We recently reported that Windows Phone is the world’s fastest growing smartphone operating system with a 275% percent growth rate, but that might not be Microsoft’s only reason to smile. According to NetMarketShare, Windows 8 now owns 9.25% of the desktop market. Breaking that number down even further, we find that 1.72% of all market share belongs to Windows 8.1, while the other 7.53% belongs to the vanilla version, Windows 8.

Windows 7 and Windows XP still hold the top command for Windows operating systems with 46.42% and 31.24% respectively. In total, Windows owns 90.66% percent of the desktop market share and is trailed by a distant Apple with 7.73%.

According to Paul Thurrott of WinSuperSite, Microsoft has set their eyes on a set of goals for this holiday season, during which, the company is looking to sell 16 million Windows devices. They also plan to work on bringing down the barriers that multiple versions of the operating system have created with Windows 8, Windows RT, and now – Windows 8.1.

Desktop Operating System Market Share

Microsoft has its sights set on the future and that future includes a world of hybrid tablets running Windows. That being said, only 20% of PCs that are shipping this holiday season will come with Windows 8.1 – the remaining 80% percent will include the original version of Windows 8. According to reports, Microsoft will be providing retailers with special USB Windows 8.1 Upgrade Kits, so they can upgrade machines on the fly.

While the market share for Windows 8 might be growing, it isn’t enough and Microsoft plans to invest $405 million dollars in funding and marketing for its latest creation. This new number is in contrast to the $241 million dollars spent last year.

Let’s all hope that Microsoft can get the ball rolling a bit faster with Windows 8.1 this holiday season.

What version of Windows are you currently running?

Sources: WinBeta, WinSuperSite