Windows 8.1 overtakes 8 worldwide

Source: StatCounter Global Stats – OS Market Share

But XP refuses to die and remains number two globally despite end of support in April

Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 operating system has overtaken its older sibling Windows 8 for the first time in terms of internet usage worldwide, according to StatCounter, the independent website analytics company.*

The company’s research arm, StatCounter Global Stats also finds that despite Microsoft’s ending of support in April this year, Windows XP refuses to die and remains the world’s second most popular operating system version. However, for the first time globally, the combined total of Windows 8 and 8.1 (14%) overtook XP (12.9%) in August.

StatCounter finds that Windows 8.1 worldwide has grown steadily to 7.5% in August ahead of Windows 8 (6.6%). The newer operating system overtook its sibling in the UK in April and in the US in May. The data covers desktop, tablet and console.

“Following a mixed reaction to Windows 8, perhaps because of its radical new look, Windows 8.1 appears to be winning over users,” commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter.

However, he added that the stubborn refusal of Windows XP to retire almost five months after the ending of non-paid support is a concern in terms of security and virus risks for remaining users.

Globally XP is on 12.9%, behind Windows 7 on 50.3%. In the US, XP internet usage share has declined below double figures to 8.9%. Europe’s XP share is 10.6% with UK down to 5.2%. Individual country stats are available at:

Independent web analytics specialist StatCounter ( tracks millions of websites for companies, agencies, bloggers, self-employed, charities and anyone who wants to measure activity on their website, blog or forum. Key features include ease of use, independence and ability to view individual visitors in real time.

StatCounter recently announced a new feature in response to Google’s controversial removal of keyword data. By integrating Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) data into its reports, StatCounter has given its members the ability to analyze all available keyword data.

This means that members don’t have to separately access GWT, download the data, merge with other keyword reports and analyze the combined information. Instead, StatCounter members can access all available keyword intelligence and slice and dice this all within their StatCounter account. StatCounter Global Stats data is based on over 15 billion page views per month to over three million websites.

StatCounter Global Stats data is based on over 15 billion page views per month to over three million websites.

*Microsoft assigned a new and distinct user agent to Windows 8.1 compared to Windows 8. For this reason, the two operating systems are separately reported on StatCounter Global Stats.

Skype Metro for Windows now lets you edit and delete messages

Microsoft has updated their Skype app for the Windows Metro edition. Users can now edit their messages and even delete them. The company said:

Select “edit message” to revise your message or “remove message” to remove the message completely. You can remove multiple lines in sequence.
We also have made improvements to make video message notifications more reliable and to make video messages more accessible.

More: Skype for modern Windows 3.1: now you can edit messages – – Skype Blogs

The update is available through the Windows Store.

Microsoft Windows 8.1 with Bing confirmed

Microsoft today confirmed a low cost edition of their Windows 8 operating system aimed at cheaper computing devices. They have named it Windows 8.1 with Bing.

The company said:

Windows 8.1 with Bing provides all the same great experiences that Windows 8.1 offers with the Windows 8.1 Update, and comes with Bing as the default search engine within Internet Explorer. And of course customers will be able to change that setting through the Internet Explorer menu, providing them with control over search engine settings. This new edition will be only be available preloaded on devices from our hardware partners. Some of these devices, in particular tablets, will also come with Office or a one-year subscription to Office 365. The end result is that more people—across consumer and commercial—will have access to an even broader selection of new devices with all the awesomeness that Windows 8.1 provides, and get Office too, all at a really affordable price. Additionally, as reach expands, the opportunity for developers and their apps also increases.

Read more: Helping our hardware partners build lower cost Windows devices

Big Blow for Microsoft: China bans Windows 8 on official machines

Chinese government has banned usage of Windows 8 on official machines. This directive was issued by the Central Government Procurement Center.

Apparently this step was taken after Microsoft killed support for Windows XP machines last month. Chinese government is not amused by this move from the US based software giant.

Windows XP remains incredibly popular in China with more than half of all computers still running on it.

Remains to be seen what China would adopt as the replacement for Windows on their official machines… The country has long been supportive of their own version of Linux.

Read more: China bans use of Microsoft’s Windows 8 on government computers | Reuters

Skype for Windows Modern updated with optimizations for keyboard/mouse users

Microsoft has updated their Skype app for Modern interface on Windows 8.1 with improvements focused on keyboard and mouse users.

The company said:

There’s a tighter feel to the hub – the modern Skype is designed for touch but we know a lot of our users have mouse and keyboard devices. As a result we are tightening the space between your latest recent conversations, which brings forward the contacts list and makes navigation easier. It starts up faster – we made a few changes in the background so that Skype loads more quickly on your Windows 8.1 device. We also made favorites syncing more reliable across devices. Now as you move from one device to another, your favorites list follows you.

Read more: Skype for Modern Windows 2.8: Getting Easier to Use – – Skype Blogs

Microsoft is no longer supporting Windows 8.1 installations

Microsoft released a major update of Windows 8 this month. The update is named Windows 8.1 Update. This has also become the new baseline version for the Windows operating system.

This means that all future updates would need the user to have the Windows 8.1 Update installed on their machines. Anything older is now unsupported.

Looks like Microsoft is playing it safe looking at what they faced with Windows XP. Forcing the users to stay up to date has advantages but this could become a major problem for corporates.

Read more: Microsoft Abandons Windows 8.1: Take Immediate Action Or Be Cut Off Like Windows XP – Forbes

Tapatalk for Windows now support x86 processors!

Tapatalk has just updated their Windows app for desktops and laptops. Until now it only supported Windows RT edition which means that few users could benefit from it.

New features:

– New feature: New User Tour and Onboarding Process
– New feature: Topic/News Feed
– New feature: Images in topic list
– New feature: Push notifications and toast support
– Fixed issues found on previous version

More: Tapatalk app for Windows in the Windows Store

Mozilla Firefox is not getting the Metro edition

Mozilla last week canceled their Metro edition Firefox web browser due to lack of interest.

The developers said that the app was being tested by just around 1000 users globally. In comparison the regular builds of Firefox are tested by millions of users on a daily basis.

Metro edition of Firefox has been under development for quite long now. Releasing it publicly would have meant supporting it for a few years which would have taken a lot of resources for a very small number of users.

Microsoft Windows 8 Metro user interface has few fans globally. The criticism has been so bad that Microsoft continues to revert back changes made in Windows 8 with new updates.

More: Update on Metro | Future Releases
More: metro: Summary

Internet Explorer 11 features an Apple Safari Reader style Reading View functionality

If you have been using Internet Explorer 11 on the desktop mode in Windows 8.1 you probably have no idea about this functionality.

This is because Microsoft made it a Metro mode only option though they might bring it to the desktop edition of IE11 in a future update.

The feature looks handy for reading long webpages on complex websites. Though content owners would not appreciate yet another browser integrating such a functionality that basically strip ads and other UI elements from their websites.

Checkout: Introducing Reading View in IE 11 – IEBlog – Site Home – MSDN Blogs

Windows 8.1 Update 1 likely to be released for general public next month

ZDNet has reported that Microsoft has finalized the Windows 8.1 Update 1 build and it is being delivered to manufacturers for preloading on new machines.

The update is likely to be delivered to users of Windows 8.1 through the Patch Tuesday update next month.

This is the second major update to Windows 8 since its launch 1.5 years ago. Microsoft is expected to release one more such update before the end of the year.

The next edition of Windows is expected to arrive sometime next year so these two updates could be the last in the Windows 8 series.

ZDNet has highlighted some of the expected changes in this build:

Checkout: Microsoft releases Windows 8.1 Update 1 to manufacturing | ZDNet