As we enter the second half of 2013, Windows 8 continues to steadily but slowly grow its share. Meanwhile, Windows 7′s hold on the market remains strong, and it’s not looking to back down to its successor anytime soon.

The latest market share data from Net Applications shows that July 2013 was a quiet one for Windows 8, which gained 0.30 percentage points (from 5.10 percent to 5.40 percent) while Windows 7 recovered 0.12 percentage points (from 44.37 percent to 44.49 percent).

os net applications july 2013 730x494 Windows 8 now up to 5.40% market share, after seeing its smallest gain since launch

Windows 8 hasn’t been growing as quickly as some would have hoped. Although June was its biggest gain this year at 0.83 percentage points, it looks like July is its smallest since its official release in October.

We attributed June’s big jump to 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, so they chose to finally get Windows 8, but July is back to business as usual: many are simply happy with Windows 7.

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 while it gained last month, we don’t think it will ever reach it again.

Windows Vista meanwhile declined 0.38 percentage points (from 4.61 percent to 4.24 percent), after finally falling below the 5 percent mark in March. Windows XP managed to regain 0.02 percentage points (from 37.17 percent to 37.19 percent).

At the end of 2012, all the versions of Windows managed to increase their overall 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, and now July.

Between June and July, Windows gained 0.05 percentage points (from 91.51 percent to 91.56 percent). This gain was OS X’s and Linux’s loss: down 0.01 percentage points (to 7.19 percent) and 0.03 percentage points (to 1.25 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 6.61 percent, but remember, 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