Windows 8 continued its slow but steady growth in February grabbing 2.26 percent of the operating system market share, up from 1.72 percent in December and 1.09 percent in November according to Net Applications. During the month Windows 7 also gained 0.07 percentage points after losing 0.63 percentage points in January, and it’s still the most used platform by a comfortable margin with 44.55 percent of the market.

The venerable Windows XP is second with 38.99 percent, down from 39.51 percent, while Vista continued to shed users with a 5.24 percent share. That put Windows 8 in fourth place among all operating system versions, just ahead of Mac OS X 10.8, which gained 0.17 points to 2.61 percent market share.

So how has Windows 8 fared compared to Windows 7 during its initial launch months? To put it into perspective, both versions of Windows were officially released in October of their respective years, but by the end of February 2010 Windows 7 had already seized more than 9 percent of the traffic seen by Net Applications.

There are a few considerations to take into account, such as the fact that Windows 7 superseded and improved upon an operating system release that was generally seen as a commercial failure, whereas Windows 8 marks a significant paradigm shift for Microsoft that’s bound to encounter some resistance from long time Windows users despite offering heavily discounted upgrades -- which are no longer available, by the way.

Slowing PC sales might also be playing a part in Windows 8’s sluggish adoption.

Overall market share numbers for each operating system in aggregate haven’t changed much: Windows still dominates with a whopping 91.62 percent, down 0.09 points from 91.71 percent, followed by OS X which gained just as much to grab 7.17 percent and Linux holding steady at 1.21 percent.