When I think of Microsoft, I think of the unholy trinity of Windows XP, 7, and 8. Windows XP has been holding on for years but recently, Windows 7 edged out XP. According to data from Net Application, as of September 2013, XP is still commanding a 31% slice of the OS market; however, Windows 7 has usurped the throne and is dominating the pie at a rousing 46%.
But what about Windows 8?
Microsoft’s ambitious new operating system was received with much trepidation and perhaps people objected to Microsoft’s sacrilegious decision to scrap the start button. The community was in an uproar. People vilified Microsoft for alienating users with the clunky interface and they scowled at Balmer for turning their non-touch laptops into touchscreen wannabe’s.
But despite the public’s querulous reception of this maverick OS, on November 27, 2012, just a month after launch, Brandon LeBlanc announced that Microsoft already sold 40 million licenses.
Then in May, Microsoft boasted about selling 100 million licenses just six months after launch.
People were scooping up Windows 8 faster than summer kids at an ice cream stand and things didn’t look like they would slow down anytime soon.
Windows 8 Market Share
Now let’s fast forward to today.
Right now, Windows 8 can confidently claim 8.02% of the market for all operating systems. And it’s climbing.
Part of the reason Windows 8 and 7 have been ascendant is because Windows Vista and XP are moribund and are therefore continuing to lose acceptance.
And this is a good thing.
Windows Vista was beset with a myriad of problems from the outset.
For one, it took way too long to develop. Microsoft dillydallied for 6 years only to give the world an operating system with constricted licensing and gratuitous frustration with the stupid new User Account Control technology.
Another problem was the exorbitant cost Microsoft slapped on the retail box copies. You may remember this, but Vista Ultimate was priced at the stratospheric price of $399.99.
I mean, let’s face it, Vonnie Hudson is no economist or business executive, but pricing a new operating system higher than any other OS on the market doesn’t sound like a prudent strategy.
This wasn’t the most propitious time to stick the community with high prices. XP was already enjoying widespread acceptance because it was relatively easy to use and stable (with Service Pack 2) but Vista came on the block and said, “Look at me, I cost more than XP and have more restrictive licensing but I’m going to be the future so use me!”
I’m so happy that Vista and XP are finally dyeing out and people have been using Windows 7 and are beginning to embrace Windows 8.
Yes, yes, Windows 8 has it’s own problems but Microsoft has consciously addressed the most egregious issues (like having no Start button) with the Windows 8.1 update which is perched to fly in just a few days. Soon, you’ll be able to upgrade to Windows 8.1 and enjoy the new features that the world has demanded from Microsoft.
Windows 8 is far from perfect and is full of blemishes; however, I really think Microsoft is in a good position to redeem a few cynics with the 8.1 update. Windows 8 may still be number 3 on the market share pie but don’t expect that fact to stay static – Microsoft is poised to take off.
Hearing my analysis might seem like a contradiction because back in July I castigated Microsoft, but after playing with Windows 8.1 for four months, I’m starting to think Microsoft is about to “get its groove back“.
Do you agree or disagree? Is Microsoft in a position to reclaim it’s bruised image with Windows 8.1? Let me know in the comments.