Crystal ball gazers declare that Windows 10 has finally overtaken Windows 7

At last! The pretender to the throne swipes the crown

The party poppers have gone off in Redmond, not to usher in 2019, but to celebrate another market share-watcher declaring that yes, Windows 10 has finally crept past Windows 7.

Stat-wranglers from NetMarketShare are the latest to declare that Windows 10 has gently given its much-loved (or less disliked) predecessor a nudge toward oblivion, if only by a few percentage points.

The report shows Windows 10 topping the desktop operating system share with 40.86 per cent with Windows 7 trailing at 36.37 per cent in December. A reversal from where things were a mere 12 months ago.

Other market share estimators reckoned the glorious moment happened earlier last year – StatCounter reckoned January 2018 saw the world stumble into a Windows 10-powered future, but it took until December for NetMarketShare to agree.

Alas, with no word from the guardian of the actual usage data itself (Microsoft), outfits like NetMarketShare and StatCounter are used to give an indicator of trends. However, the methodology used can result in differences. NetMarketShare sniffs that their session counting trumps the competition because “competing methodologies are not as accurate as using global analytics data”.

So there.

Celebrations at Microsoft will, however, be muted, since there are only 12 months left to get those Windows 7 hold-outs onto the preferred version 10 platform. Support for the venerable OS ends on 14 January 2020 and there will be no more automatic updates to keep the near-decade old operating system secure from miscreants.

Except there will. If you’re willing to pony up the cash, Redmond will keep those updates coming for another three years via paid-for Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) through January 2023. Oh, and if you’d care to invest in the upcoming Azure-Powered Windows Virtual Desktop then those Windows 7 updates will be yours as part of the deal.

The October 2018 Update continues to seep out from beneath 2018's bathroom door

Having opened the floodgates to the Windows 10 October 2018 Update as 2018 drew to a close, the gang at Redmond could have been forgiven for expecting a jump from the flatlining usage of the update. Alas, according to ad flingers, AdDuplex, installations of the troubled update have continued to struggle toward double digits.

By the end of the year, the share of 1809 (the October 2018 Update) stood at 6.6 per cent, compared to the 83.6 per cent of its predecessor. April’s update, of course, was flung out infamously rapidly and contributed to the confidence felt within the bowels of Microsoft in flicking the switch on 1809 somewhat prematurely.

With the next Windows 10 update due to hit in the April timeframe, 1809 has considerable ground to catch up. Or Microsoft may just want to pretend the whole thing never happened. Just like the rest of us. ®

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