Linux is the most popular open source operating system in the world. But having said that, Linux remains a fringe operating system compared to major players like Windows and Mac OS X. But there’s nothing wrong with third place.

Well, there is some good news for Linux fans: it managed to fight off Microsoft’s latest operating system for the last five months. That’s right: teams of open-source programmers around the world made an operating system that was more popular than the world’s largest software company – at least for a few months.

It took Windows 8 five months to surpass Linux’s market share. Microsoft only achieved that milestone in March 2013, when it finally captured 3.1% of the PC market. It’s averaged about 0.5% growth over the past few months, which is not good.

In comparison, Windows 7 had captured 10.5% of the market just five months after release. Vista – despite its unpopularity – also had a faster adoption rate. In fact, Vista today has a higher market share than Windows 8 (5%).

The future looks everything but bright

With manufacturers lowering prices on Windows 8 tablets and computers in order to shift unwanted stock, it’s not looking good for Microsoft’s newest operating system. In fact, it’s looking really, really bad.

If you’re a Microsoft fan, then you better hope Windows Blue is good. Otherwise, Microsoft’s future as the king of operating systems could be in serious jeopardy. And unfortunately, the features we’ve seen in Windows Blue (aka Windows 8.1) thus far are pretty lame.

As Extreme Tech succinctly explained:

“The exact feature set of Windows 8.1, what we’ve seen so far – a better Metro control panel, more app snapping options – aren’t exactly killer features. Or, rather, maybe they are – in the sense that they’ll kill Windows.”

Ouch. It will be interesting to see where Microsoft stands a year from now.

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