It has taken more time than expected but Windows 8 has finally managed to surge ahead of Linux in the PC market. This was made possible by the 0.5% growth during March. In February, Windows 8 gained 0.4% of the market share to consolidate its position. The 20% improvement made in the following month pushed the latest version of Microsoft’s operating system past Linux. However, this does not mean that Windows 8 is here to stay or has become a raging success.
The fact that it has taken five months to get ahead of Linux speaks volumes about the struggle it has had to face to carve its niche in the PC market. At present, Windows 8’s market share stands at just over 3%. This is considerably more than the market share enjoyed by Linux but lagging far behind the level at which Windows 7 was after five months of availability. The previous version of the OS had managed to capture a 10.5% market share in the same time period which further emphasizes Windows 8’s struggles.
What is more surprising is that Windows 8 hasn’t even managed to outperform Vista. Windows Vista was criticized upon release and it took a lot of time for people to warm up to it. However, despite the initial setbacks, it managed to capture a greater market share than Windows 8 has at the moment. In fact, Vista still retains that position, controlling 5% of the PC market compared to the 3.1% stake of Windows 8.
While Microsoft can absorb the poor performance based on its successes in the past, it is the suppliers that are bearing the brunt. Like Microsoft, they too had invested heavily in Windows 8 devices, assuming they would be selling like hot cakes in no time. Given the promotional drive made by Microsoft leading up to the Windows 8 launch, the operating system should have fared much better. But now, the suppliers have to resort to lowering prices in a bid to sell the Windows 8 devices in stock.
The issue remains that Windows 8 hasn’t captured the attention of the public. Though many people are interested in it, they don’t want to let go off the OSs they are currently using. It seems almost unreal that a new version of Microsoft’s OS is growing by less than 1% even though it’s been less than six months since it came out. At the current pace it has maintained, Windows 8 cannot capture more than 7 or 8% of the market by the end of 2013.
So, even if Microsoft does consider Windows 8 surging ahead of Linux in the desktop market share to be good news, it does nothing to revive the fortunes of their new OS. Perhaps the much touted Windows 8.1, formerly called Windows Blue, can go some way towards getting more people to use Windows 8. However, there still isn’t any official word on when the update is going to be released. For now, the situation seems to be getting worse for Windows 8.