Internet usage of Windows 8 is running behind the rate of Internet usage of Windows 7 one month after Windows 8's availability, according to an independent Web analytics company.
StatCounter monitors Web usage across a network of more than 3 million websites with more than 15 billion page views per month. The company uses that collected information to determine the kinds of technology Web surfers are using, such as browsers and PC operating systems.
The finding by StatCounter could mean that many Windows 8 license sales have been to PC manufacturers, rather than upgrades to owners of older releases of Windows. Last week Microsoft said it had sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses in the one month since the product's launch Oct. 26 -- a number that observers judged respectable but not blockbuster.
"Microsoft has reported license sales of 40 million for Windows 8, however this has not yet translated into significant usage figures," said StatCounter CEO Aodhan Cullen in a statement. "This may be due to sales to manufacturers rather than to end users, so Windows 8 may well get a boost over the December holiday buying season."
One month after its launch Windows 8 accounted for 1.3 percent of worldwide Internet usage and 1.8 percent of Internet usage in the U.S., StatCounter said. That's less than the 4.9 percent of worldwide usage Windows 7 captured one month after its launch and 5.2 percent of Internet usage in the U.S.
Globally, Windows 7 had 52.4 percent usage on Nov. 26, with users of Windows XP accounting for 26.5 percent, according to StatCounter. In the U.S. those numbers were 49.5 percent and 16.1 percent, respectively, for Windows 7 and Windows XP. In the U.S. Mac OS accounted for 15.5 percent of U.S. Internet users that day.
Windows 7, which launched in July 2009, was widely seen as having more potential for upgrade sales given that Windows XP was eight years old and Windows Vista was a bust. Given that many users have upgraded to Windows 7 in recent years, a large percentage of Windows 8 license sales in the immediate future are likely to be through PC manufacturers rather than direct upgrades.
But Windows 8 may not be providing the boost to PC sales that some had hoped for. Last week market researcher NPD Group said PC sales in the four weeks since Windows 8 launched were 21 percent lower than the same period one year before. Notebook sales specifically were off 24 percent while sales of desktop PCs were down 9 percent.
PUBLISHED DEC. 3, 2012