Death of an operating system: Microsoft kills Windows 8 (infographic)

14 Jan 2016

Windows 8 is dead. Microsoft has ended support for Windows 8, an operating system that never surpassed XP or Windows 7.

Microsoft has ended support for Windows 8, an operating system designed for the tablet era that never surpassed 2001’s Windows XP or its predecessor Windows 7, which is, in fact, still the most widely-used operating system today.

Following on the heels of the success of the popular Windows 7 desktop operating system, Windows 8 was an awkward plunge into a new era of tablet computing that had been awoken by the launch of Apple’s iPad in 2010.

After its highly-anticipated release in 2012, Windows 8 failed to make an impression, as users found its new user interface confusing and counter-intuitive.

The loss of the traditional Start button and the addition of a new Metro layout were a little too jarring for loyal Windows users. Microsoft tried to address this with an update called Windows 8.1, which allayed some concerns.

It is no accident that Windows 10, Microsoft’s newest operating system, at times feels like a smooth progression from the glory days of Windows 7 to now – the Start button is back – and at the same time acknowledging touchscreen capabilities of the ultra-portable computers of today. It’s as if Microsoft skipped Windows 9 in order to accelerate into a more modern today. It feels like all is forgiven, Microsoft.

A new infographic by Statista points out that Windows 8 was arguably the least successful Windows version of all time.

As you can see from the chart below, Windows 8 failed to reach wide adoption during its lifetime, never managed to pass Windows XP, which was released in 2001, and never challenged its predecessor Windows 7, which to this day remains the most widely-used operating system in the world.

Infographic: Microsoft Is Pulling the Plug on Windows 8 | Statista

You will find more statistics at Statista

Surface Pro with Windows 8 image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years