Windows 10 market share growth just barely has a pulse

Thanksgiving turkey: Free turns out to be what you were willing to pay


November lies behind us in all Reg-reading jurisdictions, so it's time to again consider the state of the desktop by gazing at the three services we use to assess desktop operating system market share.

Those three – StatCounter, Netmarketshare and analytics.gov, each assess OS share by looking at web traffic. The first two consider a slice of the whole web. Uncle Sam considers only its own sites, but as it gets more than two billion visits every 90 days it's a nice fat data set to work with.

This month Windows 10 has ticked up about a point in all three services' assessments, not stellar but certainly better news for Microsoft than last month's all-but-stalled growth.

Here's the last three months of data from all three services.

Win 7 Win 8 Win 8.1 Win 10
Analytics.gov September 55.48% 1.19% 7.15% 32.61%
October 54.44% 1.33% 7.51% 33.19%
November 53.69% 1.28% 7.30% 34.45%
Netmarketshare September 48.27% 7.83% 22.53%
October 48.38% 8.40% 22.59%
November 47.17% 8.01% 23.72%
Statcounter September 39.88% 2.54% 8.38% 24.43%
October 39.40% 2.31% 8.50% 24.42%
November 38.97% 2.37% 8.32% 24.81%

Microsoft likes to talk up the success of its operating systems in two ways: number of machines running it (at last count >400m for Windows 10), and; pace of business adoption.

We measure the latter by taking advantage of the US data's daily session count data. Here's the last 90 days of Windows 10 vs Windows 7 market share on US government web sites.

Windows 10 vs. Windows 7 90 days to Nov 30 from analytics.usa.gov

Windows 10 vs. Windows 7 90 days to Nov 30 from analytics.usa.gov

As we've seen before, Windows 10 use spikes at the same time Windows 7 usage dips. Trust us: this is a weekend effect. Over at the right-hand edge of the chart you can see the impact of the Thanksgiving holiday, on which it looks like Americans really did spend time with family rather than online. The next day we see a smaller-than-usual weekday bounce for Windows 7 and then a normal weekend surge for Windows 10.

Windows 7's weekday decline is also obvious in the graph.

Your correspondent will be holidaying in early January, so will miss the chance to punctually report on the month's trend. PCs remain a favourite festive season gift, so when I return I'll find a way to analyse the season's impact on the desktop. We'll also try to widen our view in 2017, by considering operating system usage beyond the desktop. ®

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