Slowed Windows 10 Growth Might Explain Microsoft’s Aggressive Upgrade Campaigning

Microsoft is heavily invested in Windows 10. It was designed with the intention of providing a unified platform for different device categories, which in turn would make it easier for Microsoft to promote and monetize supplementary services like OneDrive, Skype, and Office 365. With so much riding on the success of Windows 10, you can bet that Microsoft is paying attention to market share data, which currently shows a slowed growth rate.

After launching to the general public at the end of July, Windows 10 sprinted out to a 5.21 percent share of the desktop OS market during its first month of availability, according to data by Net Applications. But after that first month, the momentum slowed way down with Windows 10 strutting to a 6.63 percent share at the end of September and now a 7.94 percent share one month later.

Windows 10 Devices

Those upticks represent a growth rate of less than 1.5 percent each, though that's not necessarily cause for concern. For one, it makes sense that Windows 10 would see an initial surge, both because consumers tend to flock to new and shiny things, and also due to anxious users looking to cash in their free upgrade from Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.

Net Applications Windows Share
Source: Net Applications

The other reason Microsoft shouldn't hit the panic button is because Windows 10 is on pace to overtake Windows 8.1 within the next 2-3 months. To wit, Windows 8.1 claimed a greater than 13 percent market share right as Windows 10 came out, but has since fallen to 10.68 percent.

Nevertheless, Microsoft isn't willing to leave things to chance, hence why it will begin pushing Windows 10 to legacy PCs via Windows Update next year. By making Windows 10 a "Recommended Update," the OS is likely to see a bump in market share from users who have their PCs configured to automatically installed such updates.