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PEAK WINDOWS 7 may well be behind us

Love for Windows XP still coming in spurts

Windows 7's market share appears to have peaked, according to two sources we use to assess what's running on the world's desktop computers.

Those sources are Netmarketshare and, two outfits that make their assessments of operating system prevalence based on traffic hitting web servers. That's an imperfect methodology for a variety of reasons, but we're yet to find better publicly available data. So on with the show.

Here's Stacounter's look at Windows market share from October 2013 to January 2015.

Windows market share Jan 15

Statcounter's Windows market share data October 2013-Jan 2015

And here's Netmarketshare's.

Netmarketshare Windows market share data Jan 15

Netmarketshare's Windows market share data October 2013-Jan 2015

Netmarketshare's November 2014, December 2014 and January 2015 Windows 7 share was 56.41 per cent, 56.26 per cent – an all-time high – and 55.92 per cent. Statcounter gives it 55.75 per cent last November – its all-time peak – and then 54.4 per cent in December and a small kick to 54.67 per cent in January.

What's taking share from Windows 7? It's hard to say. Statcounter has the last three months of Windows 8.1 on 12.12 per cent, 13.03 per cent and 14.27 per cent. Netmarketshare has it on 12.1 per cent, 9.49 per cent and 10.04 per cent, so there's no consensus on Windows 8.1 surging.

Netmarketshare also has Windows XP at 13.57 per cent, then 18.26 percent before a rise to 18.93 per cent, a step up for which your correspondent can't make a convincing argument.

We're happier hypothesising that the enterprise buyers likely keeping Windows 7 afloat have every reason to put their cheque books away because Windows 10 looks the natural heir to the business desktop, which could explain the dip. Just why XP and Windows 8.1 are behaving as they do is anyone's guess. Ours is methodological issues for Netmarketshare and Statcounter. ®

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