Windows 8, 8.1 about to overtake plunging XP, on Netmarketshare's latest numbers
Use of Windows XP fell dramatically last month, while use of Windows 8.1 grew dramatically, according to Net Applications' numbers published at Netmarketshare.com. Is this a fact, an erroneous blip, or a historical correction? You decide…
Windows XP's market share has tumbled to just 17.2 percent — a fall of 6.7 percentage points — according to Netmarketshare's latest figures, published on Saturday by Net Applications.
At the same time, the combined market share of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 has climbed to 16.8 percent, which is only 0.4 percentage points behind the venerable XP.
Perhaps next month's results will show that XP hasn't really fallen so far so fast, and the October numbers are a statistical blip. It's certainly very unusual to see an operating system's market share fall by 6.7 percentage points. In fact, previously, it took XP almost a year to fall by this amount.
However, it's also possible that last month's figures — which showed XP unexpectedly holding its own (down from 23.89 percent to 23.87 percent) — were wrong. Perhaps XP actually dropped a couple of percentage points last month, and another couple of points this month. This would make sense in the context of users migrating away from XP, now that it's no longer supported.