Windows 10 market share stalls after free upgrade offer ends

It looks like users won't adopt it if they have to pay for it

Windows 10's market share has stalled, according to all three of the traffic-measurement tools The Register tracks at the start of each month.

Our three sources are Netmarketshare, StatCounter and All three investigate web traffic to determine operating system prevalence, with the third source only considering traffic to United States Government web sites.

Here's how things have gone for Windows 10 in the last 90 days.

Windows 10 Netmarketshare StatCounter
August 22.99% 31.84% 21.30%
September 22.53% 32.50% 22.19%
October 22.59% 32.52% 22.24%

Reg readers will doubtless recall that Microsoft's offer of free Windows 10 ended on July 29th, 2016. So this month's data offers us a look at a full quarter of activity and shows that Windows 10's impressive rise appears to have stalled.

And so has Windows 7's decline. Here's the same table, for the older OS.

Windows 7 Netmarketshare StatCounter
August 47.25% 56.25% 36.80%
September 48.27% 55.62% 36.23%
October 48.38% 55.35% 35.88%

As we reported earlier today, sales of Windows 7 Professional and Windows 8.1 to OEMS have now ended. That should mean very few new machines running older versions of Windows come online from this day forward.

But with the PC market still in the doldrums – even the northern hemisphere back-to-school buying season did not deliver a buying spike – Windows 10's boom days look to be behind it. That it's now the only game in town should help it to keep growing and Microsoft will continue to have lovely numbers to spruik. But enthusiasm for the OS looks to have drained away.

One more thing to note: Windows XP went on sale on October 25, 2001. 15 years on it still has a few points of market share: Netmarketshare has it at 8.27% and Statcounter finds it 4.96% of the time. ®

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