Windows 11 tries to escape Windows 10's shadow with AI muscle

Edge cements its number two position for desktop browsers

Microsoft is set to launch Copilot+ AI PCs this month, aiming to boost adoption of the little loved Windows 11 operating system.

Statcounter has published its latest market share statistics, showing that the OS could certainly use a shot in the arm years after launch (October 2021).

For May 2024, Windows 11 jumped to 27.67 percent of all Windows PCs from 26.19 percent last month. As for Windows 10? Share dropped from 69.89 percent in April to 68.34 percent. The longer-term trend for Windows 10 is very slightly downward, while for Windows 11, it is slightly upward.

In the absence of official stats from Microsoft, the figures don't make deliriously happy reading for the team behind the flagship operating system.

The months prior to May have been less than stellar for Windows 11, which has failed to get significantly closer to the considerably larger share of its predecessor. In fact, for a few months at the start of the year, it appeared that Windows 11 was actually losing ground, if only very slightly.

Although the latest uptick is perhaps positive for Microsoft, it's unlikely that Windows 11 will surpass Windows 10 before that operating systems reaches the end of support.

However, considering the need of enterprises to replace their PC fleets, fingers will be crossed in Redmond that Windows 11 adoption might finally start accelerating. Early growth in the operating system's market share was mainly down to early adopters with hardware that met Microsoft's draconian requirements. Later growth can be attributed to a relative trickle of PC replacements.

The "Year of the AI PC" can't come soon enough, described by some analysts as "inevitable." This is particularly true since the end of support for Windows 10 in 2025 will mean many enterprises will be forced to buy new hardware.

There was more good news for Microsoft as its Edge browser finally crested the 13 percent mark in terms of desktop market share, up from 11 percent a year ago. With a market share of 65 percent, Google's Chrome continues to rule the roost, but Edge's milestone cements its position as number two. ®

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