For the first time in history, Windows 10 is installed on more computers than Windows 7, according to numbers compiled by StatCounter. Last month, Microsoft’s latest operating system overtook Windows 7 for the first time globally.
The difference between the market shares of both operating systems is small. Windows 10 is now running on 42.78% of all computers, while Windows 7 powers 41.86% of all PCs. This means Windows 10 is installed on 0.92% more devices.
It took Microsoft about 2.5 years before Windows 10 finally has a larger user base than Windows 7, despite allowing Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users to upgrade for free and despite the aggressive marketing. The company initially aimed to have 1 billion devices running Windows 10 by 2018, but that self-imposed goal has not been met.
Part of that is because Windows 10 Phone never took off. Microsoft always specifically mentioned 1 billion ‘devices’, which meant the software giant hoped the OS would be installed on phones, tablets, laptops, desktop computers and combinations of those. With the release of Windows 10, Microsoft especially hoped hardware vendors would come up with new form factors. Just like Windows 10 Phone, also that never took off. It was mainly Microsoft itself who tried to introduce new form factors, such as its Surface products of which some are a hybrid of a laptop and tablet.
The last time Microsoft reported on how many devices Windows 10 was installed, was in November last year. Back then the company stated that the OS was running on 600 million devices.
Despite the large number of devices already running the OS, and despite’s Microsoft’s efforts to raise that number even further, users seem to be pretty loyal to Windows 7. Especially business users are allegedly loyal to the OS. However, staying on Windows 7 is a risk. By 2020 extended support of the OS ends, which means Microsoft will no longer release security updates for the operating system.
In the end, Windows 7 will go the same way as Windows XP. It will become outdated and insecure once Microsoft no longer releases security updates for the OS. This will eventually force users to switch to another OS. Obviously Microsoft hopes that all those Windows 7 users will switch to Windows 10, and if those users want to stay on the Windows platform, they don’t have a choice.
Windows XP, that also no longer receives security updates, and thus leaves users at risk, still runs on 3.36% of all computers. The market share of XP slowly dropped this year, from 5.72%.
Microsoft’s flopped operating systems Windows Vista and Windows 8(.1) are still on 0.74% and 11.16% respectively of the computers worldwide.