Free upgrades pay off for Apple and Microsoft in November

Latest worldwide usage figures for PC/Mac operating systems and browsers show little change in November, a traditionally slow month. But a close look at the numbers shows that the free Windows 8.1 and OS X Mavericks upgrades were a hit.

In tech terms, October and November are the doldrums, that quiet period after students return to school and before the holiday shopping frenzy begins. So it’s not surprising that the latest NetMarketShare numbers on worldwide operating-system usage barely changed in November. Windows usage overall is essentially unchanged, with Windows 8.x and Windows 7 up slightly at the expense of the fading Vista and XP. Collectively, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 accounted for 9.3 percent of web usage in November, with XP still hovering above the 30 percent mark as the clock ticks closer to its end-of-support date. (See the chart at the end of this post.)

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