Windows 8 has continued its leisurely stroll upward in Net Applications' operating system rankings, with the web traffic analyst recording Microsoft's latest platform holding a share of 3.17% in March. If only by a couple points, that's an increase from 2.67% in February, 2.26% in January, 1.72% in December and 1.09% in November. For reference, in the same timeframe, Windows 7 closed March 2010 with a traffic share of 10.23%.

As paltry as Windows 8's 3.17% sliver may seem next to Windows 7's 44.73% majority cut, it's enough for the new operating system to maintain its fourth place position ahead of Mac OS X 10.8's 2.65% share. However, 3.17% wasn't enough to elbow past Windows Vista, which remains the third most-used platform at 4.99%, nor was it within an earshot of Windows XP's second place share of 38.73%, which is slowly shrinking.

Unsurprisingly, it seems enthusiasts and gamers represent a sizable chunk of the early adopters. Valve has also just released its latest Steam survey results and Windows 8 now holds over 10% of the OS breakdown if you combine the 32- and 64-bit versions, though the latter comes close on its own at 9.92%, up 1.03% and just behind Windows 7 32-bit's 13.40% share, which fell nearly half a point from last month's report.

For curiosity's sake, we checked to see how Windows 8 adoption looks among TechSpot readers and it's not far off Steam. Over 90% of the folks who visit our desktop site are on Windows, with about 10% of the overall pie running Windows 8 -- more than all OS X versions combined. Windows 7 still dominates at a healthy 57% share, XP trails with just shy of 18%, Vista is hanging at 4% while Linux represents between 1 and 2%.