With the first half of 2013 now over, Windows 8 continues to grow its share steadily but slowly, while Windows XP and Vista decline. In fact, Windows 8 has now passed the 5 percent mark, as well as surpassed the market share of its predecessor’s predecessor, Windows Vista.

The latest market share data from Net Applications shows that June 2013 was an impressive one for Windows 8, which gained 0.83 percentage points (from 4.27 percent to 5.10 percent) while Windows 7 fell 0.48 percentage points (from 44.85 percent to 44.37 percent).

windows market share june 2013 730x501 Windows 8 now up to 5.10% market share as it finally passes Windows Vista

Windows 8 hasn’t been growing as quickly as some would have hoped, but June was its biggest gain yet this year. It grabbed 0.66 percentage points in December, followed by five months in 2013 of smaller gains.

This month’s big jump might be because of Windows 8.1, the next version of Microsoft’s operating system, which will be a free update for Windows 8 users available via the Window Store. Many were likely interested in giving the free preview Microsoft gave away at its Build 2013 conference last week, so they chose to finally get Windows 8. Our thoughts on the new version are here.

In January, Windows 7 lost market share for the first time since its release, just a month after passing the 45 percent mark. It’s hovering just below that mark now, and we continue to believe it will never reach it again.

Windows Vista meanwhile managed to gain 0.11 percentage points (from 4.51 percent to 4.61 percent), after finally falling below the 5 percent mark in March. Clearly this wasn’t enough to stop Windows 8 from passing it. Windows XP lost the most, 0.57 percentage points (from 37.74 percent to 37.17 percent).

At the end of 2012, Windows as a whole managed to increase its market share after six months of losses, mainly thanks to Windows 7 and Windows 8. In 2013, however, Windows has lost share every month except for March.

Between May and June, Windows lost 0.16 percentage points (from 91.67 percent to 91.51 percent). This loss was OS X’s and Linux’s gain, which grabbed 0.13 percentage points (to 7.20 percent) and 0.02 percentage points (to 1.28 percent), respectively.

Net Applications uses data captured from 160 million unique visitors each month by monitoring some 40,000 websites for its clients. StatCounter is another popular service for watching market share moves; the company looks at 15 billion page views. To us, it makes more sense to keep track of users than of page views, but if you prefer the latter, the corresponding data is available here (Windows 8 is at 5.92 percent, but again, that’s from a different market share pie).

See also – As Windows Phone 8 fulfilled the Windows Phone promise, so will Blue complete Windows 8

Top Image Credit: Robert Linder