The beloved (by most) Windows XP has had a tough couple of weeks. Microsoft recently reiterated its plans to retire the 11-year-old operating system, just as it amped up is efforts to convince users to dump the old OS.

Users and businesses finally seem to be paying heed to what Redmond is urging.

The old platform has witnessed a steady decline in market share since the start of the year, and users continue to move away from Windows XP to newer and greener (also more secure) versions of Windows.

The latest statistics provided by StatCounter for the first 10 days of the month confirm the fact users are actually willing to make the switch, as Microsoft’s countdown clock for Windows XP support heads into its final year.

Windows XP currently enjoys a market share of 21.62 percent, while Windows 7 reigns supreme at the top of the rankings with 54.76 percent of the market.

Windows 8, meanwhile, still trails behind Mac OS X and Windows Vista with its 4.45 percent hold on the market, but a few more months should put Microsoft’s latest operating system within striking distance of the two platforms that precede it.

And this particularly holds true when you consider the fact that Microsoft’s efforts to popularize Windows 8 may pay off very soon as it prepares to launch Windows 8.1 (codename Blue). The software giant is currently applying finishing touches to this first major overhaul of Windows 8.

But until that hits the store shelves, Microsoft will revel in the fact that Windows XP is finally showing some serious downwards trend — one that it hopefully picks up.

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