May’s operating system market share data from Statcounter contains the usual mix of changes: Windows 7 holding steady, Windows Vista and XP slipping, and Windows 8 slowly growing. However, this month, the data set predicts something that has been in the making since October of 2012: the slipping of Windows Vista from third to fourth place among the current Windows crop.

As TNW’s Emil Protalinski reported earlier today, Windows 8 picked up market share in the May, while Windows Vista deflated further:

The latest market share data from Net Applications shows that May 2013 was a decent one for Windows 8, which gained 0.43 percentage points (from 3.84 percent to 4.27 percent) […] Windows Vista meanwhile lost another 0.24 percentage points (from 4.75 percent to 4.51 percent), after finally falling below the 5 percent mark in March.

If Windows Vista merely held steady in June, Windows 8’s growth would allow it to pass its now ancient predecessor. However, assuming that Windows 8 grows as it did in the past month, and Vista declines in the same fashion as well, and we should see the month end with 8 controlling 4.7 percent of the market, and Vista 4.27 percent.

Put another way, around the middle of June, Windows 8 will surpass Windows Vista as the third most popular operating system variant in the world. It’s taken longer than expected, given soft sales of Windows 8 and a slowing PC market, but now around 7 months into its life, the new version of Windows is about to claim its first victim.

I doubt Vista will have many mourners.

Top Image Credit: Dell Inc.