While Windows 7 only just passed the popular classic Windows XP in terms of market share three months ago, new data corroborates Microsoft’s statement that Windows 8 is shipping at a much higher pace than its previous versions.
Data from Net Applications shows what a success the month of November was for the new OS. While Windows 7 gained a mere 0.02%, (bringing it to 44.71%), Windows 8’s share increased a hefty 0.68%, bringing it to a total of 1.09% market share in the short time since its release.
Windows Vista and XP, on the other hand, fell 0.10% and 0.84% respectively, marking an end of an era for the dated systems.
This doesn’t tell the full story of the OS wars, however, as it’s important to note that Windows as a whole lost 0.22% market share (dropping to 91.45%) between the months of October and November, giving up part of its reign to OS X and Linux, who now enjoy 7.30% and 1.25% shares respectively.
While Windows 8’s adoption rate isn’t particularly surprising, it is somewhat a relief for Microsoft that people are finally abandoning the XP ship, which stubborn users have clung onto for years.
The attachment to Windows XP of less than savvy computer users was to the chagrin of many a web designer, who was forced to accept the hard cold truth that many of these users still used XP’s default internet browser – the dreaded IE6.
For the past two years, Microsoft have ran a more or less successful strategy to get people off the web-standards-ignoring, security-hole-ridden browser and onto something more modern, with an ultimate objective of “less than 1% IE6 market share worldwide”. The score currently hangs at 6%, which is a hefty 5.3% less than it was last year, but as Microsoft’s market share map shows that the main culprits are in China, Japan and Korea.
The reasons behind Asia’s obsession to the browser differ with each country. It is well known that China has vast hordes of Windows XP pirate copies, and these come without any Service Packs, which is why users end up using the terribly outdated Internet Explorer 6.
Korea’s problem lies in banking websites, which force users to install Active X plugins and refuse to work on other browsers such as Chrome or Firefox (this is reportedly thanks to a deal Microsoft made with the Korean government several years ago).
Japan’s Internet also has a similar reliance on Internet Explorer, and while their websites are not as “broken” to the same extent of Korea’s, the larger population of Japan ensures them double the IE6 market share of Korea by default.
Thankfully though, most of the western world has dropped into “green” status, meaning that web developers can rest easy with the knowledge they no longer have to create multiple CSS files and design configurations to support the IE6 dinosaur. Unless they want to target Asian clients — then they’re boned.