How many people are actually using Windows 10? You might think this is a simple question to answer, but Microsoft’s numbers have thus far failed to match up with the values reported by various tracking services. In the latest update of market share, Windows 10 appears to be closing the gap with Windows 7. However, Microsoft says it caught up earlier this year. So, what’s going on?
There are three sets of numbers to go by when gauging the success of Windows 10, or lack thereof. The latest numbers from NetMarketShare indicate that Windows 10 has a global share of 27.99 percent compared with 46.22 percent for Windows 7. These figures also include all other operating systems like macOS and Linux. Still, at the rate Windows 10 is gaining, it will be the better part of a year before it passes Windows 7. Windows 8 is powering 7.06 percent of computers, and Windows XP still runs on 5.51 percent of PCs, according to NetMarketShare.
Meanwhile, StatCounter has a different set of numbers that are broken down to only include various Windows builds. Here, we see Windows 10 with 39.3 percent of Windows users, which is very close to Windows 7’s 43.99 percent share. If the trend continues, StatCounter could show Windows 10 as the most popular version of Windows by the end of the year. StatCounter lists Windows 8 at 11.65 percent and Windows XP at 4.19 percent.
Finally, we have Microsoft. The company has neglected to offer usage stats since early this year, but it first reported Windows 10 was more popular than Windows 7 in August of 2016. At that time, it had a 43 percent share of Windows users to Win7’s 42 percent. In the most recent data from Microsoft (February 2017), Windows 10 was at 47 percent and Windows 7 had dropped to 39 percent.
So, three different measurements of Windows 10 usage, and three different answers about how it’s doing. It’s either trailing Windows 7 by a substantial margin, within striking distance, or way in the lead. The actual answer is probably somewhere in the middle.
Even that isn’t the best news for Microsoft. Windows 10 was offered as a free upgrade, and the fact it hasn’t been the clear leader for ages points to a problem. Microsoft caught flack for the way it pushed users into upgrading, as well as the frequent mandatory updates to Windows 10. It doesn’t have the same negative reputation as Windows 8, but a lot of Windows 7 users are sticking with what they know.
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