If people are trying to buy a new PC, on-line, and if they are using the "Customize" variant, they discover that there is a single option left for the OS: Windows 8. With one exception: the professional Workstations - where there two alternatives available: W7 and W8 -; and the servers - with a Linux distro also available, besides MS Windows Server.
I searched in all the major PC producers' websites: Dell (+ Alienware), Fujitsu, HP, IBM, Lenovo, Sony, Toshiba, ...: Windows 8 has slowly, silently, became the only "option".
I am pretty sure that, if Windows XP Pro would have been offered to the customers, as a potential choice, the situation, in statistics, today, would be "somehow" different. And I dare to say, perhaps COMPLETELY different.
Despite the fact that Windows XP is reaching its EOL period, many people would chose Win XP (or Windows 7), right away, over anything else. And not W8. Now, those who want W7 (plus XP - in "virtual mode"), have to buy a more expensive machine (a workstation).
Microsoft is cheating: after making huge pressures over the vendors, they are "forcing" the shoppers to buy PCs with Windows 8. Then they are eulogizing with their "quickly increasing" W8 sales...
Microsoft is the victim of its own success: there is no life, for the company, after Windows XP. Longevity has become a curse. Despite the "Bliss" Desktop Theme...
Microsoft died long time ago. In 2001. (Or, maybe, in 1998.) Psalm 23:
"The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in GREEN pastures [see the above pic!], He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (...)"