Usage of Windows 8 is ticking up since its release in late October. Microsoft's latest Windows operating system is now installed on 1.78% of all computers in use, according to Net Applications, which measures OS market share.
The latest numbers show Windows 8 accounting for 1.78% of computers in use. The majority of users appear to be Windows PC owners who upgraded to the new OS, since the breakdown shows 1.72% using "Windows 8" and 0.05% using "Windows 8 Touch," apparently designating a touchscreen-capable PC, which have only been available since Windows 8's release. "Windows 8 RT Touch" representing Windows RT devices including the Microsoft Surface accounts for just 0.01% of computers.
Net Applications measures unique visitors to websites within its network, as opposed to overall usage (which is what some other analytics companies, such as StatCounter, measure). The report also covers a month-long period before the holiday, so any uptick in Windows 8 usage thanks to holiday gifts will be reflected in next month's numbers.
How do those numbers compare to the launch of Windows 7 in 2009? Net Applications doesn't make monthly data available from that timeframe, but it does have aggregated yearly data. For all of 2009, Windows 7 (which was released on Oct. 22 that year) accounts for 1.47% of computers. For all of 2012, Windows 8 (released Oct. 26) accounts for just 0.36% of all computers.
From that comparison, it appears that although many users are upgrading to Windows 8, its adoption trails that of Windows 7 by a wide margin. This jibes with an earlier report from IDC that said sales of Windows PCs in fall 2012 were down 13% from the same period a year ago. In addition, an unconfirmed report said the new OS was falling short of Microsoft's own expectations.Officially, Microsoft has only said it sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses in the first month.