While Apple (AAPL) names its computer operating systems after cats, Microsoft 's (MSFT) latest, Windows 8, is looking like a dog.
The percentage of PCs in use worldwide running Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system inched up to 2.7% in February, from 2.3% in January, according to Net Applications. Microsoft launched Windows 8 with a massive advertising campaign on Oct. 26.
Now four months after its launch, Windows 8 barely beats Apple's Mac OS X 10.8 operating system, called Mountain Lion, which had 2.6% usage market share in February.
By comparison, its predecessor, Windows 7, had 9.1% global market share four months after its release, says Vince Vizzaccaro, executive vice president of marketing and strategic alliances for Net Applications.
Even Microsoft's much maligned Windows Vista operating system still has greater market penetration than Windows 8. Last month, 5.2% of PCs worldwide were running Vista. Vista was released in January 2007 and replaced by Windows 7 in October 2009.
Microsoft's Windows 8 has failed to boost sagging PC sales. In the fourth quarter, worldwide PC shipments declined 4.9% from a year earlier, as more consumers shifted their focus to tablets and smartphones and away from PCs. Rival research firm IDC said global PC shipments fell 6.4% in Q4.
That's been bad news for PC makers such as Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), which has reported six straight quarters of declining year-over-year sales.
Windows 7 is the top PC operating system in use, with 44.6% market share in February, followed by Microsoft's ancient Windows XP, which was released more than 11 years ago. Win XP had 39% usage market share last month.
Microsoft controlled 91.6% of PC market share usage with its Windows family in February. Apple's Mac was second with 7.2% share.
But Apple dominates in the mobile operating system market. Its iOS software ran 54.9% of smartphones and tablets in February, Net Applications says. Google's (GOOG) Android operating system powered 25.7%. Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system had a measly 1.2% share in February and was in sixth place behind also-rans Java, Symbian and BlackBerry (BBRY).