When it comes to market share statistics, the start of a new month is rarely a cause for surprises, but we have some rather interesting numbers to report on the Windows front.

First up is the confirmation that Windows 8.1 managed to overtake Windows Vista in January 2014, according to the numbers posted by research firm Net Applications. The modern operating system currently has a market share of 3.95 percent, versus the 3.30 percent of the older flavor.

This is good enough to make Windows 8.1 the fourth most popular OS in the world — behind Windows 7, XP, and 8, though the last one in this list is expected to lose more users in the coming months.

It is taking a while, but the user base is steadily switching to the free Windows 8.1 upgrade.

Rather interestingly, they are also switching to Windows XP.

The operating system that is on track to be officially retired in just over a couple of months has actually managed to increase its market share last month. Surprising? You bet.

Figures provided by Net Applications show that Windows XP increased its market share from 28.98 percent in December to respectable highs of 29.23 percent in January. All this despite Microsoft’s best efforts to convince users that running an unsupported operating system comes with high risks.

Hard to accurately gauge what actually happened here.

But it is quite possible that some of the user base took Microsoft’s modern operating platforms for a spin, but then decided to return to Windows XP due to one reason or another.

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