Windows 10 grabs 22 per cent desktop market share in a year

But Windows dips below 50 per cent of all web traffic according to US gov data

Windows 10 has grabbed more than 20 per cent of the world's desktops in its first year, according to the web-watchers on which The Register relies for regular assessments of operating system market share.

Those watchers are Netmarketshare and StatCounter, which now have data covering the entire year since Redmond shoved Windows 10 out the door on July 29th, 2015.

StatCounter says Windows 10 had 23.52 per cent of the desktop as of July 31st. Netmarketshare says it had 21.13 per cent.

Both record ~2 per cent dips for Windows 7 in July alone.

The Register took the two sites' data for July 2015 and July 2016, averaged them and cranked out the following table showing Windows' fortunes over the year.

July 2015 July 2016
Windows 7 55.59 43.84
Windows 10 3.50 22.33
Windows 8.1 13.78 9.38
XP 11.85 7.09

Should Microsoft celebrate winning 22 per cent of the market?

Probably, but maybe not very hard. We already know Redmond is upset that it won't hit a self-declared target of Windows 10 on a billion devices by 2018. We also know that the PC market is now about 250m a year and that Microsoft claims to have hit 350 million Windows 10 installs. If that 350 million is 22 per cent of the global fleet, there's about 1.3 billion PCs out there that aren't running Windows 10, of which about 600 million are happy with Windows 7. Yes, Microsoft can dream of winning upgrades. And most of the new PCs will run Windows 10. But PC sales are being overrun by the 1.6 billion or so mobile devices (1.4bn smartphones, 200m or so tablets) sold every year. Those devices are hardly ever run Windows and since Windows Mobile flopped, they're not likely to.

This matters because a decade ago Microsoft dominated the operating system market on all computing devices. Today it's way behind Android and not far ahead of Apple when Cupertino combines Mac and iOS device sales. And that's starting to translate into a smaller presence in other markets. The table below is the US Government's data for operating systems that hit its web sites over the last 90 days. Your correspondent likes this data as it is as comprehensive as any other data set we can find, and works on a colossal sample.

Windows accounted for under half of that traffic, albeit by a sliver.

The Register hasn't tracked this metric before, so we'll keep an eye on it. If only to figure out who might be responsible for the 229 visits made from OS/2 machines. ®

OS Visits % share
(not set) 3,443,712 0.1673%
Android 354,386,187 17.2205%
BlackBerry 1,826,152 0.0887%
Chrome OS 13,238,165 0.6433%
Firefox OS 28,649 0.0014%
FreeBSD 30,101 0.0015%
Google TV 21,013 0.0010%
Linux 11,577,341 0.5626%
Macintosh 174,383,225 8.4737%
Nintendo Wii 41,371 0.0020%
Nokia 81,461 0.0040%
Playstation 3 28,833 0.0014%
Playstation Vita 22,407 0.0011%
Samsung 108,261 0.0053%
SunOS 7,425 0.0004%
SymbianOS 45,496 0.0022%
Windows 1,021,361,994 49.6304%
Windows Phone 5,727,518 0.2783%
Xbox 93,088 0.0045%
iOS 471,478,557 22.9103%
LG 210 0.0000%
OpenBSD 1,117 0.0001%
OS/2 229 0.0000%
UNIX 1,702 0.0001%
Total visits 2,057,934,214 100.0000%

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