Windows 10 usage share continues to rise

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 3, 2015
Updated • Jul 5, 2017
Windows, Windows 10

Windows 10's usage share continued to climb in November 2015. Depending on the service that you are consulting in regards to operating system usage share, Windows 10 is already the second-most used operating system in the world or closing in on that position.

Net Market Share recorded an increase of 1.06% in the month of November 2015 for a total usage share percentage of 9.00 for Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system. That's close to Windows XP's 10.59% and Windows 8.1's 11.15% but still far away from the dominating lead that Windows 7 has which Net Market Share recorded at 56.11% last month.

These figures are not exact and there is always some fluctuation, but they may reveal trends. Over the past five months, Windows 10 managed to gain usage share while all other Microsoft operating systems, Windows XP, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7, dropped by a few percent in the same period.

windows 10 november 2015
data provided by Net Market Share

While Windows 10's growth appears to slow down somewhat -- which is understandable considering that users accepting Microsoft's free upgrade offer to the operating system have done so largely by now -- it is still on its way to overtake all Windows versions except for Windows 7 in the coming months.

Assuming a growth of 1%, it will take approximately two additional months before Windows 10 overtakes Windows XP and Windows 8.1 in usage share.

Microsoft plans to fuel the growth in early 2016 by adding Windows 10 as an important update to Windows Update on devices running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. It is unclear right now however how much of an impact the move will have on the operating system's growth in the following months.

Net Market Share is not the only company collecting operating system statistics. Steam's November 2015 hardware survey results list Windows 10 already as the second most used operating system on the platform trailing only Windows 7 on it.

The recorded 29.85% puts it in a firm second place trailing Windows by less than 11%. If growth continues in the same fashion in the coming months, it will overtake Windows 7 in less than six months as the number one operating system on Steam.

PC gamers are known for adopting new operating systems and hardware faster than the general public, and the Steam stats are clearly highlighting that as Windows 10's usage share is much higher than on all other services collecting these statistics.

Now You: Where will Windows 10 stand a year after release?

Windows 10 usage share continues to rise
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Windows 10 usage share continues to rise
Microsoft's new operating system Windows 10 continues to rise in November 2015.
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  1. Siva said on December 9, 2015 at 4:10 am

    Anyone can see the dip in Windows 7 and 8.1 at the right moment w10 starts to raise ? Around Jul 15 ..
    Thats when many people upgraded. But as you can see windows 7 starts to climb up again , i think these are the one who reverted back from windows 10. Does this graph also tell the exact people who reverted back to windows 7 or simply the installs of the OS ?

    1. Vladimir Cvajniga said on December 9, 2015 at 9:43 am

      Many people have upgraded just by an accident since it was an automatic update. Many people have downgraded back to 7 or 8 since then.

  2. Alan said on December 7, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    No problems with Windows 10. Balance my checkbook, banking, music, videos, shopping, maps, news and weather, Nope, no issues here, in fact, I like it better than Windows 7. Not sure about market share, don’t care. Have a good day everybody.

    1. Gary D said on December 7, 2015 at 8:05 pm

      Hi Alan

      Has it snowed in Redmond yet this Winter ?

  3. berttie said on December 5, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    I’ve just bought a new laptop with Win10 Home installed. It will soon be running Win-7. Why? Because Win10 leaks DNS data like the Titanic negating the security of VPN and my efforts to upgrade it to Pro so I can use Group Policy to reign this in using an unused Win 8 Pro license has failed. No matter what I do Home gets installed, presumably because the key for it is embedded in the BIOS. The only way around this seems to be to buy a Win10 Pro license. I refuse to pay to correct something caused by bad coding (or maybe NSA requirements).

  4. jern said on December 5, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    Win10 faces a hardware inertia problem. Many people still use older (Pentium 4) computers that fail the NX bit compatibility test. They got left behind by Microsoft at Win8. The problem is that those computers still run everything from WinXP to Win7 perfectly. To get those people onto Win10 Microsoft has to convince them to throw away perfectly good computers. I don’t think that’s going to happen.

    It was discussed on the MS insider forum here…

  5. hirobo2 said on December 5, 2015 at 6:42 am

    Lol, Win10 is the reason I won’t buy another new computer until the next operating system comes out, which of course won’t be called “Windows” but perhaps “Microsoft OS”. But if this shite like forced updates and tampering with installed software and embedded spyware keeps up, then I’ll just make my existing computers last longer…

    1. Corky said on December 5, 2015 at 11:50 am

      Or you could just use an OS that doesn’t dictate how you should use it.

      1. hirobo2 said on December 5, 2015 at 11:40 pm

        I’d love to. But which OS do you know makes it as easy to program for as Visual Studio? (And I’m not referring to none of the metro-apps crap, just the regular applications of old)…

  6. ilev said on December 4, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Net Market Share is a Microsoft groupie not to trusted.

  7. Dave said on December 4, 2015 at 9:33 am

    After the release of all the spy-disabling apps, people finally take the plunge.

  8. Pants said on December 4, 2015 at 9:19 am

    Just wait until Win8/8/1 users are FORCED to update to 10 .. and yes, this will happen. First though, MS will try the sneaky “important update”, which I am sure large numbers of people will fall for. Once that’s failed to get everyone, MS will announce the end of 8/8.1 support because reasons (logistics) and users must upgrade. This will then nicely bump/double win10 into 2nd place. If they can suck some percentage points off Win7 as well, then all the execs can give themselves rim jobs and hand jobs and bonuses and laugh at the silly people, whilst declaring Win10 the most successful OS in the history of the universe…

    1. Marcus Ulpius Traianus said on December 5, 2015 at 7:26 pm

      First of all, M$ may have to announce the end of their whole business.
      M$ can not just >>FORCE<< users to anything.
      They have become kind of a parasite trying to live on their crappy software.
      The world will survive without them easily.
      Once they became pain in the ass of the whole industry,
      their days are numbered.

      1. Vladimir Cvajniga said on December 4, 2015 at 6:26 pm

        The first thing you have to do is to stop the automatic Windows update.

        To suppress this offer through the registry, specify the following registry value:

        Subkey: HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate
        DWORD value: DisableOSUpgrade = 1

        Run regedit and create the registry item. If you do not know how to do it just download the following file and double-click on it:

        You definitely have to follow the instructions @

        Search for The current updates to remove and prevent:

        SFC : KB3022345
        SFC: KB3068708

      2. 1352 said on December 4, 2015 at 5:06 pm

        How can I fix this? My regedit somehow no longer contains the Windows Update folder.

        Does changing WU to manual still not prevent this?

  9. Vladimir Cvajniga said on December 4, 2015 at 8:15 am

    If you look closely to the chart you’ll notice that Windows 7 & Windows 8.1 grow up again! Why is that?

    1. Nebulus said on December 4, 2015 at 10:40 am

      I’m sad that XP is not growing anymore, like it did in the previous month… I know that is inside the error margin, but a man can always hope :)

      1. Vladimir Cvajniga said on December 4, 2015 at 6:29 pm

        Win XP was great!
        Win 7 is much better!
        Win 8.x is a loser.
        Win 10 is a spying crap.

        I think you can get Win 7 via MSDN as a downgrade from Windows 8.

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on December 4, 2015 at 9:31 am

      I think this is just some fluctuation as the stats are not 100% accurate.

      1. Peter said on December 4, 2015 at 7:57 pm

        No, I don’t think so. That sort of measurement error would affect everything, not just Win7 and Win8. I think what happened is that people rushed to buy Win7 and Win8 PCs just before Win10 was officially released. There is often this last-minute panic amongst Windows users when a new release comes along.

  10. Vladimir Cvajniga said on December 4, 2015 at 8:12 am

    Dark future for Windows 10 users:

    Windows 10’s fall update is deactivating certain apps without asking

  11. Jeff said on December 3, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    Of course it’s rising. It’s being shoved down people’s throats. Most home users are ignorant of the privacy violations that Win 10 employs and they tend to focus on the magic word … “free”. A lot of non-experienced users probably think of it as just another windows update, and indeed, that is how MS seems to be displaying it. And in 2016, this aggression will increase even further.

    Oh and don’t be surprised if MS extends the free update period next summer for another year.

    1. Marcus Ulpius Traianus said on December 5, 2015 at 1:34 pm

      M$ shall extend the free update period of their Windows’X for NEXT TEN YEARS.
      Nadella is keen on having his Guiness World Record!!!

    2. Peter said on December 4, 2015 at 4:53 am

      “Most home users are ignorant of the privacy violations that Win 10 employs”

      A lot of them do know and still don’t care. That’s what I find so disturbing.

      It’s interesting to see those little upward blips in Windows 7 and 8 user share during the summer. Probably a last-minute rush to buy computers with the older OS’s pre-installed before they disappeared from the market. (Or perhaps people installed Win7/8 when they learned Win10 would be a no-charge upgrade.)

      However, I disagree with the contention that PC gamers will adopt Win10 faster than everyone else. Many will, but probably just as many will not. That’s because a lot of PC gamers are complete tech nerds. They are the type of people who will stick to Win7 until the bitter end, because they know that Win7 was the last good operating system that Microsoft produced.

      1. Jeff said on December 4, 2015 at 10:59 pm

        ” They are the type of people who will stick to Win7 until the bitter end, because they know that Win7 was the last good operating system that Microsoft produced.”

        Amen. Could not have said it better myself.

  12. Vrai said on December 3, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    I find it very difficult to put much credence into any metric indicating the rapid adoption of Windows 10 whereas Microsoft has employed pushy or even deceptive tactics in order to speed up the upgrade and installation of Windows 10.

    Tactics such as surreptitiously downloading the upgrade in the background without the users knowledge and/or upgrading a users computer without their express consent.

    1. Tom said on December 3, 2015 at 4:43 pm

      I agree with Vrai. Win 10 is an underdeveloped OS which was pushed out by MS to distract users from the Win 8/8.1 debacle. I believe that the REALLY stable version will be not be released until well into 2016.

      Enforced and badly coded updates have caused a large number of problems on PCs and Laptops because of installation hang ups and DELIBERATE deletion of third party programs without notice.

      As well as the OS, MS Edge is an unfinished product which needs a lot more development, including useful AND usable extensions.

      I await with anticipation the Win 10 zealots reaction to my comments declaiming that Win 10 is the most wonderful piece of software ever. E.G. “faster, super user interface (much better than W7, XP, and Vista combined”, etc. etc. etc.

      1. Corky said on December 3, 2015 at 7:56 pm

        Doesn’t the way Microsoft pushed Windows 10 and the rate of adoption speak volumes though?

        It’s being offered as a free upgrade for existing customers, it’s been pushed to customers like no other version of Windows before it, and yet only four months after release it’s adoption rate has fallen behind Windows 7 that cost £120 when it was released.

        Also the REALLY stable version will only ever be released to enterprise customers, everyone else is nothing more than beta testers for those enterprise customers.

      2. Andrew said on December 3, 2015 at 7:43 pm

        Agreed, Win10 is a little wonky, but usable. The number of issues people have had trying to upgrade to Win10 or November Update is also concerning. Really makes me miss days when updates were just updates, not full fledged OS upgrades

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