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The fortunes of two uniquely varying Microsoft operating systems swung wildly in October. Windows 8.1 adoption skyrocketed this past month, while Windows XP experienced its biggest drop this year.

Both factors bring with them no surprises, whatsoever.

Making users move away from Windows XP to Windows 8.1 has been the primary concern for the Redmond based technology titan since the start of the year, and it appears that the efforts are finally paying off.

Statistics provided by Net Application for the month of October show that Windows XP have started jumping ship. It is now installed on 17.18% of desktop computer, which means it is significantly down from the 23.87% the month before.

This clearly marks the biggest ever drop for the 13-year-old OS.

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Windows 8.1 appears to be the biggest beneficiary, and around 10.92% of computers are now running Microsoft’s newest operating system. This, too, is up 6.67% from the month before.

Combine this with the 5.88% share of Windows 8, and the total market share of Microsoft’s modern operating platform comes in at a solid 16.8% — good enough for the title of the third most used desktop operating system in the word.

Behind Windows 7 and Windows XP, of course.

Sure Microsoft still needs a lot of time to completely get rid of Windows XP, but the company has made steady progress these past few months, and the big winner ultimately being Windows 8.1.

Very good signs, overall.

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