December Saw Big Gains for Microsoft, Windows 8

According to the latest data from technology tracker Net Market Share, Windows 8 gained 0.66 percentage points last month. This increase, which helped boost the platform’s total share past the 1.77 percent mark, earned Windows 8 the status of fastest growing operating system in the month of December.

Windows 7 retains a solid position with a market share 45.11 percent, up 0.40 percentage points from November 2012.  This is a notable milestone, even more so in light of the 0.74 percent decline for Windows XP computers, which still sits at a comfortable 39.08 percent of total market share.

Finally, Vista dropped 0.0.3 percent 5.67 points. Overall Windows gained 0.29 percentage points, marking the first time in months users bought more licenses of the newer editions than the number of older ones they disposed.

Microsoft’s jump to 91.74 percent came at the expense of OS X, which lost a fifth of a percentage point in market share, and Linux. The open-source platform has seen only marginal declines in December, but it was enough to bring it down below the 0.06 mark.

Nearly one percent of Windows 8 users are using IE10 as their primary browser, which is good news, all things considered. Earlier this week we reported on a security vulnerability in versions 6 to 8 of Internet Explorer – Microsoft has managed to whip up a temporary fix on very short notice, but a full-fledged security update is not yet available.

Apparently, hackers came across a zero day exploit that allowed them to hijack PCs running Windows 7 and Vista. The malware that tapped into this loophole was harbored on the Council on Foreign Relations website, seemingly in an attempt to target specific users who visit the site on a regular basis.