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Windows 8 and 8.1 still struggle to gain PC market share

windows 8

The latest numbers from research firm Net Applications show that the combined market share of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 in the PC market are still well behind that of Windows 7 and the now support-less Windows XP.

According to their updated numbers for June 2014. Windows 7 is now installed on 50.55 percent of all PCs, up from 50.06 percent in May. Even Windows XP, which is no longer being supported by Microsoft, made a slight gain, going up from 25.27 percent in May to 25.31 percent in June.

Windows 8 by itself had a market share of 5.93 percent in June, down from 6.29 percent in May, while Windows 8.1 had 6.61 percent of the PC OS market share in June, up from 6.35 percent in May. Combined, Windows 8 and 8.1 currently claim 12.54 percent, which is actually down from 12.64 percent in May.

The numbers show that, even after nearly two years, Windows 8 and 8.1 can't even come close to the install base that Windows 7 and XP currently have. That could be a motive for Microsoft to consider offering the next major version of Windows, code named Threshold, as a free update for both Windows 7 and 8.1 owners.

Source: Net Applications

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Reader comments

Windows 8 and 8.1 still struggle to gain PC market share

137 Comments

Yeah, I think focusing too much on touch was the failure. If they just made the UI more desktop friendly they wouldn't even have to give it away for free. Everyone loves Windows, but don't want to change everything just for the sake of young people and their love of touch. Under the UI Win8.x is great!

I mostly use my desktop for games, so I dont want to upgrade from win 7, even if it is free... I'll loose a lot of games if I do, and as long as MS do not make some sort of support for older games, they will loose out.

You can still run older games with compatibility mode. Anways, nothing is lost on upgrade really. More is added. It's not like you'll lose important system gaming files.

I have yet to find an app that worked with windows 7 that didn't work with windows 8. There are even many drivers that are made for windows 7 but still work with windows 8.

99% of developers today are focused on touch applications for mobile devices. If Windows is not a serious touch platform that can run these modern apps then it is running on borrowed time. If Windows is just a legacy platform for running business applications it is not a healthy thriving ecosystem that will attract new developers.

Your 99% assertion is horseshit and discredits you. However, I never said that Microsoft should abandon touch. I said they focused too much on it.

Yeah, like that's what making people buy new computers. People are investing their money into tablets. Take away tablets and computer purchases would soar. Yes. It's that simple.

Do the 8.1 numbers include 8.1-Update1 share (8.1.1)?

It isn't clear from the NetMarket breakdowns I quickly skimmed after reading this article.  They only list 8 and 8.1 even in the full list of Desktop OS Versions.

The issue is, for regular PC users, they are legitamately not good.  Nothing is particularly better and many things are significantly worse.

 

A few very small changes could save the day.  All Windows needs is:

  1. A good start menu.
  2. Windowable metro apps.
  3. OLE Automation support in Metro for full RT desktop compatibility.

Everything about W8/W8.1 is significantly better than Windows 7. The negative reception is mainly because people don't like change, and are too lazy to learn something new. While I agree Threshold will be everything that Windows 8 should have been, just as Windows 7 was what Vista should have been, there is absolutely nothing wrong with 8.

haha Elitis is right.   It's all the customers fault.  They're all a bunch of blithering idiots who just don't know a good thing when they see it :)

Elitis is indeed right , everything about the OS is better .

It's faster more stable , runs like a charm and has both worlds combined Metro and desktop together.

It takes like a week to get used to it , but people simply don't bother to even try it.

 

Not even a week :P
Windows 8, and even RT, are awesome! I run win 7 on my gameingrig though, as I'd loose some of my older games if I upgrade, but my surface 2, and surface pro 2 are great machines, and windows 8 really is the best windows so far.

People don't like negative change, be honest. Positive change is fine, but that's not Windows 8. Anyway, it's got to the point where it doesn't matter what they do with 8 to make it better for Jo user, it's reputation has stained it for good. Users don't want it. It's that simple.

People don't like change positive or negative period. That's the reality. You still have people using an outdated OS over the new one.  What does that tell you?  People gravitate to what they're familiar with. Windows 8.1 is not negative. Is it a little renegade...yes.  The best PC experience on Win8.1 is using a touch monitor to fully take advantage of the metro interface.  Most are so used to the customary desktop view, they don't see the need to change.  In face most that embraced Win8.1 did so because they used WP7 which is where the metro interface first showed up.

 

I love change.  I have W8.1 on all my personal machines.  But I still spend much of my life on W7 machines for work, I can can say unequivocally, the statement that "everything about W8/8.1 is significantly better than Windows 7" is absolutely false.  If you are a desktop user, a few things are a little bit better (like the new task manager), but nothing is much better, and many things are worse.

For one instance, the start screen is much worse than the start menu for desktop users.  It completely covers what you are working on.  It also lacks the start menu's hierarchical design which makes browsing it much, much faster if you know kind of what you are looking for.

For a second, desktop search works much better on W7 than on W8.  If I hit Window-F and type the name of the file I want, how can I sort them by type/date/size/etc.?

Third, while W8.1 has been pretty solid, it nevertheless crashes more than Windows 7SP1.  Indeed, I have experienced exactly one W7SP1 crash ever.  But I experience W8.X crashes probably once a week.

Fourth, there is nothing in the metro world at all for most business users, so its existence is a waste.  That said, when a double-clicked file pops into metro, instead of a desktop app, it is jarring and disrupts the flow of work, and it takes a pretty good chunk of time to associate every app with a desktop version.

Fifth, the redundancy between metro and desktop versions of system apps is confusing to most uses.  Why are there two device pages, two windows updates, etc?

This is not a complete list of W8.X frustrations.

Do I think W8's rep is worse than it deserves?  Absolutely.  It works fine.  Just not as well as W7 for some.  Would I recommend it to anyone using a device without a touchscreen?  No.  What would it offer them?

>For one instance, the start screen is much worse than the start menu for desktop users.  It completely covers what you are working on.  It also lacks the start menu's hierarchical design which makes browsing it much, much faster if you know kind of what you are looking for.

No. Just no. Hierarchy needs management, search does not. Most apps as 1 app 1 button.
Its just what you are used to. It suits what you think neat is, but I find Metro neater, sorry.

>For a second, desktop search works much better on W7 than on W8.  If I hit Window-F and type the name of the file I want, how can I sort them by type/date/size/etc.?

You can do all that in the Desktop Explorer if you wish. Or chose one of the 1 million Metro file management apps. There isn't less, its just Win F is now the default Web and Basic system search which is A) simpler for me and B) simpler for most users who are not techie geeks (Hint: Mums don't need search by size)

>Fifth, the redundancy between metro and desktop versions of system apps is confusing to most uses.  Why are there two device pages, two windows updates, etc?

Partly true. They should just make all system tools Metro. But lets face it, most of the normal ones you use regualrly since 8.1 are there. Esoteric stuff isn't, but that will game. Fair point.

I am sitting here on a non touchscreen, works just as well as 7.

I have a touchscreen as work, barely use the touch, I use it as a Desktop machine. Works better than 7.

Is it better than 7. Yes. But then I can handle Metro and actively like it. Its subjective, but as most people have postulated, people don't like change. I have a Surface, so it has helped me acclimatise to Metro. And I glad for it.

 

 

Sorry, but covering up my work just to launch a program is unacceptable.  Search-to-launch is there on W7 and is much less cluttered.  When I search to launch an app on W8, I get ads for other apps in my results!!!  That's downright annoying.

If I know the secret code to type into the resource bar (search-ms:) then yes, I can get back to what Win-F did on 7.  But it's a PITA and most users wont find it.  As for being able to sort search results, yes, even mums need to do that regularly!  Does the Win-F search on W8.X even search the contents of files, at all?  It seems to me to be just the file names.  Soooooo much less useful.

As for redundancy, it is totally annoying, even to me, and I'm a very expert user. 

The simple fact of the matter is, metro adds much more inconvenience then it brings for those who want to get "serious work" done.  I spend my work day in Word, Excel, MATLAB, image processing and statistical software.  Nearly every change in W8.X from 7, in that environment, is neutral or negative.  There's nothing that works noticeably better for me; I can say this with great confidence because I bounce back and forth between W7 and W8.1 at work, and I am only ever bothered by W8.1.  There are no annoyances on W7.  When I'm chilling on the couch and want to figure out what to watch on Netflix, I love swiping through the metro app in W8.

To me, the value in W8.X is that I can get both of those experiences out of the same computer.  At work, I dock and have a keyboard and trackball and big monitor or two.  Then I simply grab my laptop and head to the train, where it can serve as a consumption device.  But all my programs and files are still with me.

But if I didn't BYOD and had a work-provided desktop, I'd rather just have W7, thank you.

And argue as much as you want, but it is very clear that nearly all of the world agrees with me.  What, are we all wrong?

I'm not really arguing with you. Just pointing out its all personal preference and emotion. Little of it has to do with fact, other than the fact humans cannot adjust to change.

You don't have to hide the Desktop screen to start an app, you can pin them. 

You don't have to do any fiddling to change Win+F, just open explorer. Its explorer, with built in search.

Look I get it, you will rave and rant to "prove" your point. The point I am making is your ascertions are just emtion, with ways of working that are just as simple on W8 as they are on 7, but the change has defeated you or not asthetically to your liking. But there is no fact, you cannot win, there is no agreeing with you. Win8 is like marmite, and thats fine, but there is no fact about how Win8 doesn't work cos clearly it does or I wouldnt have found my way to Desktop today :)

I use lots of Metro apps perfectly fine, and when I need to do something like Visual Studio I can with ease.

It really hasn't defeated me, and I love Metro, my Surface and Windows Phone. When I see XP now and Win 7 with desktop full of icons it makes me feel dirty - its horrible to look at.

I'm longing for when Office Metro comes out, which can't be far away and Surface RT drops Desktop all together. The "pure" experience is the one I want, I prefer it.

 

You are absolutely so correct it's freshing.  All his points are moot.  He doesn't use 8.1 enough.  I can tell he's stuck in his old patterns and refuse to invest a little time to see how much simpler 8.1 really is.  Thx!

You really dont have a clue, His thoughts are like about 80% of the corporate customers and IT staff WORLD WIDE. I know this first hand as a IT consultant and I have been at 5 of the top fortune 500 companies in the US, trust me I have heard it all.

Because you LIKE Windows 8, does not mean the world does. What you THINK is better is your thoughts, NONE OF THAT IS FACT and not everyone thinks like you or agrees with what you like (even though you might think so)

If you're correct, all you've convinced me of is that most of the world is lazy and are mired in the past. I remember the same type of stupid, anti progress complaints when Windows 95 came out. 

I may not be an IT person.  But what I do know about working with IT personnel from real life experience.  Most of them don't know anything about how programs work.  They are great in connecting your computer back to the network, but when it come to the use of programs they are typically no help.  That's why everywhere I've ever worked when an employee had issues with Word/Excel/Access/etc.. and other proprietary software they seek my help to assist the customer aka employees.  My point is.  I would take the word of an IT person claiming they know how programs works with a grain of salt.  And yes, I've been working on computers since 1983.  And I've used all types of software. 

Because I don't believe you really know how to use the search in 8.1.  I'll give you a tip. Do the Win+F you will see the search screen appear on the right side of the screen.  You'll note it's not covering up the entire page your currently working on.  When you do this if the Search says "Everywhere" change it to "Files".  From that point you can search for any file TO INCLUDE any statement within a file.  Try it.  It's that easy.  As I've said before, some people just want to complain rather than take two minutes to learn some basic things. 

"When I search to launch an app on W8, I get ads for other apps in my results!!!  That's downright annoying."

See... posts like this highlight the biggest reason I support that Windows 8 haters simply don't know enough to be judging the operating system they claim to hate.

Every complaint, every little niggle they have is something that's easily resolved... and in most cases, mastery of the thing that annoyed them would make them a more efficient worker than the person using Windows 7.

For example, a lady came in to my workplace frustrated because "The windows kept jumping," what she was really doing was press-hold-swiping the trackpad to invoke a gesture that switched her active task. I taught her what she was doing, and she instantly came to the conclusion that she could actually use that to quickly switch between her macroecon research and her active work+snapped calculator in a method more efficient than any Windows 7 user could.

...and even your issue. I deal with so many people who love trying to get panties wet talking about what level of professional/expert they are, then find that their issue has simple resolution. If you don't want ads/web results in your search, disable it. It's not hard, requires no cmd line/regedit knowledge whatsoever. You can start typing search, easy access search settings, disable results from Bing and boom... your "annoying search" problem is resolved.

BTW, Windows 8/8.1 search is actually a much faster way of getting to things than Windows 7's search was... and it's accessible one step sooner. Any level of expert knows the value of cutting steps out of a process.

"And argue as much as you want, but it is very clear that nearly all of the world agrees with me.  What, are we all wrong?"

Short answer is: yes. Just because there's a massive and widespread train of thought does not make it correct. It's a new age of people thinking a round world is flat... and as someone who has to demonstrate easy Windows 8 usage DAILY (to a crowd that takes like 3 minutes tops to go from "I HATE Windows 8!" to "Okay.. that's actually a lot better than 7") I can definitively say that.

 

Here's the kicker though... I don't blame the consumer body. They were left in the dark... this really is just a game of PR and media control, and Microsoft actually is to blame for the low install base.

They released an operating system that's faster, more secure, more future-proofed, more stable and more work-efficient than Windows 7 without damage-controlling the naysayers... or giving the consumer body any of the knowledge they need to realize exactly why this is true. I've seen tons of ads detailing how awesome the Surface Pro is... but not a single one that combats Windows 8's biggest enemy: fear that new computers ditch the old ways.

A short, little 30 second commercial where they show off the classic desktop and fact that compatibility mode allows older software from Windows 7, Vista, XP... all the way back to 95 would skyrocket comsumer confidence in the company if it were aired quickly enough to make an impact.

...but Microsoft isn't Apple, so they don't figure out these simple goddamn solutions >_<

If it is crashing on you once a week then you probably have a poorly writting app running, a bad driver, or possibly faulty hardware.  Both Win7 and Win8 are solid enough to not crash on a weekly basis. 

I have asked this question on several blog and have yet to hear a decent reply to why you need to see your work when you are using a start menu. You can't interact with your work. As soon as you click away, the start menu goes away. The start menu is an app launcher. You need to find and launch the app you need as fast as possible. Seeing your desktop won't help with that. However, a full screen start menu will allow you to see more app without scrolling and therefore find the app more quickly. The desktop was a place to pin shortcuts to apps and files. Well the start screen is the same thing. It's a place to pin shortcuts. The app list is sorted alphabetically, the same as the start menu. I actually like that folders are gone. Opening folders because the app used a company name instead of the apps name when you installed it was always annoying. Besides, searching is the proper way to find and launch an app instead of digging through folders.

My computer has crashed more frequently with windows 8. It's been about the same as windows 7. I do have apps that crash, but the OS only crashed a couple of times.

Ditto. I've actually asked the same and got the same lack of results.

The real story is that there is no big change. You actually summed it up nicely when inferring "Why do you need to see your work when you are using a start menu? You can't interact with your work."

The reality is that people with weak or stolen opinions are easily able to be snagged by the first thing they hear that sounds like an intelligible reason to complain. They just heard widespread complaint about "app list being full-screen instead of being off in the corner" and began regurgitating it. It's the reverse of what happens when Apple gets their sheep to chant "It just works!"

Dude, you say you're a very expert user, but you don't seem to be using your system in the most efficient ways. I'll try to deal with them one at a time:

1. Heirarcical design is SO much slower than tapping Start and typing the first three letters of what you want to open. If you don't like the Start screen "taking over" then you have Win+S for search, type the first 2 or 3 letters and you're away. If these are regular programs, why are they not in desktop shortcuts or pinned to the taskbar? Instead of having to know the structure and navigatre through three levels to click on the program you want you just Win+S, mai tap on mail. Even if you know EXACTLY what you're looking for and where it is in the Start menu on Win 7 you are still far quicker using the keyboard than the mouse.

2. Win+F is for file searching yes, usually when you are looking for a specific file. If you want to use the desktop search, just use the desktop search. Open an explorer tab and type in the Search box. This is just a difference between being able to hit Win+S or opening an explorer window but if you're a desktop user you're going to have that open anyway. If you're looking for a specific file the basic search is fine, if you want to list files by size or type, wait for the Modern Explorer or get one from the store.

3. Actually can't argue with you there, had several crashes on my Surface but the OS itself on my laptop and desktop has been stable. Windows 7 was more reliable yes, but only a little bit and neither of them crash as much as Vista, XP, iOS, Android

4. Not true. RDP, Citrix Receiver, MyServer2012, Lync, OneNote - several apps are there, depends on what you want to do. If you're doing what I think you're doing though, you don't WANT a Modern app as they're sandboxed so they can't interfere with the OS. Like I said, depends entirely on what you're looking for but they do exist.

5. This is a way of allowing non-techie users to have access to settings that don't scare the crap out of them while still giving the power users the more granular control they're used to.

Windows 8 works best when you use its features, App Snap, Universal Search etc but more important for keyboard/mouse users is to learn the shortcuts. Three key ones, Win+D, Win+S and Win+C, Desktop, Search and Charms in that order. For you, Win+X to take you to the admin menu will solve a few of your other frustrations I think.

I don't mean to be condescending here as I'm sure some of your concerns are genuine, but for a few there are other things about the OS that you could be getting used to and use out of. It does highlight the one major flaw with Windows 8 thoughk, it does a lot of things that people don't even know about and Microsoft spend no time telling them

No, it's tech journalists on sites like Techradar, Engadget, The Register etc who complain about Windows 8 without knowing how it works or how to use it. The public rely on these people to tell them what to buy so if they are fed bullshit by these writers then how are they to know? I don't know about you but if I'm about to buy a new PC, Laptop etc I go looking for reviews from professionals and I tend to trust them. When I read reviews of Windows 8 though it makes me cringe as they whine about things not being available that have just moved or not talking about the positive changes/advantages. Anyone, ANYONE, written a review that's mentioned the enhanced security and recovery features of Windows 8? No.

So no, it's not the public's fault, they rely on other people doing their jobs properly but they're so busy playing Candy Crush on their iPads that they've forgotten how to use a proper OS.

I don't agree that nothing is "particularly better". I only have Windows 8.1 on my desktop, and there's a good number of improvements, not to mention the speed improvements. Upgraded my parents old desktop from Windows 7, and its legitimately faster

It faster to boot, no question. I don't find it any faster to run once it's up, though. I'd trade the speed back for W7's stability any day.

No way, memory management is objectively better in W8. The OS itself also uses less memory. Easily tested with clean installs of both OS's

1: Start screen + direct search is way better and faster than any start menu with 4 layers of branches that needs to be carefully and periodically arranged or it becomes a total mess...

2: Ok, but it sounds like they took away the desktop apps. You can keep using them!

3: Is there anything stopping you or anyone else from buying a Windows Pro Tablet if you don't like RT? Actually you have many more options than RT (Surface and Lumia only).

 

It feels like two OSes taped together, the traditional desktop mode and the Modern UI mode. It's a mess. MS really needs to fix that in Windows 9.

I don't know it just seems people are looking for things to complain about. Speaking of course for myself.

It is 1 operating system, with 2 UIs. Desktop = legacy, and Metro = future.

Until gaming, Steam and Office move its hard to make the transition 100% on Desktop PCs.

But I am nearly there. I used tons of Metro Apps and its beautiful. Its clean, its simple. And best of all it all auto reconfigures when I build a new PC. Its fabulous. I cannot wait until we are in a 100% Metro world. Life will just be simpler and malware and viruses will be much harder to get. Rock on the new world.

Same here. I'm on Windows RT most of the time except when for when I need Visual Studio. Should Visual Studio ever make the leap then RT all the way for me or whatever they decide to call it. I, for one,  really like Windows 8, so much better than 7.

For those of us who actually do work professionally with computers and the public, it's strikingly obvious that NONE of the Windows 8 haters have any actual understanding of the operating system... and often they don't even have first hand experience, but rather influences by outside opinion.

The vast majority don't even realize they could just use the familiar layout alongside ask the technical and security benefits of Windows 8... and they've usually let themselves be wrongly instructed by people who have no damn clue what they're talking about (who we can easily identify by their remarks about Windows 8 being a poor desktop experience).

I made a big write up on this that actually caught fire on Google+

http://verytechnical.wordpress.com/2013/07/05/the-truth-about-windows-8/

And assuming you are right, this just emphasizes it's failing, and that of Microsoft for making it a success, given that it's so wonderful.

One of the problems is that Microsoft market Win 8 with focus solely on Metro. All you ever see on ads is the Metro screen or people demonstrating the snap screen while Skyping etc. It puts Average Joe User right off because that's all he believes 8 now is. They need to say "oh if you don't like touch then use it the old way - you still can."

This is true. They haven't alienated any of the people who feel alienated, but Microsoft doesn't seem to have any grasp on how to make effective pr so that people realize they can make everything as familiar as they want.

I am a professional software developer who spends about 10 hours a day in front of a PC.   I have about 1000 customers around the country who use my software on a desktop PC.   I am in touch with 10 or more a day for various reasons.   I don't know a single business customer who likes Win8.  Not a SINGLE one.

 My opinion; Win 8.1 is better than 7 overall but just barely.   However, Win 8 was a hot mess and a disaster product to use if you held a mouse in your hands all day.   MSFT fixed a lot of the issues but its just too late.  The perception is out there now and it's going to be another lost business cycle like Vista.   As someone who makes his living off MSFT's success, I am extremely frustrated with them and getting tired of these absolutely massive mistakes.  Will they ever learn to stop throwing shit out there that is not finished?   I understand the frenzied pace in our industry but putting out something half baked is usually going to hurt you more than help.   If they had done a simple focus group with the business community (and paid attention to it) they would have known this would happen.  

Sounds like Win9 is going to be great and will be what Win8 SHOULD have been.   It will hopefully be the savior, like Win 7 was the savior for Vista.  Problem is, this isn't the 90's anymore and I don't think MSFT has that much more time left to keep making these big missteps.   They need to get it right pretty much EVERY time from now on or they could be irrelevent in 5-10 more years.

 

 

WinRT instead of Win32 and GDI.

Store apps instead of easily downloadable mailware.

Universal apps.

Massive mistake? If you really are a developer, I feel sorry for your customers. MS are in transition with 8, but Metro, the Store, WinRT are all fabulous. Humans recoil at change. They drive poorly. This is more about humans than it is about the technology.

Makreting is a funny thing. Exces think they are the sh*z with their iPad. (I have one)
But my Surface smokes it in every respect. My iPad lives under my bed, yet the superficial execs don't know the Surface exists. MS can't get marketing right, but the OS itself is absolutely fine. Poor sales just underscores the vocal minorities opinion, as do failures at banks feed socialist minds that its all the fault of capitalism depsite the fact those big shiny hospitals, stores full of food and pensions all exist because of banks and the markets. Simple minds.

Why are you sorry for my customers :)    I didn't create Windows 8.   I am not out there putting it down.  In fact, we encourage our customers to move to 8.1 and our products are fully certified for it by Microsofts MPN site.    I'm just giving the facts from the real world.  A lot of people on here are young, more interested in Call Of Duty than Excel, and dont' use Windows as a Business too that much.   That's not a put down but a reality that gives this site a skewed perspective on things.

 

There is an alternate universe out there and Windows 8 is failing badly in that one.  That's just a fact.   Be open minded and listen to what the sales data is clearly showing.   

 

Oh, and keep your insults to yourself.  You don't know me.  I could lob a few myself easily enough.   Teaches us nothing.

I've used it since it's release and have never had a problem using a mouse with it.  It's actually more mouse friendly than previous versions.

Alot of it is amplified. Bad press has people going into the experience saying this is supposed to suck. Then you take stats like this loss of marketshare and that feeds it but the problem is that sales picked up.... for businesses because of XP being dropped which pushed businesses into win7. We aren't getting hard numbers for actual usage here. The real things that are actually important are sales of tablets and store/app usage which would really be the telling stats for how successful MS' transition with Win8. Win 8 has it's issues but everything is working against it being percieved as anything better than mediocre.

Only good for touch screens though if you dont have a need for a touch screen(especially if you cant find an external touch monitor above 1080i then w8 isnt for them necessarily

I'm still using windows 7 pc. Windows 7 works fine for me but I want 8.1 too. I thought of upgrading the is but I heard they are providing windows 7 users windows 9 next year then I felt there's no need to buy a anythng

That's just it. The mobile market is completely different. It's more about convenience and resources then anything else.  The iPhone gives you that.  If Apple launched iOS as a PC OS, it wouldn't be as successfull. People buy iPhones because they're iconic, and have more resources then WP and almost as much as Andriod, yet they don't use them for "real" work.  Most people who use iPhones or even iPad's use a Windows base OS PC or laptop for doing real work, because the price point of the PC equivalents for Apple are just to high.

This is so sad. Windows 8.1 is a great OS. But if they make threshold (or windows 9) free for windows 7 and 8, these numbers should change drastically.

They better...I just spent $120.00 to update from Vista to 8.1 on my laptop and it's the last time I will do so.

My first question would be why are you still using Vista....and my second question would be why didn't you update when they first released Win8 when it was only like $30?

Simply because Vista worked fine,up until my PC's ps took out everything and turned it into a toaster..My work place utilizes older versions of IE and Vista worked great.

So...I decided to go looking for a suitable replacement locally...There wasn't any that I cared for....because ever place was pushing touch screens,and all looked like crap to me.

No one showed me any tricks to the desktop on a normal PC....so...I said the hell with it..went out and bought a nice IMac instead for the desktop and the wife ....It works fine btw..

So...instead of risking a dual boot on it..i updated my older laptop that was still working fine with Vista to the latest 8.1. No..it's not a touch screen, but it's not a perfect world we live in neither..

I'm not against change,just to be against it..but..to be able to have my start menu as it was will make the transition much easier and more comfortable.

Come time for a new portable..we might go mouseless,or we might not....but if the new version is free...I'll certainly try it,if it's not..then I won't and may go a different direction altogether

Out of curiosity, you bought an iMac and started learining how to use it, which were essential to learning a new PC.  You also mention that you wanted start screen but AFAIK, iMac don't have start screen.  What your point actually?  Free window 8?

My question to you is this.  Why buy the most expensive Apple product when there's a lists of Windows PC range from $300 to $4,000 that come with Free window 8?

Seems slower... Literally... At least as far as public reception goes. As my mom always use to say to me, they don't know what they're missing.

A Threshold preview would be nice...but I really love Windows 8.1, its works great on a desktop (virtually like Windows 7) and really love it on a Surface. Keep making the product better Microsoft and don't obsess over the numbers. You are years ahead of Mac OS.

It costs money to upgrade ,  most people wont spend money if  win7 or winXP works for them and desktop PCs are not like smartphones where the trend is to upgrade once a year or two years . I know lots of people with win7 machines  that will upgrade in a second if win8 goes free

 

and then there is that stupid meme/rumor/whatever that every second product MS makes sucks

My guess is that it is because people haven't purchased new PCs. With the exception of tech geeks, most people do not upgrade Windows until they replace a PC. The main reason is why bother paying $120-200 for an upgrade of Windows when their current version of Windows is "good enough" for their needs.

Enterprise is the big reason here.  Most were on XP forever, then finally went over or are just not going over to Win 7. Win 8 will get skipped by many and maybe will get picked up for the next "transition" to Win 9 or so, especially with more desktop friendly features hitting.

When will Microsoft realize that this cluttered Operating system is not liked by consumers. Hurry and change course instead of force feeding. Too coloroful and too much going on specially on larger screens

i dont think MS will provide free threshold to windows 7 and windows 8/ 8.1 users. Isnt the whole new OS with new Windows Phone merged with RT version. If they did provide free then they should also provide free upgrade for windows phone users too and windows phone 8.2 or 9

 

According to me win8.1 is the smartest OS having strong capablities. It boots ans shuts with flick of secs. Plus, there's one thing I liked the most is the ability to download apps from store and treditional heavy program running capablities which Osx, chromebooks might not have.
Thirdly, there's option weather we need to boot to desktop or start screen. I like start screen better then treditional desktop.
Drawback is there's no app sync with other divices capablities apart from bing amd microsoft suits(they work perfectly).
Lack of choises of app.
App gap,is major issues with us.

Why?blame the people !!!blame the customers...no fault with microsoft...
Actually customers go the way they want not the way corporations want.so if microsoft want customers give what they want instead of forcing them to try ur way...its simple actually..

Utter bollocks. Otherwise Apple would never have made the iPad. Customers don't have a clue what they want until you give it to them. Like how when I give anyone my Surface to use and spend 5 minutes showing them how to use it then they want a Surface?

I wonder what these numbers look like if you pull out enterprise users and business that take years to move to the next version, sometimes skipping one altogether. My company is at about 10% deployment of 8.1. The rest are still on Win 7.

Strange, almost all the Windows machines I see around at the university are running on Win8/8.1. I would have never thought of a market share that low.

I've also heard a lot about threshold or Windows 9 being free for those with 7 and 8.1. So they could eradicate a lot of win 7 users maybe that way.

That's not Microsoft's fault mate, it's yours for buying a VAIO. They have been notorious since the days of XP for being difficult to get drivers for.

I'm not buying most I'd this dreadful as I've deployed 300 win 8/8.1 units in my organization alone and I'm small beans. All we read about is all of the corporations launching windows 8 units.... Like dells 19,200 units, etc... Ate those all lies?

I'll say it: A company's ability (or inability) to innovate is limited by one thing: Its customer base. Why are people STILL on XP? No really, one of the most malware-ridden OSes of all time? Why is 7 turning into the new XP for Microsoft? It's frustrating. I'm the guy who expected to live like the Jetsons in 2010...clearly we are nowhere near that futuristic. Windows 8.1 is a prime example of this. People downplay it because it's too hard, too confusing, too "innovative". The best OS I have ever used (and yes, I've done DOS, OS/2, AND Mac OS), and customers slow that adoption down just because of newness. (I STILL argue the same for enterprise; invest money in your employees and training. They'll love you if you show them you care.) I want connected homes, devices, hell even my teeth and health if I could! Change is GOOD! Nothing that a little education and willingness to adopt can't fix anyway. ;) #RantOfAFrustratedMicrosoftGuru

Honestly the question is what can Win8.1 provide that consumers don't get currenlty from Win7? I can understand the upgrade from Vista, because no one liked OS. For those who were WP7 users, the change to Win8.1 was minute. I love the metro interface, but it's a hard sell to those not using a WP but using a Windows PC.  For those using touch based devices like tablets, the change isn't as bad as it reflects a more intrusive experience, but unless you're using a touch enhanced monitor for your PC, you'll be skeptical to upgrade.  The fact the Threshold appears to disable the metro interface for PC's might intrigue more people to switch as they'll be focusing on OS improvements and not OS optics.

I do not see a big deal here; China forbides W8 = a small decline in Market Share! The few chinesses that do not pirate it, were threatened! With School District deploying W8 now, this will level up!

Must of the ATMs and other one-trick-ponies rely on XP, so the percentage is not dropping denser fast. I bet the actual human users update when needed.

Here's what is irritating about this lazy post, it provides a loaded title, with zero context.  I don't want to gloss over issues with PR or unfinished functionality in Windows 8/8.1, but John should have compared this launch to Windows 7.  Win7 was launched in July 2009, Netmarketshare had the following breakdown by their 2010 report: XP 63.48%, Vista 15.02%, Win 7 14.46%.  By the next year, Win 7 only had 28.83%, dramatically behind XP at 53.57%.  And we can all agree Windows 7 was a failure ;)

With PC sales in a freefall and factoring in a historically slow move away from XP, it's a bit of hyperbole to blame it all on Windows 8/8.1 itself.  What we be more interesting would be an analysis of the PC market, OS marketshare and upgrade tendencies, since I have a hunch most people only move to a new OS with a new PC.  However, that may actually take effort.

I prefer windows 8. I have it on my laptop. It's beautiful. Also, my workflow is faster. If I want to launch anything, tap the win-key, type the first two or three letters of the file or program, there it is. No faffing with a chunky start menu. The metro apps are gorgeous and they're functional, replacing a lot of my old desktop apps. The whole os boots faster than 7 did. It crashes less. And everything is a couple of taps of the keyboard away. I honestly don't understand why people don't like it. My only wish is for the desktop ui to mesh better with the metro ui, as the latter is inifitely better.

This Comparison is very subjective

I use Windows 8.1 on both tablet (home - mainly start screen/metro side) and a desktop (work - mainly traditional desktop side).  Windows 8.x is built for both purposes tablet and traditional desktop. The problem happens when people try to use the tablet mode(metro mode) in a tradional desktop and desktop mode (in tablets especially 10" or lower ones). IMHO the right way to have the best experience is to use tablet mode in tablet and desktop mode when using like a tradional pc or a laptop. 

And I am not sure whats the fuss about this start screen. Earlier it used be a panel and now it opens as a window. so if you are using the windows 8.x in a traditional pc or laptop then you easily customize your start screen to show (pin) all the relevant programs which you would have win windows 7.x. For instance on my work pc I have removed all the default tiles and replaced them the most frequently used programs on desktop like remote desktop, word, VS etc. Basically exactly the same set up as in windows 7. Also with the latest update 8.1 update the start screen has also become more mouse friendly. 

Coming back to the real tablet (start / metro screen) mode experience I use my tablet and It is  really amazing to use. Only people who have used it would know.

-The IE 11 in metro mode is really nice

-the swipe to switch "apps" is really nice

-the split screen comes very handy on various situations

- Infact I would ask microsoft to have windows phone threshold to more like windows 8.x start  experience. It runs so smooth no "resuming or loading windows". It just works.

-I do agree that some apps crashes sometimes but that is more of a app issue

-you can sync IE tabs across other units. 

 

Another thing which stat doesn't provide correctly that all those windows 7and windows xp users were using traditional pcs and laptops (with no touch screens). so they had no incentive to move to windows 8.x because their best experience would be the traditional desktop mode and they don't see much of a difference between windwows 7 and windows 8.x. I believe this is the key thing which critics are not acknowledging. Why would people bother to upgrade their pcs if they have to pay and getting anything major. If it was free half of the people would have. In fact 12.5% is a very good number and its mostly coming from the newer sales which are equipped with touchscreen laptops and all in once pcs with touch screens. Essentially, this comparision with win 7 market share is not really a right way. Not to mention that windows 8.x is much faster than windows 7 from desktop mode perspective.

In other words MS brought something new with window 8.x in addition to what was already there in windows 7. But that additional thing would only makes sense when you have a touch screen and you use a tablet for the best experience. Since previous windows 7 and xp users lack this kind of configuration. There was no point in  upgrading. I am not sure how difficult is to understand this. This is not even a valid comparision. 

People wouldn't fuss about the start screen if Windows 8 was free.  But it's not; it costs a good deal of money.

I don't know why I should have to explain this to people, but in order for me or anyone else to be properly motivated to pay to move to a new OS, there has to some significant advantage to the new OS over the old one.  From the standpoint of hardcore desktop users, Win8 is just Windows 7 plus a couple of headaches. Why should I shell out my hard-earned money for that?

MS needs to understand something:  The desktop model is extremely close to optimum for productivity purposes.  (Metro is NOT!) Any change to that is just going to piss off desktop users.

And people will happily upgrade to a new version of Windows when there is an improvement of some meaningful kind over Windows 7.  Until then I'll they'll just keep their money.

This is exactly why I said that this comparison is no good. Traditional desktop users and laptop users wouldn't need to upgrade to 8.x because it costs money. I have a working windows 7 laptop (no touchscreen) and I didn't upgrade because it doesn't give any major benefit. Rather I bought a tablet which is handy to be around. Infact this is the first time in any windows upgrade that the old hardware configuration (no touchscreen, no detachable keyboards, no stylus support) doesn't really help or makes sense to upgrade when it is a paid upgrade. All I am saying is that just beacuse OS market share is 12.5% that doesn't mean that windows 8 is a failure. Its the other thing which caused people not to upgrade at this moment and rather buy new pcs and tablets.

 

Only time I would upgrade my windows 7 to windows 8.x if I need to do development work for WIndows 8 and windows phone 8. There is no other reason. 

I use 8.1 with 2 monitors and none are touch screen, there is no " need" to have touch screen with a desktop. That argument is bunk. What is valid is touching the corner with a mouse for charms, etc.

Used preview, consumer preview worked well on the hp tx 2500(2000) and my humble, misguided opinion; 'don't get this unless simple request were carried out'! Ah, did not see the reason to pay $40.00 that was going to give me headaces.

If the OS is so fabulous, where is the man who was front and centre of the? Speeks volumes.

Its going to get worse {for a while) since MS announced "free" upgrades to the NEXT version down the road for people on Win 7 or 8.1.

Not sure if it's just me, but I still think Windows 8 as being new and just been released.

A lot of people I hear talking about Windows 8 hate change and don't understand why anything needs to be updated, but those who have new equipment with Windows 8 installed seem to love it once they get use to it.

I think where XP and 7 were so (on average) stable to use and were being sold with PCs at a time where the desktop and laptop markets were booming, it's made it harder for the majority to move away from something that works and has been used for years.

It seems nowadays that the majority just want something to pickup and use on the couch, or easily mobile around the house, and that 'thing' be able to do internet browsing (inc email checking) ... that's the impression I get from talking to people.

I also think Windows 8 doesn't get marketed enough in stores. Most stores I've been in have lots of iPad and Kindle posters and stands. IF there are any Windows 8 devices, they are put in with the PC towers and bulky laptops.