back to article Windows 10 lags 7, 8 … and even Vista in the channel race

Windows 10 is not proving as popular as Microsoft’s earlier clients – even the hated ones – among the channel. The number of PCs pre-installed with Windows 10 moving through western Europe’s distribution channel in the four months since launch is lower than for Windows 7, and the hated Windows Vista and Windows 8 over the same …

  1. Ian Bremner

    Not surprising

    Given hat a number of companies have only jut migrated or are even still in the process of migrating to Windows 7, it will be a while yet before any IT Department wants to go through the horror that is testing if your legions of legacy applications will run in the Win 10 environment

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not surprising

      My company (large american corp, 70,000+ employees Word wide), seems to have a more pragmatic view on Desktop migration now.

      Previously they supported just one desktop OS at a time, and migrated everyone on mass. Windows XP to 7 etc. But this was a complete nightmare, needing a lot of hardware upgrades (PCs, printers etc.), software /app updates, as well as the OS itself.

      Since then, they had a change of tact. Rather than support one OS at a time, and then migrating to the next OS on mass, they just support multiple versions of Windows. So we current have Win 7 & 8.1 systems in circulation.

      The company creates a new SOE images of the OS as the new OS comes out (typically having a release image ready about 4-6 months after the OS version was released).

      Once a new SOE is released, then all new builds, or re-builds are done with the latest SOE image. But no existing, functional devises are upgraded unless something goes wrong, or there is a specific business need to do so.

      All PC's have a ~4-5 year life span, and their replacements are always on a new image.

      So now rather than having to manage a mass migration, it's just a continuous upgrade process, at a manageable level.

      1. beep54

        Re: Not surprising

        @AC What the HELL is wrong with your company?? They sound sane!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not surprising

        How peculiarly sensible. Surely it cuts a huge slice off the IT Defector's budget, and every fule know that IT Defectors measure their importance and their success by the size of their budget. How does the IT Defector cope with the new vision, and how did the rest of the Board manage to make this tactic acceptable? [Respect to the organisation and the people that made this happen; other outfits, wtf have you been playing at?]

  2. RonWheeler

    Buy 8 to upgrade

    I bought a cheapy Lenevo with 'Windows 8 with Bing' - specifically to upgrade to 10 (without Bing) for free. Suspect others are doing stuff like this too, which will make the figures look odd.

    1. illiad

      Re: Buy 8 to upgrade

      'win8 with bing' may have severe limitations on what version of win10 you can upgrade to - check very carefully!

      1. Boothy

        Re: Buy 8 to upgrade

        Quote: "'win8 with bing' may have severe limitations on what version of win10 you can upgrade to - check very carefully!"

        It doesn't matter which version of Win 8.1 (non pro), you have, they all upgrade to Win 10 home.

        With 8.1 Pro (inc Pro for students) going to Win 10 Pro.

        A quote from

        From Windows 8.1 edition : Windows 8.1 (Also applies to country specific editions, Windows 8.1 Single Language and Windows 8.1 with Bing)

        To Windows 10 edition: Windows 10 Home

      2. RonWheeler

        Re: Buy 8 to upgrade

        I did - I got normal Win10 Home.

    2. Stevie

      Re: Buy 8 to upgrade

      I'm looking at going partway down that path, then heading for Linux Mint (probably).

      Just not willing to use that GUI. My mother in law has it and when called to fix her "internet" it takes forever because MS hid everything and only wants me to see what they think I need to use.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    In the old days...

    ...given the choice of paying 70 or 80 quid to upgrade an oldish pc, then people may of gone, stuff it, I may as well pay a "bit" more and buy a new one.

    Now you can upgrade for free, people are going, I'll upgrade and keep my old pc for another couple of years.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In the old days...

      "Now you can upgrade for free, people are going, I'll upgrade and keep my old pc for another couple of years."

      Alternatively, and imo applicable in more cases at home and at work:

      Now there's no visible interesting benefit for most people in upgrading software or hardware, and times are hard in general:

      people are going, I'll not spend anything (time or money), I'll keep my current pc for another couple of years.


      may *have* gone.

      could of gone, should of gone, would of gone, may of gone, etc: All wrong, always.

      1. RichUK

        Re: In the old days...

        Upvoted for the grammar observation alone. Winds me up, I see it so often. That and loose instead of lose.

        1. Darryl

          Re: In the old days...

          Your right. Its so annoying too see that.

          1. Steve Aubrey

            Re: In the old days...

            Darryl FTW! Sorry I had but one upvote to give for that comment.

  4. Jess

    Upgrade fatigue?

    Given that it is probably the best upgrade to Windows since 2000, and I actually find it pleasant to use (I didn't like 98, ME, XP, or Vista and I found 8.x the be the worst system I have used since 3.x) it is a bit odd.

    I suspect the memory of being forced off XP is still too fresh for people to want to be forced into something new again.

    I certainly wouldn't suggest people ditch a working windows 7 system for it. (Though I would recommend an upgrade prior to a re-install for any machine that needs it, just to retain rights).

    However for Windows 8 it is a no-brainer, or so you would think. If the machine has classic shell, (and is a bit slow, so it needs it on 10 to perform well) then it isn't so clear. I know someone in that situation who was very disappointed with the replacement bundled apps, and may still revert.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Anyone happy to install Win10 on their companies machines given the privacy hijinks?

  6. Stevie


    It just could have something to do with MS tossing the baby out with the bathwater and replacing it with a butt-ugly mess only marginally attractive when used on a touch-screen fitted device.

    Next year is the year of the Linux Laptop for me and it is entirely due to the GUI redesign. I want a machine interface that does what I tell it, not one that hides what I need behind a search engine.

    And man those assymetric tiles are ugly. They make my head ache just by being in my field of vision.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Chris Parsons

      Re: Bah!

      Agreed. The only Windows I have left is on an old Mac Mini used to run MediaMonkey. Hackintosh for main pc and Linux elsewhere. Mint is a joy on my laptop.

      Regrets, I have a few, but then again, too few to mention...

  7. Randall Shimizu

    Part of the problem is that MS has not clearly explained and documented the upgrade process. The upgrade process keeps chainging. Win10 installed release 2, 3 times on my system. The update process is actually good. The data that is sent back to MS actually is diagnostic info so that MS instrument and correct errors on a users system. When the scrolling feature stopped working. Windows update sent out another update later that day that fixed the problem. The problems is that this has confused companies and raised doubts. So they are delaying deployments, which is probably a good thing until things settle down.

    1. Hans 1

      > When the scrolling feature stopped working. Windows update sent out another update later that day that fixed the problem.

      Are you sure it is the patch that fixed your "scrolling" problem, I think it's the reboot ?

      >The update process is actually good. The data that is sent back to MS actually is diagnostic info so that MS instrument and correct errors on a users system.

      ROFLMAO, thanks!

      As in:

      Redmond, Washington

      dev1: Oh, Mr X has a problem, seems like scrolling is broken.

      dev2: do you have the error stack ?

      dev1: Yeah, sure, here it is.

      dev2:I'll fix that, recompile, and have a patch in, what, three hours ...

      dev1:You are cool, but who is gonna test that ?

      dev2:The customer reporting the issue, I have no time to test.

      Do you really believe this is how it works ?

  8. steamnut

    It's bleeding obvious..

    Installation of Win10 will increase as we can no longer buy the product and all new machines come with it. But, as the growth of new installations is slow right now, then the existing market hold sway.

    Two of my Win7 PC's have been victim to the "secret update" masquerading as a bugfix. I wonder if those are counted as Win10 installations too?

    At the same time corporates are migrating (slowly) from XP to Win7. Anyone still on Vista or Win8 is clearly not a serious user anyway.

    Microsoft, like Oracle, is clearly doing everything possible to cling onto it's market share. And, in both cases, the plan is not working. Every empire has it's day and even "free" Windows 10 is not going to create the income stream required to keep Microsoft going for ever. The steady trickle of redundancies tell us all we need to know.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The idea that M$ provides the only OS for office use needs to stop.

    Step outside of the conveyor belt thinking and you might find you have choices.

  10. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    I think you are all wrong

    The question is not "Why is no-one buying Win10?". The question is "Why is no-one selling it?".

    The answer is straight-forward. You, as a vendor, have fifty billion OEM licences for earlier copies of Windows. You've already paid for them. There is no incentive for you to buy an OEM Win10 licence and there is precious little incentive for your customer to ask for one (because of the free upgrade). (On the contrary, if they buy one of your older licences, they have a choice.)

    So channel sales are irrelevant. What matters is how many people take the upgrade when they get the machine home. Only Microsoft know that and they aren't telling.

  11. Chris 244

    "Hated" Vista

    As everyone rants and raves about Microsoft trying to force a stealth Windows 10 update and "telemetry" on them, I find myself hating my old Vista notebook less and less.

  12. Charles Manning

    It saturation. It isn't the OS, its the hardware

    As a consultant who supplies my own computers, I run a few machines at the same time. I used to buy a new laptop every 12-18 months. It was worthwhile because the specs for a reasonable priced laptop were increasing rapidly with better screens, faster processing, dual, then dual core + hyperthreading etc.

    But I have not bought a new computer for almost 4 years now. Why? There's no motivation to upgrade because the rate of change of hw has fallen off. I'm now considering a quad core laptop with hyperthreading with SSD etc.

    The same has happened in user land. Mum has a laptop, dad has a laptop, the kids have one each. So what motivates buying a new one?

    The only way to beat market saturation is you bring through a range of machines that are reasonable enough and with such great specs that it is worth upgrading. That's a hard ask because most people would gain no value from a faster CPU (I would when compiling, and gamers too, but those are not typical).

    The industry probably needs to accept the reality that the market is saturated and they're now in the "mature" phase of the technology. They have to start working harder to attract and keep customers.

    1. terry 1

      Re: It saturation. It isn't the OS, its the hardware

      Yep, I have been selling i3's for years and despite then now being 4th gen, they are fast enough for most office roles. Only a failure is now the reason I replace computers, not speed or the latest shiney shiney

      1. Britt Johnston

        Re: It saturation. It isn't the OS, its the hardware

        Almost. I want a multiboot office machine with two switches linked to boot, one to the Windows drive and the other the fun button.

  13. Brian Souder 1

    Channel Still Bloated

    Part of the numbers being off is that the distribution channel is still bloated with WIndows 7 and Windows 8 machines. I had a client just order a new machine today and the only options were for WIndows 7 or 8.1. Not a single PC in their distribution list is Windows 10 even though it is now supported under the contract.

    I have been migrating users over to WIndows 10 for several months now with zero issues. Obviously each company had one system upgraded and tested fulling with all software suites before moving forward. While you do not have to have WIndows Server 2012 R2 on all your server, the more advanced feature integration with WIndows 10 require it. I have done a few server migrations in the last month to Server 2012 R2. This is the first time I have ever had clients purchase software assurance because Server 2016 is so close to release.

  14. Nya

    And how many machines on say Ingram/Exertis/all the rest for example are shipping with 10 on it? Sod all! All the channel is still shifting is 7 Pro (downgraded from 8.1 Pro) and 8.1 machines. Not like it matters as we (when customers request it) upgrade during setup for them. So really it's all due to the channel still being full of old kit.

  15. MrDamage Silver badge

    How much

    Of the "considerable increase" in Win10 uptake, is not due to people actually wanting it, but by Redmond forcibly installing it?

  16. NeonTeepee
    Paris Hilton

    Lies, damn lies and statistics

    In the not to distant future as stock gets replaced at suppliers 8 gagillion systems will ship to corporates with Windows 10 'pre-installed' only to be wiped and replaced with a Win7/8 image used by the corporate. what will the figures and marketing people say?

    8 gagillion machines shipped with Windows 10 - isnt it wonderful market share is through the roof

    Paris? 'Cause she's the kinda gal that needs Cortana to tell her how to tie her shoes.

  17. Number6

    Pre-installed != Activated

    The last three laptops I bought came with Windows 8.1 (x2) and Windows 10, but in each case they were never activated, all three having Linux installed instead. So even the pre-installation numbers may be an overestimate of the total in use.

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