Windows 8.1, the upgraded version of Microsoft’s much-maligned latest iteration of its operating system, has finally gained traction among users after a year since its release. Computers running Windows 8.1 increased to 10.9 percent of overall market share last month, an increase over September and August’s 7.1 percent and 6.7 percent, industry analysts reported. The increase in market share was suggestive of some momentum finally being built for Microsoft’s goal to see all its users to upgrade to the new version number an endeavor that’s been an uphill battle after the release of Windows 8 was seen as a step backwards in many respects. Windows 8 was almost universally panned after Microsoft attempted to move from its standard desktop layout to the Metro standard, which consisted of a series of tiles much more reminiscent of mobile platforms. The Metro interface might have been easy to use with touch screens and is the default interface for Windows Mobile devices such as phones and tablets but desktop users balked at the changes.
Customers, however, have been more keen to hang on to their existing version of Windows. Windows 7had the largest share with 53.1 percent, followed by Windows XP at 17.2 percent. The share of XP users is falling consistently after Microsoft cut off support for that version of Windows in April. (The share of XP users was at 23.9 percent in September.) There may be users who are hanging on and waiting to see how the next version of Windows will run. Microsoft unveiled Windows 10 last month. The update moves away from the tiled "Metro" interface, replaced by live tiles and a more classic Windows experience, addressing a primary complaint with Windows 8.