April 1, 2014 |
Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) intends to release Windows 9 in April 2015, about one year from now, perhaps to appease the masses that have revolted against Windows 8. For all its failings, Windows 8 is perhaps the most maligned Windows OS in recent history. It has been labeled an unmitigated disaster both from an end-user viewpoint and from Microsoft’s perspective in terms of adoption rates.
But according to a recent NetMarketShare study, Windows 8 has a 6.38% market share, almost double the market share for Apple‘s (NASDAQ: AAPL ) Mac OSX 10.9 with 3.48%, although the latter has only been around for just six months. Windows 7 has the lion’s share of the market with 47.31%.
Windows 8 adoption rate not as bad as feared
There is no denying that Microsoft bet the farm by developing an OS targeted at both touchscreen devices and the traditional desktop. The result? Windows 8 is not perfectly suited for either platform, and desktop users in particular find it needlessly difficult to use.
Microsoft recently released data that showed that it had sold over 200 million Windows 8 licenses. Windows 8 is now about 19 months old since its release in August 2012. By the time Windows 7 had been in the market that long, Microsoft had managed to sell 240 million licenses for the OS. But let’s not forget that PC sales have been steadily declining, with shipments falling a jaw-dropping 10.3% last year. Most Windows OS purchases are tied to new PC purchases.
During the period that Microsoft sold 240 million Windows 7 licenses, 350 PCs were shipped worldwide. That works out to about 68 licenses for every 100 PCs sold. In comparison, 314 million PCs were sold during the period that Microsoft sold 200 million Windows 8 licenses. That works out to 63 licenses for every 100 PCs sold. While that might not be on an equal footing with Windows 7, it’s much better than the 55 licenses per 100 PCs for Windows XP, or 37 PCs for every 100 PCs sold that Windows Vista recorded, in a similar time span.
Exit of Windows XP creates room for Windows 9
Microsoft plans to withdraw support for Windows XP in April this year. A study done by TechProearly this year showed that 37% of Windows XP users plan to continue using the OS even after Microsoft withdraws its support