Usage stats indicate Windows 10's growth is slowing down (still good though)

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

Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system has been out for two full months and usage stats indicate that the operating system's growth slowed down considerably in September 2015.

It was not surprising that Windows 10 was off to a good start usage share wise in its first month thanks to it being offered for free to nearly all Microsoft customers running Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 versions of Windows.

According to NetMarketShare, Windows 10's usage share jumped to 5.21% of the cross-platform operating system market in that first month surpassing Mac OS X, Linux and Windows Vista.

September's stats are not nearly as impressive as they show a growth of 1.42 percentage points only. That's still nearly all of Linux's usage share of the operating system market but quite a decrement to last month's performance.

The 6.63% Windows 10 is sitting at right now puts it in fourth place overall just in front of Mac OS X and behind Windows 7, Windows XP and Windows 8.1.

os market share september 2015

Both Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 lost a bit of usage share in September but not nearly as much as in August 2015.

Since there are not many devices out there that you buy that run Windows 10, it is likely that this can be largely attributed to PCs being upgraded for free.

While growth has slowed down, Windows 10 is still doing good compared to the performance of previous Windows launches.

I don't consider percentages below the 0.50% points mark particularly revealing as there are certain source fluctuations that will impact the accuracy.

It will be interesting to see how Windows 10 will do this holiday season considering that the usage share boosts it got early on is likely to die off even more in coming months.

Microsoft is expected to reveal new Windows 10 devices this month including new Surface devices which could give Windows 10 another boost provided that they improve the Surface line of tablet/laptop hybrids further.

If you look at the bigger picture, it is likely that adoption will improve again once Microsoft releases the first major update for the operating system as this is usually the time when Enterprises first become interested in a new operating system.

Now You: It will be interesting to see how Windows 10 will perform in the coming months. Do you think it will see increased growth again in the coming months or will growth slow down even more?

Usage stats indicate Windows 10's growth is slowing down (still good though)
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Usage stats indicate Windows 10's growth is slowing down (still good though)
September 2015 operating system usage shares indicate that Windows 10's growth is slowing down.
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  1. Alan said on October 2, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    I use Windows 10 on my laptop and desktop, I like it a lot. I also use Bing, Google, Windows Mail, Windows Calendar, etc. No complaints here, why all the whining? Life is too short..

    1. Corky said on October 3, 2015 at 1:53 pm

      Everyone (Microsoft, Google, NSA, GCHQ) already know you have no complaints. ;)

      1. Tom Hawack said on October 3, 2015 at 2:33 pm

        Especially if key-words are included. Great for sending a message if you have friends over at whatever big ears, rather than phoning, just include i.e. “By the way, please tell George K. over at Langley ext#789 that I’ll be late for supper” – Direct. Handy.

  2. chesscanoe said on October 2, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    I’m not confident the methodology used to gather the numbers is accurate. For example, is Edge, Cortana, Mail and Calendar, or Bing use being counted as Windows 10 use, and the lack of use of these applications assumed to be indicative of non Windows 10? I have Windows 10 installed and I actually like it, but I don’t use any of the aforementioned applications. Obviously there are right ways to determine OS usage, but are they being used?

    1. Corky said on October 2, 2015 at 3:06 pm

      The methodology used to gather the numbers depends on who of the main bean counters are being used.

      Statcounter measures visitors to web sites, in effect how busy that particular OS is on the Internet.
      NetMarketShare measures unique visitors to web sites, in effect each individual OS on the Internet.

      The OS visiting the site is normally reported via the user agent string in most applications that use HTTP.

  3. ilev said on October 2, 2015 at 11:21 am

    If one day the world will wake up to find Windows OS has disappeared, it will take a couple of hours to continue as usual. If on the other hand the world will find that Linux has disappeared, The world will crash in under 1 minute.

    1. Solidstate89 said on October 3, 2015 at 2:48 am

      “it will take a couple of hours to continue as usual”

      Spoken like a true moron. Yes, the most used operating system among every major industry in the world will just result in everything continuing as normal in “just a couple of hours.”

      How stupid and delusional are you?

      1. Pants said on October 3, 2015 at 9:02 am

        considering the vast majority of the internet backbone runs off *nix … he kinda has a point, but he’s still a moron and a troll :)

    2. Tom Hawack said on October 2, 2015 at 12:51 pm

      Skills and talents are always those of a minority :)

  4. Mike J. said on October 2, 2015 at 12:11 am

    Just a guess, but there are a lot of pirated copies of XP floating around. MS doesn’t support it anymore, but they don’t seem to be stopping people from using it either–except maybe by sneaking 10 onto their systems.
    Win 7 is still available from places like Staples, New Egg, and Tiger Direct here in the U.S.. You have at pay about a $50 premium for it.

    1. Tom Hawack said on October 2, 2015 at 12:39 am

      Like Cuba with its automobiles of the fifties maybe tomorrow’s Web will include zones equipped with old, very old OSs. The core of computers is becoming for an increasing number of techies as easy to manipulate as a transistor radio back in the sixties so why not imagine populations no longer thrilled by the latest technology but rather by making, tweaking their own home-made/repaired systems? After all what else than the name of the OS remains on a machine so heavily tweaked that it has become de facto a system of its own? Officially reported as an XP but maybe much more than that under the hood… who knows how our civilization will deal will the digital era?

      1. Tom Hawack said on October 2, 2015 at 9:13 am

        I guess you’re right Mike J. My comment was certainly relevant of a Microsoft dependent state of mind. Why did I not mention the great (so great?) OS alternatives? Especially that I like to imagine the freedom of a user who would be able to build his own computer and elaborate his own OS (hence closer to Linux than to Windows, of course!)… now that would be fantastic, wouldn’t it?

      2. Mike J. said on October 2, 2015 at 1:57 am

        Aren’t folks who can do such usually in the Linux camp?? Not arguing, just asking.
        And old cars that can’t be hacked into making it run into an oak tree might become popular in the near future.

  5. Tom Hawack said on October 2, 2015 at 12:09 am

    While enjoying a break between tea and music I was wondering about how to explain so much controversy nowadays when it comes to software and perhaps proportional to the software’s importance : an OS, oh my!

    Am I off-topic? If so please pardon me.

    I don’t recall all the fuss be it legitimate controversy regarding the latest Microsoft OS. From Windows 3 up to 7 announced new OSs have never endured the very tough vox populi we observe with Windows 10. Vista and 8 have had their lot of criticism but that was once the OS trully anchored in the users’ experience, not so quickly and strongly as with the 10 …

    So is it that we, users, are on the trend of requiring more and more quality and accepting less and less in return, or is it that we are slowly diving in an era of decline when it comes to quality, honesty, what was once qualified as “good stuff”?

    1. Mike J. said on October 2, 2015 at 4:03 am

      Oh, I enjoy my tea as I go online in the morning, but for listening to the Band, the Allman Brothers, & the Doors in the evening, it has to be gin & tonic….

      1. Tom Hawack said on October 2, 2015 at 9:07 am

        Rum ‘n’ coke for salsa, of course :)
        But here music was not the aim but the mean!
        This is definitely off-topic. Just finished morning coffee so for those in the same time zone area : have a nice day! Sleep well westward, enjoy your afternoon/evening eastward!

      2. Womble said on October 2, 2015 at 5:12 am

        Sip … Why wait ’til the evening.

  6. Leandro said on October 1, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    I guess Windows 10 figures are based on brand new PCs sales shipping with the new OS.

    1. Corky said on October 2, 2015 at 9:33 am

      Far from it, the vast majority has been from people upgrading.

      In its sixth week on the market, which ended yesterday, just 4,200 Windows 10 machines had been shipped by IT disties in western Europe.

      1. Leandro said on October 2, 2015 at 11:50 am

        hmmm, then it is a crazy epidemy for a Big Brother O.S.

  7. Nebulus said on October 1, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    XP for the Win! :)

  8. Teddy Ficile said on October 1, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    I have no idea of Windows 10’s future. I don’t believe the developer will draw back the browser’s data collecting systems and if this now notorious aspect of Windows 10 has anything to do with September’s slowing down growth then it might be a serious obstacle to a wider enthusiastic adoption by the users. Also, Windows 10 as it is presented is a browser crafted for auto-upgrading rather than being followed by its successor which means that if it fails big problems may arise for Microsoft, leaving as such a slight hope to have, if applicable, if not a U-turn at least a curve in the inquisitive aspects of the browser. This is how I see it right now but, frankly, this is pure speculation.

    1. Pants said on October 2, 2015 at 5:38 am

      lulzwut? … Windows 10 is not a browser – I do not think that word means what you think it means

      1. Teddy Ficile said on October 2, 2015 at 12:48 pm

        Quite true! I should have written of course “[…]the OS”s data collecting systems[…]” — Brain bug as I wrote when already on other thoughts. I’m not a techie but I don’t mistake a browser with an OS neither do I consider Google Search as the Web :=)

  9. jimp said on October 1, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    I am VERY surprised that Windows XP is in second place, with 12% of the market.
    That is about double Windows 10.
    I was thinking about dropping support for XP. But now — probably not.

    1. fokka said on October 2, 2015 at 8:54 pm

      i don’t know what you are developing, but the vast majority of those 12% will be old machines running old software in businesses, where people aren’t allowed to install things themselves anyways.

    2. Teddy Ficile said on October 1, 2015 at 8:10 pm

      Surprised as well, surprised even more to read a share increase of XP! How can the market get more XPs ?

      1. Pants said on October 2, 2015 at 5:35 am

        @Teddy +0.07 is statistically meaningless and well within any margin of error

        @jimp – if you exclude govt/business/enterprise machines running legacy software (and if you discount all those hanging on to an old old old pc because its all they have/can afford), then the number will drop significantly. When I meet any new clients running XP, I tell them its time to move on, ditch it – the OS is 16 years old, hasn’t been supported by MS for 2(?) years, and any machine that came with it is probably at least 6+ years old. If they moan about legacy software then a) there’s always an XP virtual machine and b) maybe they need to change software because the situation won’t fix itself and will have to be sorted out sooner or later.

        XP needs to die (as does Vista, IMO). Then again … 12% XP users .. hmmm … hacker’s delight

      2. Nebulus said on October 1, 2015 at 11:34 pm

        @Tom Hawack: They were actually Win10 users who have upgraded! :))

      3. Martin Brinkmann said on October 1, 2015 at 9:42 pm

        These numbers are not official and I suspect them to fluctuate quite a bit (e.g. total number of unique devices tracked). It is likely that smaller fluctuations are not necessarily indicative of a trend.

      4. Tom Hawack said on October 1, 2015 at 9:40 pm

        Probably Win95 users who have upgraded :=)

  10. hirobo2 said on October 1, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    I like Win10. It makes XP look good. So, continue to take away Win7/8.1’s market share, Windows 10, make XP shine brighter next month!

    (Btw, the second Win 8.1 entry, shouldn’t it be Win 8.0?)

    1. Solidstate89 said on October 3, 2015 at 2:46 am

      Windows XP is complete fucking garbage and you’re an idiot for continuing to use that piece of shit operating system.

      1. Bobby said on October 5, 2015 at 8:20 pm

        And Solidstate89 , I also know that programmers and hackers in my country are the people who use WinXp most often. So can you explain why exactly it’s a garbage and how then so many people love it. Woow, I forgot Win XP was not secure, it’s only that I used it for 12 years without catching a virus… And what now, Win 10 and 8 will be so safe, even no need of antivirus, uh?

      2. Bobby said on October 5, 2015 at 8:14 pm

        Solidstate89, the words you have used in your first comment in fact describe what kind of a person you are. Win Xp is the best OS done by Microsoft, together with 7, and you must be really stupid to deny something that is acknowledged by millions of people.

      3. Solidstate89 said on October 4, 2015 at 6:36 pm


        I can’t even put into words how absolutely laughable you opinion is. Tech junkies? Using an unsupported piece of shit operating system with security flawed at the very kernel itself compared to LITERALLY any and every other modern operating system? And programmers? You think it’s programmers sticking with Windows XP?

        No, it’s pirates in China, technologically illiterate morons and luddites like you. There is nothing redeemable about Windows XP over 10 years later and you’re delusional if you think otherwise.

      4. hirobo2 said on October 3, 2015 at 5:59 pm

        @Solidstate89: You are wrong. The only ppl sticking with XP are the tech junkies who love a fast intuitive configurable OS. Not just regular users, but programmers and hackers, and I am testimony of that…

      5. hirobo2 said on October 3, 2015 at 5:55 pm

        @Rafael: Spot on man. XP was the only good thing Microsoft ever produced. Evrything else that came after are second rate aimed mainly at second raters who love second rate products…

      6. Solidstate89 said on October 3, 2015 at 4:22 pm


        Literally the only people that think Windows XP is better than any of the OSes that proceeded are technologically illiterate morons. And I am using the word “literally” correctly there. Windows XP does nothing better than the OSes that proceeded it. It is an insecure piece of shit operating system with a kernel version that can’t properly utilize multiple cores, has absolutely no security capabilities beyond DEP (no ASLR, no Heap Spray mitigations, no HEASLR, no kernel harddening, no driver hardening, no UAC) and everything just ran as admin because hurr durr, that’s so smart. It’s not like *NIX operating systems haven’t had that problem fixed for years, but no, it’s idiots like you that thought UAC was a bad idea and probably turned it off like the moron you are

      7. anon said on October 3, 2015 at 3:50 pm

        lol you Windows XP fanboys never cease to be amusing. Prior to Windows 7, 8.1, and 10, even Windows 98 SE and 2000 Professional were better than XP.

      8. Rafael said on October 3, 2015 at 10:27 am

        Actually XP was the best ever. Even better than Windows 7 bu fucking retards like you loved garbage like Windows 7 and 10 and that’s why we’re in this mess today and Windows is becoming “upgraded” less faster. XP was absolutely the crown jewel from Microsoft when they were at their peak. The best user eXPerience. Windows 7 is shite but compared to garbage 10 or junk 8, 7 is at least tolerable.

    2. anon said on October 2, 2015 at 12:07 pm

      >ever being good

      Take your nostalgia pandering somewhere else.

      1. Bobby said on October 5, 2015 at 8:11 pm

        Anon , can you give an explanation why Win Xp is crap? Or it’s hard for you to think so much?

      2. Bobby said on October 5, 2015 at 8:09 pm

        It’s not only nostalgia but desire to have something that works well for you. Win Xp is still great. I use it almost every day and hadn’t had any problems. So lmao on you and your stupid arrogance.

      3. anon said on October 2, 2015 at 11:34 pm

        So what if it’s still the 2nd most used OS? That doesn’t make it less crap. What’s your point?

      4. hirobo2 said on October 2, 2015 at 6:36 pm

        Lol, nostalgia. Right, when it’s the 2nd most used Operating System in the world. That’s almost like saying, nope, China is not a world superpower, even though it currently has the 2nd largest economy in the world…

    3. Martin Brinkmann said on October 1, 2015 at 6:24 pm

      You are right, the second entry should be Windows 8.0 and not Windows 8.1. Sorry for that.

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