Yesterday, Microsoft officially ended support for Windows 8. It was the final nail in the coffin of what was arguably the least successful Windows version of all time. After its highly anticipated release in October 2012, Windows 8 failed to make an impression with users as many found its radically new user interface confusing and counter-intuitive. Microsoft quickly backpedaled and rolled out Windows 8.1 which reversed many of the UI changes just one year after Windows 8’s initial release. Windows 10, released in July 2015, went one step further in returning to a more traditional desktop feel while building on some of the features introduced with Windows 8. It was received much more positively than its predecessor and quickly overtook Windows 8 in terms of market share.
As our chart, based on data from NetMarketShare, illustrates, Windows 8 failed to reach wide adoption during its lifetime. It never managed to pass Windows XP (released in 2001) let alone challenge its predecessor Windows 7 which remains the most widely used desktop operating system in the world.
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