9.96 percent. Close, but no cigar. Five months after its release, Windows 10 still hasn’t passed 10 percent market share, according to the latest figures from Net Applications.
Windows 10 was installed on over 75 million PCs in its first four weeks, and passed 110 million after 10 weeks. While we don’t have a more recent figure yet (Update: 200 million), Microsoft is aiming for 1 billion devices running Windows 10 “in two to three years” — though that includes not just PCs, but smartphones, consoles, and other devices, as well.
Windows 10 had 9.00 percent market share in November, and gained 0.96 percentage points to hit 9.96 percent in December. Growth has slowed a lot over the last few months: Windows 10 jumped almost 5 percentage points in its first month, but has only gained a little over 1 point each month since. In December, that figure was less than 1 point. This year, Microsoft will be attempting to counter that slowdown, starting with making Windows 10 a “recommended update” so that Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users are more likely to install it.
The good news is that Windows 10’s predecessors once again slipped a bit. Windows 8 dipped 0.12 percentage points to 2.76 percent, while Windows 8.1 fell 0.85 points to 10.30 percent. Together, they owned 13.06 percent of the market at the end of December. The duo will fall below the 10 percent mark this year, despite having never even passed the 20 percent market-share mark (the peak was 16.45 percent in May).
Despite Windows 10’s inevitable rise, Windows 7 will likely keep its title of “most popular OS” for a long time. Windows 7 overtook Windows XP way back in September 2012. It will likely fall under the 50 percent mark this year, but is unlikely to fall much more than that.
Windows Vista managed to gain 0.01 points to 1.62 percent, and Windows XP also somehow rebounded 0.34 points to 10.93 percent. The free upgrade to Windows 10 doesn’t apply to Vista or XP, but this is still an unfortunate end to the year. Microsoft was likely hoping XP would see single market-share digits by now, given that the company ended support for the ancient operating system in April 2014.
On the whole, Windows slipped 0.07 points to 91.32 percent in December. Those losses were, of course, direct gains for Mac OS X and Linux, which were up 0.03 points and 0.04 points to 7.02 percent and 1.66 percent, respectively.
Net Applications uses data captured from 160 million unique visitors each month, by monitoring some 40,000 websites for its clients. This means it measures user market share.