Here’s an interesting graph to ponder, more than 7 months after Windows XP reached “end of life” status on April 8, 2014: StatCounter’s GlobalStats chart for Top Desktop, Tablet and Console OSs shows that Windows 8.1 instances detected online have finally exceeded those for Windows XP as of the end of November, 2014.
The count for Windows 8.1 crosses over that for XP as of 11/30/2014
[click above to see full-size image; Source: StatCounter].
The numbers behind the top 3 lines on the graph — for Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and XP, respectively — are also pretty illuminating. Windows 7 rules the roost with a whopping 50.3%, followed by Windows 8.1 at 10.95% and XP at 10.69%. Given that XP is now more than half a year older than its end-of-life date, does that mean it now qualifies as a “zombie OS?” Just for grins, let me also mention that the original Windows 8 release clocks in at 4.9%, With OS X at 8.11%, iOS at 6.61%, Vista at 2.7%, Android at 2.68%, and Linux at 1.41% (to add all items that register above 1% in the StatCounter data behind the graph).
I’m encouraged by this inflection point for several reasons:
- It provides some indication that users are indeed starting to move up from XP to other Windows OSes.
- It shows that Windows 8.* is finally starting to get some traction.
- I also believe it shows hope for Windows 10 which has done quite a bit to address the various causes of upset that Windows 8 introduced, and Windows 8.1 has mitigated in part.
It should thus be very interesting to observe how the Windows 10 release fares next year, and what kind of slope its uptake curve exhibits. My best guess is that it will be more like that for Windows XP and 7 rather than that for Vista and 8, given not just the “every other release” effect that seemingly pertains to Windows but also the extreme effort that MS is putting into the next release to try and save its bacon.