Every now and then, it’s a good idea to run a reality check against Microsoft’s relentless drive to bring all parties into the Windows 8 fold ASAP. Netmarketshare’s latest “Desktop Share by Version” does a pretty good job of showing where the market is today, versus where Microsoft would like us to be. Take a look at this pie chart, so I can user it put some slices of that pie into context, especially where business use is concerned:
On the one side, we have Windows 7; on the other side, we have everything else, with Windows XP matching the remaining quarter-pie.
Source: www.netmarketshare.com (Operating Systems/Desktop Share by Version 6/4/2014)
What this tells me is that Windows 7 has finally reached maturity and now represents the primary desktop OS for business (and most other) uses. Given that we’re almost two months past the “end of life” for XP, it’s interesting that just over one quarter of the installed base is still running that venerable old operating system. One wonders what percentage of such users are business-based (I’m guessing it’s at least half, perhaps more) and how quickly that slice of the pie will deflate. Given that XP’s share has dropped by 50% in about 18 months, it seems reasonable to speculate that it will drop by 50% again by the end of 2014.
Will Windows 8 versions pick up that slack, or will Windows 7 slide inexorably into the other half of the pie as XP shuffles off the stage? That’s the really interesting question, indeed, and one I’m sure that keeps some people at Microsoft up at night. Let’s keep watching, and see what happens.