Beleaguered Microsoft’s Windows 8’s uptake falls again, now slower than Vista flop

“Windows 8’s uptake was stuck in reverse for the second straight quarter as the reputation-challenged operating system fell behind the pace set by Windows Vista six years ago, according to data released Friday,” Gregg Keizer reports for Computerworld.

“Web metrics firm Net Applications’ figures for July put the combined user share of Windows 8 and 8.1 at 12.5% of the world’s desktop and notebook systems, a small drop of six-hundredths of a percentage point from June,” Keizer reports. “That decline was atop a one-tenth-point fall the month before, the first time the OS had lost user share since its October 2012 debut. Windows 8 accounted for 13.6% of the personal computers running Microsoft’s Windows”

“While in June Windows 8’s user share came dangerously close to the sluggish uptake tempo of Windows Vista, in July Windows 8’s pace fell below Vista’s for the first time,” Keizer reports. “That Windows 8’s uptake performance has not matched Vista’s is important because the latter, widely panned at the time, has earned a reputation as one of Microsoft’s biggest OS failures. By association, then, Windows 8 looks to be the same.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: What we said over three years ago, on June 1, 2011, right after Microsoft previewed Windows 8:

Our initial impression is that Microsoft, in trying to cram everything into Windows 8 in an attempt to be all things to all devices, will end up with an OS that’s a jack of all trades and a master of none (which, after all, ought to be Microsoft’s company motto).

By the time this hybrid spawn of Windows Phone ’07 + Windows 7ista actually ships, one can only dream where Apple’s iOS and Mac OS X will be! For Microsoft, it’ll be more like a nightmare… We simply do not see the world clamoring for the UI of an iPod also-ran now ported to an iPhone wannabe that nobody’s buying to be blown up onto a PC display.

From what we’ve seen so far, Windows 8 strikes us as an unsavory combination of Windows Weight plus Windows Wait.

Not to mention that probably no one on earth knows how much or what kinds of residual legacy spaghetti code roils underneath it all (shudder). Is Microsoft giving up on backwards compatibility? [They are with Windows RT (Windows on ARM).] …So, people might as well get the Mac they always wanted. If not [as with Windows 8], then Microsoft’s unwilling to do what it takes to really attempt to keep up with the likes of Apple or even Apple’s followers. No matter what, if Microsoft’s going to ask Windows sufferers to “learn a whole new computer” (and that’s exactly how they’ll look at it, regardless of how Microsoft pitches it), millions will simply say, “Time to get a Mac to match my iPod, iPhone, and iPad!”

As if they needed it: More good news for Apple.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “James W.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Apple’s Q314: Surging Mac defies a shrinking Windows PC market – July 24, 2014
More good news for Apple: Microsoft previews Windows 8 (with video) – June 1, 2011


  1. Every other Win OS is okay. XP was old but usable. Win7 is okay. I bet M$ is praying the Win9 will be a success.
    Makes me think of MacOS9. The OS was pretty good but when the OSX beta came out I knew Apple were on a good thing.

  2. The data collected the same way year over year is valid.

    One thing is specifically not trackable, however, and I’ve not seen word of this in media articles.

    There are those of us that run applications that are so critical that we don’t allow those computers to be connected to the Internet. Under this operating scenario, updates are source of ‘fear’ over what can happen when an update breaks something.

    My Windows BootCamp partition on my MacBook Pro has not seen the light of day on the Internet in over 2 years.

  3. If I understand correctly, those Windows 8 sales figures are actually inflated due to the fact that you can’t actually straight-up buy Windows 7 any more. You have to purchase Windows 8 with a “downgrade” option, so your purchase counts as a Windows 8 sale.

    It will be interesting to see if Microsoft can fix their OS problems with Windows 9. I don’t see how they do it without abandoning their whole direction with the OS. The Windows 7 “fix” of Vista’s problems merely involved them fixing enough of the crappy bugs and design holes of Vista to get a working OS. But Window 8’s problems aren’t due to bugs, or the design not working. People just flat out hate the OS and want the familiar Windows interface back. The only solution to that issue is a complete reversal to Windows 7’s paradigm. Is Microsoft willing to go that far?


    1. Those Windows 8 sales figures are also severely inflated by the fact that any large corporation that pays Microsoft’s annual licensing fees (which how most large corporations license their Microsoft software) has already paid for licenses of Windows 8, because it’s just part of the annual subscription. But almost no large corporations have actually deployed Windows 8, because doing so would be a nightmare. So you’ve got the bulk of the Fortune 5000 having technically “bought” Windows 8 licenses for all of their users’ desktops, yet they haven’t actually put Windows 8 on any of those machines.

      1. There’s a “furthermore” to your statement:
        Large contracts are based on the number of “knowledge workers” (MS’s contract terminology), not on the number of CPUs actually running WIndows or Office. This cash-extracting gimmick further inflates the numbers for Win 8 and Office.

  4. The problem with Windows (any version) is that it’s Windows. At first it’ll run smooth and quick (assuming you did a clean install…OEM installs loaded with trialware and bullshit OEM utilities are a nightmare), but within a couple months it gets sluggish and develops weird explainable problems, and if you’re not hyper-vigilant or knowledgeable about computers, it’ll get full of adware/spyware/malware. Bringing back the Start Menu in Windows 9 isn’t going to do anything to address the real core problem at the heart of Windows, which is that it’s just plain terrible.

    1. The main “problem” with Windows 8 is its kludgy design. The problem with Vista was its bugginess, and you can fix bugs. The only way to “fix” Windows 8 is to replace it completely, with a version of Windows that respects desktop and laptop PC users (most of Microsoft’s existing customers).

  5. The problem for Windows 9 will be deemphasizing Metro on the desktop while still keeping it the dominant UI on a Win Phone, Surface RT and Surface Pro, three mutually incompatible operating systems.

    This doesn’t sound easy or even compatible with Nadella’s promise to unify all versions of Windows.

    Metro needs to go away in order for any new version of Windows to be accepted by enterprise, but it needs to stay in order for Microsoft to have a mobile presence.

    Poor Nadella, Ballmer left him with quite a mess.

  6. “millions will simply say, “Time to get a Mac to match my iPod, iPhone, and iPad!””

    Based on actual sales and computer ownership figures, this has not happened. For example, less than 11% of computers sold in the U.S. last quarter were Apple machines.

    Basically, unless you want to count iPad sales (which are also slowing down) Apple is not benefiting from the decline of Microsoft (or more accurately Windows PC software, as everything but Windows PC software and Windows mobile is doing fine for Microsoft) a whole lot. This is so even as Apple has explicitly made a run at Windows users by offering the Mac Mini and lowering prices on certain Macs.

    So again, Windows 8 being a disaster for Windows is quite a different thing from Apple selling significantly more computers. It is easy to laugh at Microsoft’s pain while making a ton of money on iPhones and iPads, but that obscures the reality that were it not for the iPhone and iPad, things would still be as they had been since the early 1990s, which is Microsoft enjoying a near-monopoly market share.

    1. Of course Apple is benefitting. Apple’s key advantage in the PC market is the HUGE pool of disgruntled Windows users, many of them still using Windows XP (even after Microsoft stopped official support for it). Apple’s healthy Mac business comes mainly from Windows users switching to Mac, not from Mac users buying new Macs.

      Proof… That’s obvious. Apple’s Macs sales are growing, while the overall PC industry is in a funk. Apple’s overall market share numbers are not that relevant, because Mac sales keep growing steadily. Apple just needs to keep those sales growing, by “bleeding off” a small but steady percentage of existing Windows users every year, while maintaining the highest possible profit margins on Mac sales. Apple’s goal is NOT to surpass Windows PC market share.

    2. Are you really this obtuse? Or are you on someone’s payroll to be this obtuse? Apple Mac growth year-over-year 18%. Same period, PC sales dropped 1.7%.

      Exactly where do you think all that growth in Mac sales came from? The Tooth Fairy? Surely you don’t think all those new Mac owners are new, first-time computer owners, do you? Nope, sorry. A lot are PC sufferers, glad to get rid of their PC hell.

  7. Windows 8 is responsible for the current stagnation in PC sales (except for the Mac portion). No one wants to buy a new PC with Windows 8, and they are holding out as long as possible. OR, they are buying Macs instead (and then thinking “why didn’t I do this sooner…?”)

    When Microsoft introduces Windows 9, they better go back to an interface that respects desktop and laptop users, who want nothing to do with touching the screen. If they continue with the kludgy-ness that puts “touch first,” the overall PC market malaise will continue. And long-time Windows users will realize that they feel more “at home” using the latest Mac, compared to the latest version of Windows (not that there’s anything wrong with that…). 🙂


    Windows 8 may be a “flop” with only 12.5% market share. But for the same timeframe, ALL versions of the Mac OS totaled only 6.7%, almost double Apple’s desktop penetration.

    Click whore MDN again cherry-picks the data that garners the most fan-boy clicks instead of reporting the COMPLETE picture.

    Windows 8 is horrible, but that doesn’t mean the Mac has improved in any measurable way since Snow Leopard. All Cook & Co have done is add bloat and superficial iOS styling. That is probably why they felt they had to give it away. But even by giving away Ives’ ugly flat washed-out transparent makeover-ware for free, Cook isn’t doing what it takes to increase Mac market share. Apple can, and should, do better. MDN’s inability to provide appropriate criticism to Cook and Ives’ fugly OS interfaces or their horrible marketing just goes to show
    that MDN doesn’t really care if Apple shits out a brick that sells LESS THAN HALF of Redmond’s shitty OS. MDN will still cheer on mediocrity as long as you attach an apple stocker to it.

    1. What nonsense… You are the one who is “cherry picking” data. All you have to do is look at the PC market to see the way things are trending. Apple’s Mac sales are growing, while the rest of the market is stagnant or in decline. That is the only “measure” that actually matters, actual sales and profit.

      For Apple, PC market share numbers are mostly irrelevant. Apple’s Mac business is growing, and Apple tries to optimize profit margin within that steady growth. Who cares if the measured market share is currently 5% or 10% or whatever? SALES are growing. And that growth currently comes mainly from alienated Windows user, who are fed up with Microsoft over Windows 8. The goal for Apple is NOT to overtake Windows, but to grow sales every year while maintaining optical profit margin.

      And, as you pointed out, there is STILL a HUGE pool of existing Windows users for the Apple’s Mac business to feed from, for years to come. That’s Apple key advantage in the PC market (one that Apple wants to maintain), not a sign of “mediocrity.”

  9. Mike Apple has more than 12% of the current sales of computers. As older Windows systems become to old or buggy to function properly and are replaced, an increasing share of them will be Macs. Unless Apple reduces the cost or introduces budget models, we won’t see Apple top 50%, but I could easily see them grabbing 25% of the affluent first-world markets.

    Again that will show up in sales long before you see it in Net Usage share, which is a very slow lagging indicator.

  10. Who cares about this king of stuff, as MSFT has in excess of 1.4 billion users who run Windows. Windows 7 is still what Apple is just trying to catch up to!

    1. Nope, those “in excess of 1.4 billion users” are what allows Apple to keep its Mac business growing, especially after Windows 8. Apple is not trying to “catch up to” anything. Instead, Apple is very thankful there are STILL so many Windows users left to “switch.” 🙂 And Microsoft is cooperating by releasing a version of Windows that no one wants. As you say, they’d rather have Windows 7, which is approaching FIVE years old (or they cling on to ancient Windows XP even after Microsoft has abandoned it).

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