Windows 10 upgrades stagnate after free offer ends, market share down from August

Laurent Giret

Windows 10 Sign Logo NYC

A little more than a month ago, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 was now running on 400 million devices worldwide, a pretty significant achievement considering that was 100 million more users than what the company reported earlier in May. However, while Windows 10 enjoyed a solid growth during the year-long free upgrade offer for consumers still running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 on their PCs, things started to change in September when the desktop OS share of Windows 10 fell from 22.99% in August to 22.53%.

According to the latest data from Netmarketshare for the month of October, Windows 10 desktop OS share is now at 22.59% (up 0.06 points) and is still down from August numbers. Among other highlights, Windows 7 remains miles ahead at 48.38% (up 0.11 points) while Windows 8.1 has now replaced Windows XP as the third most popular desktop operating system worldwide with a 8.4% OS share (up 0.57 points).

Netmarketshare, October 2016.
Netmarketshare, October 2016.

Did Windows 10 lose some of its momentum since the end of the free upgrade offer in July? It seems so, though it remains to be seen if the upcoming holiday season may move the needle. But overall, it now seems pretty clear that Microsoft made the right call by acknowledging that its goal of 1 billion devices running Windows 10 in 2018 was too optimistic.