Windows 8.1 Scoots Past Windows 8′s Market Share

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Windows 8.1 has finally bested its predecessor, with its market share edging higher than Windows 8′s in May, according to NetMarketShare.

In May, Windows 8.1 ended with 6.35% global desktop market share, while Windows 8 managed a slimmer 6.29%. As The Next Web’s Emil Protalinski notes, that’s an aggregate gain of 0.40% for Microsoft’s new Windows 8.x platform.

Here’s a plus, and a minus: While Windows XP’s market share fell over 1% in the month to 25.27%, Windows 7 saw is market share skip past the 50% line. So, it seems that large companies are moving from Windows XP to Windows 7, a shift that Microsoft has encouraged, is material.

That’s good, in a way for Microsoft, as it implies sales of Windows 7 to large clients, but the final, month-ending Windows XP market share is still far, far too high: 25.27%. As TechCrunch has variously explored, lingering Windows XP market share is troubling not only for those left on the ancient operating system, but also for the larger computing community — the more unsafe PCs that are out there, the more malignant forces have to exploit to our larger detriment.

Larger tallies: Windows as a whole picked up 0.19% in the month, to 90.99%, and Apple OS X lost 0.23%, to 7.39%.

Microsoft’s share of the PC market that uses its new Windows 8.x operating system is growing, but not over-quick. Still, with a combined market share of nearly 13%, Microsoft may be able to accelerate use of the Windows Store, and drive more downloads to entice a larger active developer cadre.

(Windows 8.1 came out as a free upgrade to Windows 8 in October of 2013, implying it took around 8 months for it to beat that which came before it at a cost of zero. Also, it implies that Windows 8 users have been loath to opt for a better operating system, against their own interests. The public is confusing.)