back to article Windows 10 grabs 22 per cent desktop market share in a year

Windows 10 has grabbed more than 20 per cent of the world's desktops in its first year, according to the web-watchers on which The Register relies for regular assessments of operating system market share. Those watchers are Netmarketshare and StatCounter, which now have data covering the entire year since Redmond shoved …

  1. a_yank_lurker


    Slurp seems to cannibalizing its own at best and losing overall dominance in the market place. But their antics have made many consider alternatives. Often these alternatives are just as viable as 'bloat for many users.

    What will be interesting is how the trends continue in the future.

  2. Youngone Silver badge

    Great Table

    The second table is amazing, not because of the small percentages of people visiting who use OpenBSD, or Linux, but those 210 visits by an LG user.

    Seriously, LG! I'm going to picture some fat slob lying on the couch and looking at the White House website on his LG Smart TV.

    Freakin' Weirdo.

    1. Richard Plinston

      Re: Great Table

      > small percentages of people visiting who use OpenBSD, or Linux,

      They may be visiting sites, but they have enough clues to use NoScript or similar to avoid having their data gathered.

      My machines will not be in those stats anywhere.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Great Table

        People that paranoid are probably using OpenBSD. So multiply their numbers by 20x, and it is still lost in the noise.

        1. David 138

          Re: Great Table

          What kind of tech person still uses XP on the internet? Or at all?

          22% in a year isnt bad for a free OS. Linux is 20 years old and still has almost no interest for people as an everyday driver. Im not sure "Its so secure if you know what your doing" and "All windows users are retards" is working as a sales pitch.

          I dont think most people really care that Microsoft take usage statistics because we give worse away to tescos and google. But we do get better services because of this.

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: Great Table

            There you go! David has sussed it.

            The "Jeff Albertson" image and associated superciliousness/sanctimony is actually holding Linux back.

            The sooner Linux people start to come across as properly socially adjusted humans, the sooner we will see it spread into the world of the normal person.

            Then once the mission is achieved, Jeff and co can continue their high-horse journey after moving onto a BSD variant.

            1. azaks

              Re: Great Table

              >> The "Jeff Albertson" image and associated superciliousness/sanctimony is actually holding Linux back.

              No, the fact that Linux relishes in being too hard to comprehend for the average user and the confusion created by having more distros than users is what is holding Linux back. Just sayin'

          2. Mage Silver badge

            Re: 22% in a year isnt bad for a free OS

            It would be amazing for a Free OS. But we are talking about the first free upgrade version of Windows, and it being PUSHED, not people choosing to actually go get it like Linux or Firefox. Windows is not a Free OS, even though for a year people almost forced to have a free upgrade

            So it's abysmal performance from the company that once had 20% of smartish phones in USA (CE based), most PDAs and about 98% of desktop. Their Server share too has plummeted since 2006.

            Basically they lost the plot in 2003-2004. Vista didn't meet expectations of what was promised in 2003, it was so bad that Win7 was really a bug fix. Windows 7 SHOULD have been free to Vista users. Win8 was to converge Desktop and phone/tablet, a truly stupid idea given the radically different screen size, touch inappropriate on a desktop and serious multi-window applications vs full screen applets of phone and tablet. So they damaged the desktop product for a market (phones) that they have now lost utterly. Win10 is attempt to combine Google slurping and Adobe rental in a Cloud infrastructure, more appropriate for a phone or tablet than a desktop, turning desktop OS into a Chromebook!

            It was ALWAYS stupid having ONE branding (Windows) for different form factors and use cases. Amazon is making this mistake now with eBooks and eReaders as Kindle eInk devices can't now read all content sold under Kindle eBook branding, and "Kindle" Fire (an Android Tablet with Amzon instead of Play Store) and "Kindle" Apps have quite different functionality and are not simply other device simulations of real eInk based Kindle eReaders. There seems now to be three different kinds of eBook sold under "Kindle" branding. Only one kind works on real eReaders. IDIOTS. They need DIFFERENT branding for things that are different, even if under the eBook/Amazon Umbrella.

            Microsoft has learnt NOTHING from the débâcles of Win ME, Vista, changing Win Phone Internals, confusing Surface brand and strategy (ARM and x86). The surviving MS pro Tablet is basically a form of x86 Ultrabook.

            1. Mage Silver badge

              Re: 22% in a year isnt bad for a free OS

              Actually was NT3.51 free to some or all NT3.5 Users? Though a true 32bit OS and Win95 wasn't (and maybe Office 95 wasn't a real 32 bit application), it could not run Office 95 as MS deliberately added new APIs not in Win32 on windows 95, to stop people running newer applications on Win3.x + Win32s. So MS had to bring out a patched version of win NT3.5, called NT3.51 basically to run Office 95. Later there was even a free Explorer Shell preview for NT3.51, which was more stable than NT 4.0 as it stupidly moved GDI into Kernel to improve video games (hardly seen on NT till XP due to Win9x being more suited and much cheaper for gamers).

              So I guess MS stupidity dates back to Win9x vs NT feature drift in 1995-1997.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              How many of the 22% actually CHOSE Windows 10?

              Most of those Windows 10 installs came with a new PC that was purchased in the past year, and you rarely get a choice in OS when you buy a PC (sometimes you can have an older version if you pay more, but who is going to choose Windows 8 over Windows 10? That would be like choosing Vista over 7 or ME over XP)

              A lot of the rest were essentially forced upgrades due to Microsoft's malware-like techniques to upgrade PCs to Windows 10 against the wishes of their owner. If it was left up to the user to actively choose to upgrade a lot fewer would do so.

              So I'd argue that 22% is not much of a success at all - even with trying to shove it down people's throats, around 80-90% of the upgrade eligible 7/8/8.1 userbase managed to avoid the upgrade. Either by turning it down repeatedly and not getting hit with the stealth upgrade, or by downloading tools like GWX Control Panel. Sad that someone had to write what is essentially anti-malware software to prevent Microsoft from upgrading your OS against your express wishes!

              Contrast that 80-90% who avoided Windows 10 with the 90%+ adoption rate of iOS 9 on eligible iPhones - and that's with merely asking if you want to update! Other than the little red "1" on the settings icon staring at you, you are never bothered again once you refuse a single time by tapping "Later".

            3. Captain Badmouth

              Re: 22% in a year isnt bad for a free OS

              "Windows 7 SHOULD have been free to Vista users."

              Wasn't there some sort of free upgrade on offer for a short time?

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Great Table

            @ David 138

            You cannot compare the two, one is a free OS that you have to search for and CHOOSE to install, the other is a "free" OS that is FORCED on you - even if you switch your PC off - and needs to be actively repelled by someone with enough computer knowledge to stop it.

            I know a number of people who got Win10 rammed down their throats, and it is universally hated by all.

          4. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

            Re: Great Table

            What kind of tech person still uses XP on the internet? Or at all?

            People like me who have a perfectly adequate PC to do the work and whatever they want to and did not want to pay to upgrade either hardware or OS.

            I imagine there are a fair few who worried they might be missing the boat in not upgrading to Vista, felt they had dodged a bullet there and, in seeing Windows move ever further from what they were happy with, decided to just sit it out until they needed to buy a new PC with whatever comes pre-installed. The money saved on Windows OS will offset the cost of doing that.

            1. Anonymous Coward

              Re: Great Table

              >...did not want to pay to upgrade either hardware or OS...


        2. rockworldmi

          Re: Great Table

          i think you have mistaken about OpenBSD :

      2. azaks

        Re: Great Table

        Yes, yes Richard. There is actually over a billion Linux desktop users - they are just too smart and too discrete to be noticed. Not smart enough to outwit you though, you old fox...

      3. xslogic

        Re: Great Table

        Why would they need scripting? The user agent gets sent with each and every access and usually (Unless you deliberately change it) contains the the browser name and the OS that it's running on.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Great Table

      The thing that struck me most is that Linux (Mint, Ubuntu et al) only beats the neglected "reportedly" abandoned Windows phone by 2 to 1.


      Perhaps 2016 still isn't the year of the Linux desktop.

      Posted anonymously (but Redmond knows who I am) from my Windows 640XL phone.


  3. gobaskof

    Other headlines:

    "Despite being hugely unpopular, 150 million Windows 8 users don't want a free copy of windows 10."

    "Nearly 80% of Windows 7 users dexterous enough to avoid Windows nagware!"

    (I suppose 2 isn't really true with Enterprise being nagware free, but still..)

    1. SImon Hobson Bronze badge

      Re: Other headlines:

      That's what I was thinking.

      Given how hard MS have pushed, cajoled, and even downright forced these "upgrades" on people, that's a rather poor showing. As you say, I could understand Win8 users "upgrading" (from what I've seen, Win10 isn't as bad to use as 8) - but there's a heck of a lot of Win7 users managed to avoid it.

      Given the background to the rollout, this would seem to be an epic fail on MS's part.

  4. bombastic bob Silver badge

    hey I'm a "0.0015%"-er

    FreeBSD gets 30k! I'm glad it's more than just a tiny blip on the radar.

    Also STILL nearly twice as many XP+7 compared to 8+10, though win-10-nic managed to pass that mark in the last month. I have to wonder how long that will last...

    Also, were these unique computers? Or just "total hits" ?

    1. Mark 85

      Re: hey I'm a "0.0015%"-er

      Also, were these unique computers? Or just "total hits"?

      Therein is the problem with any of these statistics. For the two firms that provide numbers El Reg uses, one also has to ask "how many websites do they use for data gathering?".

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: hey I'm a "0.0015%"-er

        By taking El reg users as representative, and extrapolating from there, I predict this will be the year of desktop Linux.

        1. Teiwaz

          Re: hey I'm a "0.0015%"-er

          As a 'Linux user I'd like to know what websites are counted. Facebook and twitter no doubt among them. I'd probably be fairly confident if I said I visited none with anything approaching regularity, occasional or less.

          El reg users as representative - not likely. Since these figure include mobiles, smart Tvs and game consoles, it's too big a sample to declare on 'desktop'.

          What's this fuss over 'Desktop Linux' anyway, 'Window Manager Linux' has always been more than sufficient for my needs, right back to FVWM.

        2. Baldy50

          Re: hey I'm a "0.0015%"-er

          Got three people interested in a Linux distro already this week.

          What would happen if the open source world could get hold of XP off MS and support it all patched up and secure?

          Never going to happen but if they did I'd still be using it cos it worked and on a modern fast machine runs almost as quick as Linux.

          With the shambles that was Vista (spits on floor), extending support for XP IMHO saved MS's bacon and although 7, 8 10 are prettier it really isn't necessary to get the job done is it and hogs system resources all this prettiness.

          Back in days when everything was CLI and an adequate word processor could be run from a floppy, it just seems every time we get advances in processing power and faster machines Windows seemed to eat it.

        3. Captain Obvious

          Re: hey I'm a "0.0015%"-er

          What is even MORE obvious is that roughly 40 percent comes from phones/tablets. Different uses so this is not really a good comparison. For instance, you are waiting at the bus stop/train station and start surfing on the phone. It is not like someone is going to whip out a surface tablet (or probably even an iPad/Droid tablet) so stats are not reliable.

        4. Richard Plinston

          Re: hey I'm a "0.0015%"-er

          > By taking El reg users as representative,

          According to 'RequestPolicy' Firefox addon El Reg doesn't subscribe to Statcounter or Netmarketshare so no visits here will be part of those stats.

          My machine would block them if they were here.

  5. Novex

    Bit Miffed..

    ...that ChromeOS is higher than Linux!

    But, IMO we need to be cautious about that U.S. list. It's only for visits to U.S. government websites, which I reckon must be a bit distorted. How many people visit it, and who are they likely to be? I don't believe I've ever visited it, let alone in the last three months, so my Linux install isn't in that list.

    As for hiding from the stats only using NoScript, don't most browsers reveal their version and OS independent of Javascript? Surely the hiding would have to be done in some other way, i.e., spoofing the useragent information, as well as blocking Javascript?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Bit Miffed..

      "...that ChromeOS is higher than Linux!"

      Errr..... ChromeOS is a Linux OS.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Re: Bit Miffed..

        > Errr..... ChromeOS is a Linux OS.

        Indeed. As are Android, Firefox, those TV OSs, etc... Putting Linux's share of US gov hits at around 20%

      2. Novex

        Re: Bit Miffed..

        "Errr..... ChromeOS is a Linux OS."

        True. But it is somewhat modified (as are the other Linux-derived OSes like Android, etc) from what is generally understood to be Linux, such that they are separated out in that list.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Bit Miffed..

          "True. But it is somewhat modified (as are the other Linux-derived OSes like Android, etc) from what is generally understood to be Linux, such that they are separated out in that list."

          Almost the same could be said about the various iterations of Windows too.

      3. TVU Silver badge

        Re: Bit Miffed..

        "Errr..... ChromeOS is a Linux OS."

        Indeed it is, Doctor Syntax, and if I recall correctly Google based Chrome OS on Gentoo Linux. In addition, Chromebooks are doing well in the school education market in the USA where they are taking over from both iPads and Windows PCs and laptops.

    2. Richard Plinston

      Re: Bit Miffed..

      > As for hiding from the stats only using NoScript, don't most browsers reveal their version and OS independent of Javascript?

      Browsers do send their useragent to the website where it may be stored in the sites' weblogs. But Statcounter and other stats aren't collected from logs, they are collected by the sites sending some javascript to the browser which then collects whatever it can and sends the data directly to the stats collector.

      Looking at the logs would give different results. For example: computers can use a different IP address each day, handed to them from the ISP; several computers may be connected using a single IP address and these may be indistinguishable. Loading the script into each computer allows it to be uniquely and repeatedly, identified.

      The stats are only recorded for those self-selected sites that choose to install the scripts. I have 'RequestPolicy' installed which tells me how many trackers are being blocked. The Reg only uses Google-Analytics, it may be that many sites that use Statcounter aren't of interest to Linux users and are thus under reported.

    3. 404

      Re: Bit Miffed..

      It's slightly misleading. Google has been very aggressive in the placement of Chromebooks and Google Classrooms in US public schools. It would follow that a higher representation of ChromeOS would be seen on Federal sites.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Windows 10 has grabbed more than 20 per cent of the world's desktops

    "Grabbed" is the important word here. The percentage of the world's desktops that Windows 10 was invited to would be a much smaller number.

    1. Baldy50
      Thumb Up

      Re: Windows 10 has grabbed more than 20 per cent of the world's desktops

      Read my mind!

  7. poohbear


  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stands up to be counted

    I tried out the internet browser built in to my LG TV, so a few of the 220 might be me.

    I also still run XP on a netbook that I use as my holiday PC, as despite all the hype, an Android phone/tablet (I own both) still doesnt offer the flexibility of the old Windows OS.

    Ré O/S2, that ISNT me, but probably some "modern" Royal Navy warship.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Was WinPhone their last chance with home users?

    StatCounter highlights just how much the internet has changed.

    Exhibit 1: North America

    Was the Vista launch more successful than the Win10 launch?

    Will the “forced march” to Win10 consolidate market share or just “kill” home PCs?

    Exhibit 2: Asia

    A death spiral for the PC market?

    Ditto Africa:

    Ditto S America:

    Exhibit 3: Russian Federation

    Win 7 “hold outs” still above 40%.

    Exhibit 4: Spain

    A very interesting “battleground” as Win 7 moves towards “end of life”.

    The Big Question

    When a Not-9 update “borks” a home user's PC (i.e. the end of life for that device) will home users obediently buy another Not-9 PC?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's not a "death spiral for the PC market"

      That's an expansion in the number of connected users in the third world, which has been made possible by mobile devices. i.e. it isn't that all those people had PCs in 2008 and tossed them out by 2016, it is that a lot of people who didn't have PCs in 2008 and still don't in 2016 now have browsing ability via their phone.

      The reduction in sales in the PC market is IMHO twofold. One, waiting longer between upgrades since there's little reason to replace a PC just because it is 5 or 6 years old, whereas a decade ago that would been the norm because performance and capability was increasing at a much faster rate in the past (and also XP was a lot more likely to get bogged down with malware and become "slow" than 7) Two, and more importantly, some PCs aren't getting replaced as they die - mostly the second/third PCs that western families often had for their kids. With so much possible to do on a phone now, it is a lot easier for families to share a single PC than it was a decade ago.

  10. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Missing link

    The data from US government websites. the high percentage of IOS indicates how skewed the set is:

    Akamai also provides worldwide numbers:

    El Reg routinely ignores this resource. It has MS Edge, which is a reasonable proxy for Windows 10, at around 6 %

  11. Alan Denman

    All that web traffic

    Is it not just Windows update running in the background.

    It is unlike anything else out there for data slurping.

  12. Alistair


    Let me fix my user-agent-string.

  13. Howard Hanek

    What For It

    Let me foretell your future. Don't worry, it's free. It won't cost you a cent!

    Here. Sit down. Give me your palm. See? There? I can see a bright future full of.......

    All the while unseen hands have located your wallet, all your information, and if you have a cam, well all the better. The Gypsy Fortune Tellers have upgraded their 'skills' and are now 'Product Managers' in Redmond.

  14. MrTuK

    Just a thought

    I wonder if the stats are higher for Win 10 as when it data slurps - maybe it hits certain websites aswell to increase stats for Win 10 !!

    No matter what the truth of the stats, I am just surprised at the amount of sheeple everywhere !

    But as much as I hate Win 10 and will never have it on a PC/Laptop of mine I still defend the right for people to use whatever they want, maybe some of them will see the light eventually - But from looking at the stats it seems very unlikely !

  15. ammabamma

    UNIX: 1,702

    Is that you Daryl, checking the status of your case?

    Icon, 'cause that is what's needed to kill SCO off once and for all. =>

    ...It's the only way to be sure

  16. Medixstiff

    It can't be long before Win10 Enterprise VL is sold in Bali etc. to avoid all the BS M$ is pulling for Home and Pro users.

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