Report: Windows 8.1 Finally Surpasses Windows XP

StatCounter revealed on Monday that on a global scale, Microsoft's Windows 8.1 finally surpassed Windows XP in November, making it the second most-used operating system on the Internet. This should be good news for Microsoft, showing that consumers and businesses alike continue to ditch Windows XP, which is no longer supported by Microsoft as of April 2014.

According to the report, Windows 8.1 earned a 10.95 percent slice of the OS market pie in November, while Windows XP earned a smaller 10.69 percent. Although the difference doesn't sound like much, this is the first time Windows 8.1 has broken past the 10 percent mark. The number is expected to rise as consumers and businesses make desktop and laptop purchases throughout December.

As for the other operating systems, Apple's OS X came in fourth place during November (8.11 percent), followed by Apple's iOS (6.61 percent), Windows 8.0 (4.9 percent) and Windows Vista (2.7 percent). What appears to be unchanged since November 2013 is Microsoft's Windows 7, which is still dominating the OS market with a huge lead of 50.34 percent.

"Following a somewhat mixed reaction to Windows 8, Windows 8.1 has made steady progress since its launch," commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter. "It passed Windows 8 in August and has now passed Windows XP in November. The growth trajectory for Windows 8.1 has been positive, but if current trends continue it will not topple Windows 7 before Windows 10 is launched in 2015."

On a local scale, Windows 7 still dominates the market, claiming a 43.86 percent share. Apple's OS X (14.88 percent) comes in second place followed by Windows 8.1 (12.21 percent), iOS (9.51 percent), Windows XP (5.48 percent), Windows Vista (4.11 percent) and Windows 8 (3.3 percent). The good news here is that Windows XP numbers are falling while Windows 8.1 may surpass OS X in the next several months.

Based on the StatCounter numbers, we should continue to see Windows 8 usage decline as more and more businesses and consumers upgrade to Windows 8.1. These updates are undoubtedly pushing the monthly numbers along with decent sales generating from desktops and laptops. The rise in numbers may even stem from anticipation for Windows 10, which is slated to be friendlier with desktop users.

What's surprising is that there are still some consumers and businesses across the globe and locally running Windows Vista. Here in the United States, the numbers have dropped ever so slowly, with a 7.49 percent share in November 2013, a 3.52 percent share in October 2014 and the current 4.11 percent share. For being one of the most disliked operating systems to date, Windows Vista shows that it still has some staying power.

So what will we see for December? Expect a numbers fight between Windows 8.1 and Mac OS X. Do you plan on purchasing or building a Windows 8.1 machine this month?

Follow Kevin Parrish @exfileme. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

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  • waxdart
    "According to sources from South Korea (Chinese)" -- Think you'll find it is written in Korean. The clue was in the country name.