If there were any questions whether Windows 8 has been Microsoft's worst operating system ever, they should now be laid to rest: Windows 8's uptake is now lagging behind even Windows Vista's dreadful performance. Is all hope gone for the struggling operating system?
Computerworld's Gregg Keizer performed an excellent analysis of Windows 8's uptake compared to Windows Vista's. He notes that in July, according to figures from Net Applications, Windows 8 ran on 13.6% of all Windows-based PCs. At the same point in its life cycle, Windows Vista was running on 14.3% of all Windows-based PCs.
Up until July, Windows 8 had been running slightly ahead of Windows Vista's uptake at the same points in their life cycles. That Windows 8 is now falling behind even Vista's dismal performance is especially bad news, because it means that the longer Windows 8 is on the market, the less people like it. If you have to look up to see Windows Vista, it means you've fallen a long way.
Windows 8 lost user share in July, which led to its falling behind Vista. In June, its user share was almost precisely the same as it had been in May. It's not inconceivable that it could keep falling in the coming months.
What does this mean for Microsoft? It's time to essentially pull the plug on Windows 8. I don't mean abandoning it or giving up support for it. I mean not bothering to spend marketing dollars on it beyond the necessary basics, and not spending development time on it than required bug fixes and security patches. It's clear that Windows 8 is an ongoing bust and can't be saved. It's time for Microsoft to focus on Windows 9.