Microsoft has invested hundreds of millions of dollars into advertising Windows 7 and Windows 8. In spite of that fact, Windows XP has held double digit percentage market shares for over a decade.
Windows XP was a masterpiece for its time but is showing its age today. That’s why market share has been steadily decreasing over the past few years. Of course, Windows XP support will also be discontinued after April 2014, at which point the OS will become virtually unusable due to malware.
In spite of all that, Windows XP market share actually increased in January 2014. Yes, it’s hard to believe, but for some mysterious reason, Windows XP actually gained ground this past month.
Sure, the boost wasn’t that much – just 0.25% compared to the previous month. But that’s significant for an operating system over ten years old.
This market share boost was reported by Net Applications but refuted by some other market usage counters, including StatCounter.
Why Windows XP market share increased
In April of 2014, Microsoft is yanking support for Windows XP forever. It’s going to be a great day for hackers and malware makers and a really bad day for anyone who still uses Windows XP.
For that reason, companies may be trying to prevent data leaks by plugging their Windows XP machines back online temporarily.
Since Net Applications looks at internet browser data to get its market share, some Windows XP machines that were previously offline may have been connected back online to install some final updates or just to move data within an internal network.
Whatever the reason might be, Microsoft can’t wait for Windows XP’s market share to drop beneath 10% – and preferably 0%.