For Steve Ballmer, the good news is that people are using Windows 8. Both StatCounter and NetMarketShare show Windows 8 has cracked the entry-level 1 percent of the desktop market barrier in its first full month of availability. Unfortunately for Microsoft, a close reading of its adoption numbers shows bad news as well.
First, here are the numbers. Windows 8 has popped up from from 0.41 percent to 1.09 percent, a gain of 0.68 percent. That’s not too surprising since, as anyone who went shopping on Black Friday knows, it was almost impossible to find PCs without Windows 8. However, Windows 7 hit a mark of 1.46 percent in its first full month out.
Thus, some of Windows 8’s gains came at Windows 7’s expense. Windows 7 barely moved up with a gain of 0.02 percent to reach 44.71 percent. Windows Vista–remember Vista?–continues to be the Windows that dare not speak its name with a loss of 0.10 percent to 5.70 percent, and XP dropped a quite large 0.84 percent to 39.82 percent. If you can do basic math, you can see the bad news for Microsoft here. Overall, Windows dropped 0.22 percent.
It’s a tiny decline, but with as much energy as Microsoft has been putting into marketing Windows 8, it still has to be disappointing. For PC vendors, who were already worried by desktop sales declines, it’s even worse news.