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Windows 11: The little engine that could, eventually

Stalled marketshare seems to be creeping upwards again in consumer, enterprise – but adoption still a slog

Advertising company AdDuplex has published its latest set of Windows usage figures and it looks like there might be light at the end of the tunnel for Windows 11.

Only the most ardent Microsoft apologists would insist all is well with Windows 11 adoption. Share growth of the OS stalled earlier this year and between March and April, with AdDuplex registering less than a 0.4 per cent increase. Windows 11 stood at a 19.7 per cent share, well behind the 35 percent and 26.4 percent of Windows 10 21H2 and 21H1 respectively.

The figures for the end of June show Windows 11 has clawed its way to a 23.1 percent share of PCs surveyed by AdDuplex, within touching distance of the chunk occupied by Windows 10 21H1 (23.9 percent) but still a long way behind Windows 10 21H2, which grew its share to 38.2 percent. Microsoft itself has not produced any official usage statistics.

There are some limitations to the data. AdDuplex focuses only on PCs using Windows Store apps running its SDK, meaning older or locked-down enterprise machines don't feature in the figures. Other surveys, such as those published by Lansweeper, paint a far bleaker picture where Windows 11 sits some way behind the soon-to-be-out-ESU-support Windows 7.

Without the full enterprise picture of Windows 11 adoption, making sweeping market-level assumptions is a challenge. For the business set, Windows 11 often comes during hardware refreshes, especially with the infamously strict hardware requirements for the OS. This means Windows 11 is unlikely to be reach corporate users until fleets are replaced, which might come later than expected if business PC shipments are any indicator.

The arrival of Windows 11 22H2 in the coming months will also ease enterprise adoption passage; the upgrade is reassuringly low-key, and administrators have had a year to get used to the ins and outs of Microsoft's latest and greatest.

As for the AdDuplex figures, the numbers continue to point to the initial surge of consumer upgrades being complete and growth now occurring as users acquire new kit to replace old. It will be interesting to observe the impact of both Windows 11 22H2 and Windows 10 22H2 when both arrive in the coming months. ®

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