As many people would remember, Microsoft’s latest operating system Windows 8 had a rough start. It is a complete departure from the usual operating system that the tech giant has been known for; a reinvention of the user-friendly desktop landscape that ditched many of Windows much-loved features, such as the start button and easy-to-use-and-locate icons, for a more advanced touchscreen interface.

Due to such changes, long-time Windows users did not easily adopt the new OS, and many were also not impressed with the sudden shift. As a result, Microsoft busted hundreds of millions of dollars into marketing Windows 8. However, the company also claimed that they had strong pre-sales ahead of the new OS’s launch, and earlier this year Microsoft reportedly sold 100 million licences.

windows vista to 8

Slowly but surely

Despite a lacklustre start, though, Windows 8 took things slowly but surely. And it definitely paid off because it is starting to make its mark. A new analyst report shows that Microsoft’s latest OS is gaining traction among end users.

According to the data gathered by NetMarketShare.com, Windows 8 recently secured 5.10 percent share of the PC market, making it the third most-used desktop operating system in the world. It fell behind Windows 7, which took 44.4 percent of the market and Windows XP, which secured 37.17 percent of all desktop computers.

What makes the news even better is that Windows 8 has finally gained an edge over Vista, which only accounted for 4.6 percent of the market. It should be noted that Vista has been regarded as the weak link between XP and Windows 7. Oddly enough, despite the popularity of Apple, its OS X 10.8 came in at the fifth spot with 3.14 percent of the market share, while its OS X 10.6 (1.76 percent) and OS X 10.7 (1.73 percent) secured the sixth and seventh spots, respectively. The remaining 2.11 percent of the market is shared by “other” operating systems.

The good news for Microsoft did not stop on the increasing popularity of Windows 8. The NetMarketShare tracker also indicated that the company’s browser Internet Explorer 10 has outranked its IE 9 predecessor in the market share, taking in 13.5 percent of the market as opposed to the latter’s 11.7 percent.

NetMarketShare managed to collect the data by monitoring unique visitors from more than 40,000 business websites and 2 million personal ones, including blogs and profiles.

Reversing the trend

Apparently, Microsoft is starting the month on a high note based on the figures given above. Somehow, its attempt to reverse the trend in desktop use by moving toward the touchscreen interface is beginning to pay off. With its plans to end the support for XP next year, it is expected that more companies will adopt Microsoft’s newer operating systems. And, hopefully, when the Redmond software giant releases the booted version of its latest operating system (Windows 8.1) to the public, it will help attract more consumers. However, it is still hard to tell whether all these will help improve the PC market, in general, especially now that smartphones and tablets are becoming more and more popular among end users.

Betty Fulton is a seasoned writer who is particularly interested in writing about technology and social media. She is also a regular contributor for PC Doctor, a company specializing in laptop repairs in Edinburgh.