Windows 8.1 Doubles Its Market Share In October To 1.72%, Handily Beating Windows 8’s Initial Rollout

Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 grew quickly in the first month of its general availability, outpacing the launch of its predecessor, Windows 8, according to numbers out today from NetMarketShare.

In October, Windows 8.1 doubled its market share to 1.72 percent, up from 0.87 percent in September, which is a precise 97.7 percent in the month-long period. Yesterday, I guessed that the end-of-October figure would be around 1.5 percent. Keep in mind that this is not 1.72 percent of Windows machines, but all desktop-based computers. For comparison, Apple’s OS X controls 7.73 percent of the global PC market.

Is 1.72 percent  a strong figure? In a sense, yes. We can compare the launch of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 loosely, though unfairly, as Windows 8 had to sell a unit to grow its market share, while Windows 8.1 had to only enact downloads.

Windows 8 launched on October 26th, meaning that its October market share tally is representative of people running its various pre-release versions. It ended that month with 0.41percent global market share. By the end of its first full month in the market, November, Windows 8 had accrued 1.09 percent market share. In December, that figure reached 1.72 percent.

Windows 8.1, by comparison, went live on October 17, and by the end of that month had reached 1.72 percent market share. So, Windows 8.1 is growing far more quickly, though its market share path has been smoothed by the sales work that Windows 8 put in.

Of course, Windows 8.1 sold units by itself on new PCs in the second half of October, which should not be discounted. Speaking roughly, Windows 8.1 picked up 0.85 percent market share, while Windows 8 lost 0.49 percent market share in the month. So, it appears that Windows 8.1 sold about half of its market share gain, and raised the other half through upgrades. That’s a slower upgrade rate and a faster sales rate than I expected.

Windows 8’s market share peaked in September at 8.02 percent. It won’t ever reach a higher level than that, but the operating system can rest content that it managed to grow larger than the OS X install base before it was supplanted.

November is the first full month for Windows 8.1 in the general market. I think that if it reaches 3 percent in the month, that will be a decent showing. Four percent would be strong.

Top Image Credit: Flickr