More than four years after its release, Windows 10 has passed 50% in market share. This means every other desktop computer is now running Microsoft’s latest and greatest operating system, according to Net Applications. In January, Windows 10 passed Windows 7 in market share. These are nice milestones for Microsoft to finally hit, even though they took longer than the company had hoped.
Windows 10 adoption started out very strong but naturally slowed as the months progressed. Microsoft was aiming for 1 billion devices running Windows 10 in two to three years but backpedaled on that goal.
The operating system was installed on over 75 million PCs in its first four weeks and passed 110 million devices after 10 weeks. Growth was fairly steady afterwards: 200 million in under six months, 270 million after eight months, 300 million after nine months, 350 million after 11 months, and 400 million after 14 months. Growth naturally tapered, though: 500 million after 21 months, 600 million after 28 months, 700 million after 38 months, and 800 million after 44 months.
Windows 10 had 48.86% market share in July and gained 2.13 percentage points to hit 50.99% in August. Growth has been slow ever since the Windows 10 free upgrade expired in July 2016.
Windows 8 stayed flat at 0.63%, while Windows 8.1 lost 0.91 points to 4.20%. Together, they owned 4.83% of the market at the end of August. The duo’s peak was 16.45% back in May 2015.
Windows 7 dropped 1.49 percentage points, falling from 31.83% to 30.34%. (Windows 7 overtook Windows XP way back in September 2012 and passed the 60% market-share mark in June 2015.) Microsoft is ending support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020. Hundreds of millions of users have just four months to get off Windows 7 — while there will be paid security updates, that’s only for corporate clients that can afford it.
At the bottom end, Windows Vista stayed flat at 0.15% (it fell below 1% market share at the start of 2017, the month of its 10-year anniversary). Windows XP slipped 0.11 points to 1.57%.
Market share breakdown
Windows overall slipped 0.56 percentage points to 87.89% in August. macOS gained 0.70 points to 9.68% while Linux slipped 0.38 points to 1.72%.
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.