Windows 10 Market Share Crests 14% As Overall Windows Share Falls Below 90% For First Time

The latest operating system market share numbers are out for the month of April and there are some interesting developments happening over in Windows land. As expected, Windows 10 continues to carve out a larger piece of the pie for itself nine months after it initially launched. But that should come as no surprise given that Windows 10 is a free upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users, and offers tangible benefits over those two legacy operating systems.

With that being said, Windows 10 growth is slowing. Windows 10 had a 14.15 percent share of the global Windows OS market in March, and only extended that share to 14.35 percent in April. Windows 7, which had previously topped 60 percent one month prior to Windows 10’s release has now fallen below the 50 percent mark, with a 48.89 percent share of the Windows OS market.

Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 combine for just over 12 percent, while the much-loathed Windows Vista is fading further into irrelevancy with a 1.34 percent share. Old warhorse Windows XP is still kicking and screaming its way to the glue factory with a 9.66 percent share of the Windows OS market.

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The big takeaway from Net Applications’ numbers, however, is that Windows overall slipped by 1.22 percentage points during the month of April. That fall brought Windows’ overall share of the global OS market to 89.23 percent. That is still far and away a dominant performance by any means and shows the strength of the Windows ecosystem after three decades, but it marks the first time that we can ever recall that Microsoft’s share dipped below the 90 percent threshold.

However, consider this a minor bump in the road for Microsoft — the company is banking on Windows 10 to deliver continued growth and we will likely see Windows 10 numbers jump in the next few months considering that the free upgrade offer expires at the end of July. It remains to be seen if Microsoft will ramp up its efforts with nag screens to remind customers what they’re missing by ignoring Windows 10, but we wouldn’t put it past the company. Windows 10 has already been installed on over 270 million machines across the globe and Microsoft wants that number to surpass one billion over the next few years.

For those that have already upgraded to Windows 10, you’ll be happy to know that the Windows 10 Anniversary Update will land this summer with new features like Windows Ink, expanded “Hello” support and improvements to the Cortana digital assistant.