Windows 8.1 finally beats out XP … barely

It’s a tale of two OSs: One that almost no one likes, and another that just refuses to die. And now it’s reached a strange new chapter. 

According to the latest figures, Windows 8.1 has finally beat Windows XP in marktet share one year after its release (and eight months after end of support for XP).

The victory wasn’t exactly resounding: 10.95% to 10.69%. Both trailed the most popular OS, Windows 7, by a mile (it registered a 50.43% market share).

Businesses aren’t driving growth

You might be thinking that this upward trend doesn’t make much sense given the fact that businesses have largely avoided the Windows 8 system, opting instead to wait for the upcoming Windows 10.

The real growth, however, seems to be coming from consumer purchases. Windows 7 is no longer available on most computers up for sale, so new PCs come with Windows 8.1 mostly be default. (And Black Friday computer purchases will likely make the bump even more noticeable.)

While usability varies between the versions, ultimately security will matter most to IT. And in that way, all the operating systems are essentially tied (except for the no-longer-updated Windows XP).

Ready to switch?

The next big milestone for Windows will be the launch of Windows 10 mid-2015. Most people are looking forward to it as a major step forward for the OS,  but with the operating system still in its development, there’s no guarantee an immediate switch will be wise.

For one thing, most new launches come with a serious adjustment period when the kinks need to be worked out. Also, if the OS turns out to be a flub like its predecessors, companies will be in the tough spot of deciding which OS to move forward with – the unpopular Windows 8, or the set-to-expire Windows 7.

We’ll keep you posted as reviews and news pour in.