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Windows 8 remains behind Vista in desktop OS market

Windows 8

Windows 8 has achieved a 3.17 percent share of desktop operating systems, putting it behind Windows Vista, Microsoft's most disliked OS — until now perhaps.

The global figures, from Net Applications, show that Vista is on 4.99 percent of desktop operating systems. Venerable — but tired — Windows XP has a 38.73 percent share. Windows 7 is the most popular Microsoft flavor, with 44.73 percent.

Windows 8 was released in October 2012.

Windows 7, which was released in October 2009, captured a much higher percentage in the same five-month time frame after release, 10.45 percent of the global desktop usage market share by March 2010, Vincent Vizzaccaro of Net Applications, told NBC News.

Some people may be resisting Windows 8 because it represents such a dramatic departure from the old Windows way of doing things.

Desktop operating system market share as of March 2013.Net Applications

Michael Cherry of Directions on Microsoft, a firm that does independent analysis of Microsoft technologies and strategies, told Technologies & Strategies, told NBC News that OS success isn't about the OS anymore; it's about the applications that users want. And while there are now 50,000 apps in the Windows Store, he said, there aren't many that consumers so far are finding to be must-haves.

"The reason for an OS is to run applications, and so when there are great applications for a platform, it sells," said Cherry.

"It's sort of a cart before the horse problem. You can't have applications before you have the OS, but an OS can't be a success until you have the applications."

Windows XP, he said, remains as popular as it does because so many home and business users find it's what they need to "get their job done," and that's what maters to them. "They'll stay on XP until the applications that make their life easier are available on Windows 7 or 8," he said.

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