Windows 10: big jump in usage share in August 2015

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 1, 2015
Updated • Jul 5, 2017
Windows, Windows 10

Windows 10 has been out for little over a month; reason enough to find out how the operating system did usage share wise.

NetMarketShare's published desktop operating system usage share statistics for August 2015 indicate that Microsoft's new operating system Windows 10 jumped straight to position four of the most used operating system from not being in the top 10 a month earlier.

It surpassed Linux, all Mac OS X editions as well as Windows Vista and Windows 8 in that single month.

According to NetMarketShare's data, it is holding a usage share of 5.21% currently. The three operating system versions in front of it are Windows 8.1 with 11.39%, Windows XP with 12.14% and Windows 7 with its dominating 57.67%.

Windows 10 rose by 4.28% compared to the month before while both Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 lost usage share ( 1.72% and 3.06% respectively). Windows XP interestingly enough gained 0.42% but that is more of an indicator that these stats are not set in stone and can fluctuate quite a bit depending on certain factors.

windows 10 usage share

The rise is fueled by Microsoft's marketing efforts to get existing customers to upgrade to Windows 10. The company announced early on that Windows 10 would be a free upgrade and advertised that fact on systems running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 through updates.

But how impressive is a 5% leap in a single month? It depends. On the one hand, it highlights that Windows 10 is doing quite well one month after release especially since upgrades are pushed out gradually and not at once.

It is also doing quite well when you compare Windows 10's month to the first month of Windows 8. Windows 8, released October 2012, managed to jump barely over the 1% mark in usage share after the first month of release.

One could argue that Windows 8 had a tougher play-field as it succeeded the highly successful Windows 7 operating system while Windows 10 had it much easier as it succeeds Windows 8 which did not get rave reviews.

Compared to Windows 7, Windows 10 is not nearly doing as well. Windows 7 managed to jump to more than 4% in the first month after release. Limited discounted upgrade offers and family packs certainly helped, as did the fact that it succeeded Windows Vista, another ill-liked operating system.

Accuracy-issues aside, it seems that Windows 10 is off to a good start. The real question is whether Microsoft can keep up the momentum once it has served the majority of free upgrade customers.

Now You: Can Windows 10 stand on its own and continue its rise?

Update: Steam Hardware survey stats are in for the month of August 2015. Windows 10 jumped to 16.39% in that month, a gain of 13.17% over last month. It snagged away percentages from Windows 7 and windows 8.1 mainly in the process. While that is remarkable, it needs to be noted that Steam users are generally faster when it comes to upgrading hardware and software (like operating systems) because of game requirements.

Windows 10: big jump in usage share in August 2015
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Windows 10: big jump in usage share in August 2015
Windows 10 made a big jump in usage share in the first month after its official release.
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  1. dj said on September 3, 2015 at 8:09 am

    This link,, was listed in the ublock issus at github, “Don’t use Windows 10 – It’s a privacy nightmare”. #2 is pretty awful (well so are 3, 4, 5). The article might explain the heavy push to get it out there. They can make money in other ways.

    Before the public internet there were bulletin boards. CompuServe was one. And folks developed software and sold it via shareware license. There were linux distributions, minix, bsd, and os2, but you usually bought them. You paid once. It was fun. I can’t think of anything worse than concentrating on a problem, doing some work, and having a dang ad displayed. Do you think Bill Gates runs Windows 10 and has an ad kill switch? :-)

  2. anon said on September 2, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    Steam is an echo chamber for this type of data.

  3. Leandro said on September 2, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    I’m suprised given it’s evasdroping reputation people still go for w10.
    What concerns me more is not the fact of Microsoft spying on me, but using my braodband to transfertheir data.
    I’ll wait a little more until I figure out a firewall or something.

    1. anon said on September 2, 2015 at 9:09 pm

      People are fine with NSA. What MS is doing with Windows 10 are less important than what they eat for breakfast.

      It’s sad, but also the reality.

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on September 2, 2015 at 6:26 pm

      Even though it made the news, it is only known by a minority I guess. Most simply don’t care and only cry out if something major hits the news. Even then, it seems they forget all about it when the next craze hits (new Justin Bieber song, some scandal or whatever).

  4. Ann said on September 2, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    Yeah sure that W10 still can rise, an 11.39% to be precise.

  5. hirobo2 said on September 1, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    Lol, XP rules! Shares up in Aug!

    1. GAry Roberts said on September 2, 2015 at 7:24 am

      XP was up a quarter of a percent because some businesses paid for security updates to allow use of proprietary programs designed for use with XP.

      1. Corky said on September 2, 2015 at 6:52 pm

        What and they didn’t do that last month, the month before, or for any of the last 17 months prior to today?

  6. neonspark said on September 1, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    techincally it is doing better than windows 7. these are “samples” of web usage not actual sales or installs. In both sales and actual installs, windows 7 trails badly. For example, it took several months to reach 60M windows 7 “sales” and that wasn’t even installs. It was simply sales to OEMs which would someday install them.

    1. Corky said on September 2, 2015 at 8:22 am

      True, but then again people had to pay money to upgrade to Windows 7 versus Windows 10 supposedly “free” offer and aggressive upgrade campaign.

  7. DVD Rambo said on September 1, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    Windows 10 is on the rise. So is the ire it’s brought to some customers that don’t want to upgrade, never registered for the upgrade, and yet find that it’s ready to install. I had a customer this morning that is happy with Windows 7 and want to stay on it until their PC dies. They are frustrated by Microsoft and constatntly pushing Windows 10. MSN now makes them close a large popup before they can visit the site. They don’t understand what is happening at Microsoft. The customer and I discussed what operating systems are doing to them today. Only some flavors of Linux seem to be suitable for these people. They’re looking for a new printer. I suggested that they pick up a Brother printer with the features they like that has LInux drivers. I’ve never seen retired customers so befuddled by Microsoft’s actions that they are considering Linux. Even Windows 8 didn’t drive people away, it just annoyed them. Classic Shell fixed that. Windows 10 may be growing, but it is possible that discontent with how Microsoft handed/is handling the upgrade, telemetry and privacy issues will drive some people away from it, not toward it. A small number will likely try Linux, probably not many. I suspect that Microsoft doesn’t care one bit if they lose desktop/laptop market share. With the web being more and more the center of attention, they really should stop forcing Windows 10. We all know it’s there. Just stop beating people over the head just because its a free upgrade that some people do not want.

    1. Velocity.Wave said on September 3, 2015 at 6:56 am

      I’m actually not seeing the hate for Windows 10 that you are observing with your clients. If anything I’m getting several people asking me about Windows 10 with some interest, and I’m telling them to hold off for a few months.

      That upgrade notice in the bottom right irritates some of them, but I just turn it off for them — it’s quick enough to do so.

      However, what does concern me is all that calling Microsoft servers that Windows 10 seems to be doing in the background. That’s HIGHLY troubling to me, and the only reason I haven’t upgraded my own personal computers at home yet.

      I’m waiting for Microsoft to communicate with the public and properly explain that issue (and also waiting for some 3rd party software fixes, to stop that behavior in the OS!)

    2. intelligencia said on September 1, 2015 at 9:04 pm

      Windows Computer (Win 7 Premium) crashed in June of 2015 – – NO Problem!
      (Die-HARD Windows user for two decades Installed Linux Mint 17.2 in the crashed computer and has NOT looked back since!)
      Linux Mint Rules – – End of Story!!!


      1. Gabriel said on September 2, 2015 at 6:34 am

        I recommend a try of Deepin and or Elementary OS.

      2. theMike said on September 2, 2015 at 12:12 am

        I gave up on plasma 5 and the poor wireless support and constant freezing of the system. Mint KDE 17.2 is one of the best out of box linux distro’s to date. Everything works!

  8. Tom Hawack said on September 1, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    Younger you are quicker you grow …
    Windows 10 rose by 4.28% compared to the month before“. The month before was Launch Day + 3 if the reference is today September 1st …
    Like with the stock markets, nothing like good news to give that extra punch :)
    Anyway, who would decide to upgrade or not an OS on the basis of its success? Many! But not all.

  9. Corky said on September 1, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    No doubt when Microsoft rolls out Windows 10 to all them lucky Xbox owners we will see a big jump in the Windows 10 market share.

    1. fokka said on September 2, 2015 at 6:10 pm

      i doubt that xbox is counted in this statistic and even if, that’s “only” a chunk of 20-30m consoles right now, not a very big number compared to all the computers out there.

      1. Corky said on September 2, 2015 at 6:48 pm

        For Statcounter it depends on what boxes you tick, default is to include consoles, and NetmarketShare also (afaik) includes consoles in their reports.

        I’m not to sure if it’s just XB1 (sold around 15 Million) getting Windows 10, or if the Xbox 360 is also getting it, I would expect it is as AFAIK the both use the same OS, if they both get the update that would add around 90 Million users.

        Basically don’t be shocked if Windows 10 usage share sees a big jump during November.

  10. ilev said on September 1, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    XP on the rise :-)

    1. Carver said on September 2, 2015 at 4:33 pm

      Windows 8.1 is down
      Linux is down
      Steam on Windows 10 way up !

    2. Nebulus said on September 1, 2015 at 11:43 pm

      LOL, yeah that made my day! :)

      Breaking news: “After seeing Win10, people suddenly realized that WinXP is not as bad as they thought!” :)

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