Windows 8.1 Scoots Past Windows 8’s Market Share

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.)