Windows 10 Usage Double During Six-Month Period, But Users Ignore Edge Browser

Microsoft still hopes to have Windows 10 installed on 1 billion devices within its first 2-3 years. That's an attainable goal, though the challenge Microsoft faces is keeping the upgrade momentum going, particularly once the freebie period for Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 users ends this July. And momentum Windows 10 has—usage of the OS has doubled in the past six months.

Tracking Windows 10's market share isn't an exact science. There are multiple firms that do it, each with their own method, but while the numbers are different, they all report a doubling of Windows 10's market share from November 2015 to May 2016. They also show that momentum in recent months is holding strong.

Windows 10

Let's start with Net Applications, which shows Windows 10 installed on 17.43 percent of the world's desktop PCs at the end of May 2016. That's up from 15.34 percent a month prior, and nearly double the 9 percent penetration rate back in November 2015. In that same six month time period, Windows 7's share has dropped from 56.11 percent to 48.57 percent.

StatCounter generally agrees, just with different figures. According to StatCounter, Windows 10 reached an 18.16 percent share of the OS market for desktops, tablets, and consoles at the end of May 2016. That's up from 16.31 percent a month prior and 9.33 percent in November of last year.

If you want yet another data source, the U.S. government notes that of the hundreds of millions of visits per month to public websites, 25.3 percent originate from Windows 10 devices, up more than double from 12.8 percent six months ago.

This all bodes well for Windows 10, though unfortunately for Microsoft, these upgrades aren't trickling over to its Edge browser at nearly the same pace. It's sitting at around 5 percent overall, enough to barely edge out Safari but not much else.

It's a bit early to pass judgment on Edge, however, as it's missing support for extensions. That's a critical feature for any modern browser, and one that Microsoft has made available to Windows Insiders, but not regular users. That will come later this year.