During its Build conference last year, Microsoft bragged that Windows 10 had reached over 700 million active devices, an impressive milestone though still short of the elusive (so far) 1 billion devices goal. At the time, Windows 10 still trailed Windows 7 in terms of market share. Well, not anymore, if the latest data from an outside source is to believed.
Microsoft is not in the habit of sharing monthly market share figures on its OSes, past and present, but Net Applications is, through its Net Market Share website. According to the latest tally, Windows 10 is on top with a 39.22 percent share of the combined desktop and laptop operating system market. Windows 7, meanwhile, was pushed to second place with a 36.9 percent share.
Source: Net Market Share
After that there is a big drop off in share figures, with Mac OS X 10.14 taking the No. 3 spot with a 4.73 percent share, followed by Windows XP at 4.54 percent.
Even though these figures are not official, this is still a big achievement for Microsoft. Every month prior, Net Market Share showed Windows 10 trailing Windows 7 in usage, and that's been true since Windows 10 came out in July, 2015.
What's also interesting is that Windows 10 is on nearly half of all Windows PCs. When looking at only Windows systems, Windows 10's share jumps to 45.5 percent. That's also ahead of Windows 7, which is on 42.8 percent of all Windows systems, according to the data.
One thing that's likely at play here is Microsoft's plan to charge businesses for security updates for Windows 7. Microsoft previously announced it would offer extended support for Windows 7 through January 2023, but after January 14, 2020, updates will be sold on a per-device basis.
Businesses still have a year to migrate from Windows 7 to Windows 10 to avoid having to pay for security updates, and as the year goes on, we suspect the gap in market share between the two OSes will widen. That's assuming Microsoft can do a better job with its bi-annual upgrades, the most recent of which was plagued with annoying issues.