The comparisons using download and Web usage data bear out Windows 8's poor performance relative to Windows 7, even when 2011's larger pool of online computers is taken into account. (The personal computer installed base grows at a rate of about 12 percent per year.)
But it's also a fact that a preview does not a beta make. The first is rough-edged and likely used only for short stretches, then put aside; the latter is feature-complete and run by more people as their primary OS. Comparisons between the two will always skew toward the beta.
Chitika hinted as much. "It is too soon to tell whether the developments in Windows 8 will either limit its success, or further its grip on the OS market," the company said. "Only time will tell."
Microsoft intends to ship a public beta of Windows 8 in late February 2012, but has not yet set a specific date.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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