Almost a third of internet users are still running Windows XP, despite the impending cut-off date for Microsoft support for the 12-year-old operating system (OS). Meanwhile, Microsoft's previous generation Windows 7 OS remained the most popular in November 2013, as Windows 8 struggled to scrape less than 10 percent of the market.
According to data gathered by NetMarketShare, 31.22 percent of internet users were running their computers on Windows XP in November, only dropping by 0.02 percent from the previous month. XP has lost around eight percent of its share in the 12 months to November, however, while Windows 7 and 8 have been making gains.
Windows 7 now holds 46.64 percent of the market, up from 44.71 percent in November 2012, and has become the OS of choice for many enterprises thanks to its three years of maturity in the market over 2012's Windows 8.
Microsoft's latest OS has 9.3 percent of the market after a little over a year since its release. This includes 6.66 percent for standard Windows 8 and a 2.42 percent share for the latest Windows 8.1 version, which included a number of improvements to its controversially updated "modern" user interface. There are more users running 2006's Windows Vista (3.57 percent) than Windows 8.1, according to the data.
The Christmas period, during which sales of tablets are expected to be higher than ever, may help the plight of Windows 8 as consumers replace their older laptops with tablets, but the real gains will need to be made in the enterprise space.
The continued popularity of Windows XP among enterprises will cause headaches for Microsoft, which has given users multiple warnings as to the risks of staying with the OS past the April 2014 support cut-off deadline. In October, Microsoft told users XP was six times more vulnerable to attack than Windows 8.
A long lead time for migrating systems will mean many firms will not upgrade before the deadline. Microsoft is unlikely to extend support as it looks to get businesses to buy its new products and also decrease its own costs for supporting out-of-date software.
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