UPDATED 13:48 EDT / APRIL 02 2013

Microsoft Not Satisfied with Windows 8 Growth : Updates to Boost Adoption

According to a recent study by  Net Applications, 3.17 percent of all personal computers run Windows 8. The figure represents a minor increase from the 2.67 percent that the web analytics firm reported in February.

“Market share for Windows 8 in March was not very good,” Scott Lowe, the founder of 1610 Group told us in an interview this morning (full video below).  “The uptake is dwindling, unfortunately. It leveled off at just 19 percent month-over-month, which is not good news for Microsoft…initially we were seeing almost 60 percent uptake month-over-month, and 31 percent in the first couple of months but it really dropped off, especially when you compare it to Windows 7.”

In spite of its seemingly minuscule share of the overall market, Windows 8 ranks as the fourth most popular operating system after Vista, which has a market share of 4.99 percent. Windows XP powers 38.73 percent of all PCs, while Windows 7 is leading the industry with a 44.73 percent stake.

Windows reins over 91 percent of the PC market, but Microsoft is not content with the slow adoption of its newest operating system. This is one of the main reasons behind Windows Blue, an upcoming update to Win8 that’s designed to win consumers’ heart.

In an article from this morning, ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley cites an unnamed company official as saying that Blue will be released under the name Windows 8.1 around August this year. The same source reported that there will be two versions of the update: one for Windows 8 Pro, and one for the tablet-optimized RT edition.

Making Windows 8 more attractive for end user is not the only goal on Microsoft’s priority list. The company is also looking to make IE more attractive for developers.  This morning the company announced a new release of  modern.IE, its  Internet Explorer optimization toolkit. The bundle features breakpoint detection, touch optimization detection, and a revamped code scanner that can be deployed as a local instance using Node.js. This latter option is a boon for corporate IE users because it allows developers to scan sites that are protected by firewall software.


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