Windows 11 has reared its Fluent-designed head in the latest set of usage figures for Microsoft's operating systems.
In the absence of official word from Microsoft, the figures for July from AdDuplex give a handy indicator of what is hot and what is not in the Windows world.
As usual, three editions of Windows dominate things – last year's Windows 10 (20H2) leads the way with a 36.3 per cent share of PCs surveyed, while the most recent release, 21H1, has edged out the older 20H1 (aka 2004) update with a 26.6 per cent share versus a 24.6 per cent share respectively.
Based on past form, it seems reasonable that 21H1 will go on to overhaul its predecessor in the next few months.
However, there are some striking data points this time around. The first is the arrival of Windows 11 in the statistics, at nearly 1 per cent thanks to keen Insiders in the Dev Channel downloading the update. While Microsoft keeps its numbers close to its chest, the fact that Windows 10 Insiders only account for 0.2 per cent of PCs surveyed implies that an awful lot are perched in the Dev Channel, breathlessly awaiting the next Windows 11 emission.
Sadly, AdDuplex's figures do not show how many of those Windows 11 Insiders have PCs deemed suitable by Microsoft to run the OS once released. We'll check back nearer the end of the year to see if there are any sudden drops as Microsoft yanks the rug from beneath those Insiders not possessed of at least an 8th-generation Intel chip or similar.
- Oh dear, Universal Windows Platform: Microsoft says 'no plans to release WinUI 3 for UWP in a stable way'
- Microsoft wasn't joking about the Dev Channel not enforcing hardware checks: Windows 11 pops up on Pi, mobile phone
- Microsoft releases Windows 11 Insider Preview, attempts to defend labyrinth of hardware requirements
- Windows 11: What we like and don't like about Microsoft's operating system so far
Another notable figure is the number of Windows PCs surveyed, which stands at approximately 60,000. Watchers of the stats will have noted a decline in that figure. Alan Mendelevič, AdDuplex CEO, put the drop down to daily fluctuations as well as a seasonal drop in app usage.
"Additionally, and this is pure speculation on my part," Mendelevič told The Register, "the number of active apps and the usage of UWP apps in general (which are the only apps serving AdDuplex ads at the moment) is slowly but steadily declining.
"More often end-users use web apps where they would use a native app previously, [and] game developers choose other forms for packaging and distributing their games than UWP in Microsoft Store, etc.
"Again, this is just my 'gut feeling' and not based on any objective data."
If true, then as well as the rise of Windows 11, the AdDuplex figures are also inadvertently documenting the decline of Microsoft's once great developer hope – UWP. ®