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Windows 11 growth at a standstill amid stringent hardware requirements

Windows 10 still rules the roost among Microsoft fans, according to AdDuplex

The growth of Microsoft's flagship operating system, Windows 11, appears to be slowing if figures from AdDuplex are to be believed.

Instead, Windows 10 continues to dominate, an indicator that either users are not upgrading or – and this is probably more likely – Microsoft's stringent hardware compatibility requirements are keeping the operating system off users' PCs.

After a relatively healthy start to the year, Windows 11 only managed to grow its share of the systems surveyed by AdDuplex by a paltry 19.3 to 19.4 percent. Its Windows 10 equivalent, 21H2, continued to comfortably romp ahead, increasing from 21 percent at the end of February to 28.5 percent in March.

In fact, well over half of the survey were still running 2021's Windows 10.

The survey is limited to 5,000 PCs with Windows Store apps running the company's ad framework, but in the absence of official figures from Microsoft, it's a handy indicator of how things are going.

And things do not appear to be going particularly well, despite Microsoft noting how rapidly Windows 11 is being picked up by users compared to its predecessor.

It's easy to speculate that those users' PCs that could have accepted an upgrade (without tinkering), will now already have been upgraded, meaning that further growth of Windows 11 will be dependent on the purchase of new hardware that meets Microsoft's strict requirements for its wunder-OS. The slowdown in growth has been marked: the OS's share had doubled to 16.1 percent in January, but only increased to 19.3 percent in February.

And around that mark is where it appears to have stalled.

As for where those new PCs running Windows 11 will come from, the PC market has cooled somewhat from its pandemic-induced peaks and analysts have predicted that the demand for new shiny was likely to flatten. Demand, however, would still be higher than pre-pandemic levels, meaning a gradual increase in Windows 11 systems out there. The OS, however, remains a little too new to be embraced by the majority of Microsoft's core enterprise users.

In the meantime, for some, Windows 11's moribund growth is further evidence of the impact of Microsoft's seemingly arbitrary hardware requirements. ®

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