With 8.1 on the way, Windows 8 adoption slows

Why upgrade to something that will no longer be the latest and greatest in a matter of weeks? That’s the mentality that made adoption of Windows 8 slow last month.

Windows 8 expanded its desktop market share only modestly in September, its last full month before Windows 8.1 hits the market, according to the newest figures from Web tracking firm Net Applications. Microsoft’s newest OS placed third overall, behind first-place Windows 7, which actually gained more users in September than Windows 8 did, and Windows XP.

Windows 7 accounted for nearly half of all desktop users, at 46.43%, up from 45.63% in August. It gained users largely at the expense of second-place Windows XP, which will lose service in April. Microsoft’s stalwart but long-in-tooth OS hung onto 31.41% of the market, down from 33.66% in August, and down substantially from 39.51% in January. Microsoft COO Kevin Turner said in September that 21% of Microsoft’s commercial customers are still using XP, and that the company expects to reduce that number to 13% by April.

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