Windows by the numbers: Windows 10 user share surges as loafers heed impending deadline

Windows by the numbers: Windows 10 user share surges as loafers heed impending deadline

Windows 10 for the second straight month surged in user share as the drive toward the deadline for its Windows 7 predecessor entered its final five months.

According to analytics company Net Applications, Windows 10’s share of all personal computers jumped 2.1 percentage points – the second consecutive month of two or more points – to close August at 51%. It was the first time Windows 10 accounted for a majority of all personal computer operating systems. Windows 10’s part of Windows PCs, meanwhile, climbed to 58%, putting the OS on track to power two-thirds of all Windows machines by the time Microsoft rolls out its next major feature upgrade next March.

(The second number – the percentage of Windows PCs – is larger than the first because Windows does not power every PC; in August, Windows ran 87.9% of the world’s machines. All but a Lilliputian fraction of the rest ran macOS, Linux or Chrome OS.)

As Windows 10’s share jumped, Windows 7 dropped, albeit at not the same rate. Windows 7’s share fell by 1.5 percentage points to 30.3% of all personal computers and 34.5% of those running Windows. The monthly decline was less than half of July’s but still the fifth-largest over the past 12 months. August was also the sixth straight month of decline for the aged operating system, which is to be retired from public support on Jan. 14, 2020.

Also on the downswing, and in a major way, was the duo of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. (The former is officially unsupported by Microsoft, yet approximately seven-tenths of one percent of all Windows PCs still run that OS.) Together, they shed 1.1 percentage points of share, the largest amount since December 2016 when Windows 8.1 was near the tail of its post-Windows 10-debut downturn. Now at just 4.8% of all PC operating system and 5.5% of those running Windows, the 8/8.1 twosome are slowly, very slowly – like the remnants of Windows XP – vanishing. Unlike most Windows editions, however, these will be nearly invisible by the time their support expires in January 2023.

Less for Windows 7 means more for Windows 10

The continued exodus from Windows 7 and more importantly, the accumulation of share under Windows 10’s column, puts the migration’s end game in a different light. Where earlier forecasts pegged Windows 7 at-retirement remainder as high as the upper 30s, the numbers are now much more in line with historical trends.


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