of Empires etc as well as games from GoG. So backwards compatibility is important to me, Windows 8 seems to have changed enough to cause issues with some older games which is a deal breaker for my needs.

BeerTent:
Stick with what your computer's capable of.

My main desktop could run 8 fine but since I had already tried it with the laptop that came with 8 preinstalled and found the compatibility and performance issues I decided to stay with 7, I'm sure the desktop wouldn't have the performance issues but the already mentioned software and interface was something I wasn't after.

BeerTent:
As for the interface? It takes next to no time to get used to it. I figure that the hate on the OS is 90% people looking at tiles and going, "IT'S NOT THE SAME! [Insert fabricated problem here]!!"

I don't mind new interfaces, heck I grabbed a cheap i3 to install Linux on which I've been tinkering with and come up with a different interface (based off Elementary OS distro), so it's not a case of 'ewww its different' but rather a case of it being awkward and unituative. This is especially bad with how the settings are split between 2 different areas (control panel and settings) as well as how metro apps work. It's usable, I just don't like it.

BeerTent:
Another issue to take note of is that Manufacturers get money by installing pre-bundled software on your computer. Often, this software causes problems. I recommend a format of every new computer you get as soon as you get it. This should significantly increase performance.

I am quite aware of this (I work in IT, just to clarify my experience) and I usually either wipe and install with an OEM or at the very least go through and uninstall the crap manually. In the case of my Samsung I did the latter and it works well, in the case of the laptop it didn't help so I wiped and went with a different OS.

So just got a new Laptop that came with Windows 8.1.
My only thought was: What was Microsoft thinking?

This OS demonstrates that whoever was in charge of usability from previous windows was fired or left,because all the changes just serve to piss me off.
Take the much mourned Start Menu, it used to demonstrates the most fundamental principle of OS design: Things you use frequently are faster, things you use less are slower. Programs you use frequently rise and stay on the start menu, programs you don't fall off, but you can pin them there if you want.
The new Start Screen has none of that functionality. In fact you can only choose to pin or unpin an Icon. So you have a screen with icons you can click to trigger program? We had that already! IT WAS CALLED THE DESKTOP. We stopped using that exclusively when the start menu was invented. Windows 8.1 literally regressed to Windows 3 in the UI department.

Windows now has an inbuilt PDF reader. Great! But it is utter shite. It goes full screen, you can't put it in windowed mode so you can compare and copy text, you can't open multiple PDF files.

This is not neophobia or getting used to it. I can point to specific features that have been lost and not replaced, things that previously were easier(or automatic) to do but now are harder.

Really I can see this working for a small screen you are holding in your hands. But we I have a big screen I'm controlling with mouse and keyboard, there are better interface options, and more functionality that are present in previous windows versions. I would not buy a windows 8 PC if I had a choice, and I am actively reverting all these changes with interface mods.

"kids these days like apps right lets do that"
tried 8 couldnt stand it im back with 7 now. we are happy together.

BeerTent:
Edit: Source on that? Nothing in A+ suggests that Windows 8 has any particular design to prefer SSD over the old platter drives.

No source, it is just a theory based on experience. As I stated in the first post my mate and I had 3 laptops which all came with 8 and were running slowly and we had compatibility issues with. First thing I tried was removing the extra crap that the system came with which helped somewhat but we still found it awkward and performing sub par.

When he wiped his laptops and put 7 on them the issues went away. There are a few possibilities (or a mixture of them) that I figured had something to do with it:
- Even though I had uninstalled the extra software it could have left crap behind
- Being a pre-install the laptops had the recovery partition, I recall reading having multiple partitions on a hard drive slows its performance and I always avoid splitting a hardrive.
- They all had hard drives while the weaker ATIV has SSD/memory and didn't have the performance (but still has compatibility) issues, since it also is pre-built with the above 2 points that leaves the storage as the most likely cause of the increase in performance.

The fact that 7 worked better on the other's is where the idea of 8 being optimised for SSD came about and when you consider it was built with tablets in mind it does make sense that they would optimise the OS to run on these drives, esp since even laptops/desktops are going that way.

8.1 is not that bad still have to get classic shell tho just for the options. I will use 7 till I figure out how bad win 10 will be....

I'm not surprised - Microsoft literally installed Windows 8.1 on my computer without my permission last month. I was deliberately avoiding upgrading from 8 to 8.1 every time that pop-up ad came up, and eventually they apparently decided "Tough shit, you're getting it anyway."

Hairless Mammoth:
Actually, I'd like an OS X breakdown.

This article has a pretty graph, even if it's a bit old by now:

http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/03/27/adoption-of-os-x-109-mavericks-significantly-outpaces-108-mountain-lion

Well, that's nice to hear, but I'm sticking with 7. I mean, it took how long for 8 to become, you know, workable? I figure that it's maybe worth waiting on 10 and hoping it doesn't suck hardcore.

I have windows 8 and it was fine as soon as I learned how to turn off a bunch of stuff and now it's hardly different from Windows 7. I can't remember the last time I saw that metro screen and I don't even remember how to get to it. Not that I'd want to.

TheSYLOH:
So just got a new Laptop that came with Windows 8.1.
My only thought was: What was Microsoft thinking?

This OS demonstrates that whoever was in charge of usability from previous windows was fired or left,because all the changes just serve to piss me off.
Take the much mourned Start Menu, it used to demonstrates the most fundamental principle of OS design: Things you use frequently are faster, things you use less are slower. Programs you use frequently rise and stay on the start menu, programs you don't fall off, but you can pin them there if you want.
The new Start Screen has none of that functionality. In fact you can only choose to pin or unpin an Icon. So you have a screen with icons you can click to trigger program? We had that already! IT WAS CALLED THE DESKTOP. We stopped using that exclusively when the start menu was invented. Windows 8.1 literally regressed to Windows 3 in the UI department.

Windows no has an inbuilt PDF reader. Great! But it is utter shite. It goes full screen, you can put it in windowed mode so you can compare and copy text, you can't open multiple PDF files.

This is not neophobia or getting used to it. I can point to specific features that have been lost and not replaced, things that previously were easier(or automatic) to do but now are harder.

Really I can see this working for a small screen you are holding in your hands. But we I have a big screen I'm controlling with mouse and keyboard, there are better interface options, and more functionality that are present in previous windows versions. I would not buy a windows 8 PC if I had a choice, and I am actively reverting all these changes with interface mods.

Those are all my complaints down to a T. Any program that opens full screen like that pdf reader pisses me off. It runs counter to what you do most of the time on a computer. You might want a game or a movie full screen but most other programs you don't.

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