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Windows 10 crosses key threshold as Windows 7 dwindles

Expert Reviews logo Expert Reviews 03/09/2019 Thomas McMullan
a flat screen television: Windows 10 Continuum homescreen on Display Dock © Expert Reviews Windows 10 Continuum homescreen on Display Dock

Windows 10 is inescapable, it seems. According to the analytics firm Net Applications, Microsoft’s operating system is now installed on more than half of all desktops worldwide.

The 50% market usage milestone was reached in August, teetering from 48.88% in July to 50.99% in last month’s figures. It’s only a 2.11% rise, but it means that Windows 10 is now running on every other PC out there. 

For the house that Gates built, it’s a notable threshold for an operating system that hasn’t always had a smooth adoption. Microsoft initially predicted Windows 10 would find its way to 1 billion devices within three years of its 2015 release, but was forced to backpedal on this when Windows 10 Mobile failed to take off. The last official figures from Microsoft, from March, claim Windows 10 is operating on 800 million devices.

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Rival analytics firm Statcounter pegged Windows 10 as crossing the 50% mark as far back as September 2018, but Net Applications’ latest stats now make it hard to argue against the scale of Windows 10’s spread. 

While Windows 10 usage has continued to rise, Net Applications reports that Windows 7 has dropped to 30.34%. Statcounter similarly has the older operating system on 30.92%. This trend is perhaps no great surprise, considering that January 2020 brings Windows 7’s end-of-life date. 

After 14 January, Microsoft will no longer support or update Windows 7. The company has announced measures for certain customers to extend that deadline by an extra year, although you’ll need specific business subscriptions to quality. Cyber security company Kaspersky recently warned of the risks that come from not upgrading to the latest operating system, particularly when patches stop coming.

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Windows 7 has clung on where Windows 8.1 has dropped out of sight - existing on only 4.2% of machines according to Net Applications’ August figures. 

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