Microsoft must be smiling at the revival of Windows XP's downturn: The company has been aggressive in its efforts to convince customers to ditch Windows XP before it's retired from security support on April 8, 2014. For the most part, those messages have been received, even if Microsoft would prefer a faster rate of desertion: In the last 12 months, XP's user share has dropped 10 percentage points, representing a 26 percent decline.
Using XP's average changes over the last 12 months, Computerworld now forecasts that Windows XP will power between 25 percent and 26 percent of all personal computers at the end of April.
Net Applications measures operating system user share by tracking unique visitors to approximately 40,000 sites that rely on its analytics software.
The California company's figures are usually at odds with what rival StatCounter generates because the two measure usage differently. While Net Applications tracks user share -- how many unique users run a specific operating system -- StatCounter tallies usage share via page views to show how active users of each OS are on the Internet.
StatCounter's Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 usage share for desktops and tablets totaled 9.7 percent, or nearly two percentage points lower than Net Applications' number. The Irish metrics firm also pegged Windows XP at just 18.5 percent.
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 email@example.com.
Read more about operating systems in Computerworld's Operating Systems Topic Center.