Windows 10 Slips Past Windows 8.1 With Nearly 12 Percent Global Market Share

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Microsoft is just getting started when it comes to spreading the love with its Windows 10 operating system. Within a month of launching during the summer of 2015, Windows 10 was installed on over 75 million PCs. During the company’s blockbuster October hardware event, the company announced that Windows 10 had surpassed the 110 million mark. And just last month, Microsoft revealed that Windows 10 installations have topped 200 million.

The rather frantic pace of Windows 10 upgrades is now having an effect on legacy Windows operating systems, with the latest victims being Windows 8.1 and Windows XP according to Net Applications. Windows 10 had just 9.96 percent of the Windows OS market back in December, but was able to claw its way to 11.85 percent for the month of January. Windows 8.1, Windows 10’s immediate predecessor, is now sitting 10.40 percent.

As for Windows XP, the operating system seems to have at least nine lives and is still sticking around for the long haul, despite the fact that it was first released over 14 years ago. Windows XP was sitting pretty with an 11.42 percent share of the Windows OS market during the month of January.

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We should also make note that Windows 7 — which I like to label “The New XP” — still has a commanding lead of the Windows market with a 52.57 percent share during January. It remains to be seen if its share will fall below the 50 percent mark during this year, but it could happen if Windows 10 continues its upwards trajectory.

Microsoft definitely made Windows 10’s ascension easy by making it a free upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8.x users, and the company has been incredibly aggressive with its methods for getting stubborn user to upgrade — to the point of downright annoyance. But the bottom line is, Microsoft wants users to upgrade because it deems Windows 10 to be a vastly superior products compared to its predecessors.

“Our aspiration is for customers to choose Windows, and to love Windows,” said Windows chief Terry Myerson back in October. “We would encourage everyone to upgrade because Windows 10 is the best Windows ever – familiar, safer, faster, and full of innovations.”

Sometime during 2016, Microsoft will “flip the switch” so to speak by making Windows 10 a Recommended update instead of an Optional update. Once that happens, we expect for Windows 10 adoption rates to skyrocket. And we’ll likely see yet another upgrade push as we approach the July 29th, 2016 deadline when Windows 10 upgrades cease to be free for legacy Windows users.