Microsoft: Windows 10 has an install base of 16% (November 2015)

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 9, 2016
Updated • Jul 5, 2017
Windows, Windows 10

It is difficult to find out how well -- or not -- Microsoft's new operating system Windows 10 is doing, and whether it is likely that Microsoft will hit the 1 billion or more devices running the operating system in two to three years after launch.

The company has been tight lipped about the progress, and revealed numbers only sporadically in the past.

Back in August, Microsoft reported that the operating system was installed on 75 million devices, and in December 2015, it reported an install base of more than 200 million.

Those official figures paint a clear picture of the growth, but they are not enough to determine how well Windows 10 is doing.

That's where third-party sites came into play in the past. The main issue with those services is that they are not accurate as they analyze web traffic to determine operating system usage stats.

That explains the big difference in usage stats. The latest Steam hardware survey stats indicate that more than 32% of all Steam users are using devices with Windows 10, while services such as NetMarketShare or Statcounter see Windows 10 at 11.85% or 12.45% respectively.

Microsoft's Windows Trend website sheds some light on those statistics. The first chart, highlighting the operating system install base between September 2014 and November 2015 highlights the rise and fall of Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

According to the information posted there, Windows 10 went from 1% in June 2015 to 16% in November 2015.

Windows 7 Windows 8 Windows 8.1 Windows 10
11/1/2014 74 7 18
12/1/2014 73 7 20
1/1/2015 72 6 22
2/1/2015 71 5 23
3/1/2015 71 5 24
4/1/2015 70 5 25
5/1/2015 69 5 26
6/1/2015 68 4 27 1
7/1/2015 67 4 26 4
8/1/2015 63 4 24 9
9/1/2015 64 3 21 11
10/1/2015 65 3 17 14
11/1/2015 63 3 18 16

Windows 10 was released on July 29, 2015 officially.

A switch from trends for all users to gamers shows that gamers adopt Windows 10 more rapidly than all users. The latest figure as of November 2015 is 20% for Windows 10 which is 4% more than the average OS install base.

The OS install base is larger than the reported usage share of third-party services such as NetMarketShare which reported Windows 10 on 9% in November 2015.

The Windows Trends website reveals other interesting information. Here is a short list, all stats as of November 2015.

  1. 22% of all devices have less than 4 Gigabyte of RAM, 56% 4 Gigabyte, and 21% more than 4 Gigabyte of RAM.
  2. 3% of all devices have less than 64 Gigabyte of storage, 7% 128 Gigabyte, and 13% 256 Gigabyte.
  3. 3% of all devices support a resolution of less than 720p, 74% 720p, and 23% higher resolutions.
  4. The most popular Windows Store categories based on downloads are games (42%), entertainment (9%), and photo & video (8%).
  5. Games lead the app and IAP (in app purchase) sales with 84% of all sales.
  6. The ratio of revenue from app sales and IAP sales is 20/80 meaning that companies earn most revenue from in-app purchases.
  7. Windows 10 accounts for 59% of all app and IAP downloads.

Microsoft computes the statistics from Windows devices that are configured to submit telemetry data to the company while app purchase and download data is taken directly from Windows Store.

It is a bit unfortunate that Microsoft does not provide statistics for December or January yet. The OS install base is higher than that of third-party services but it is likely that Microsoft's statistics are more accurate than those of these services.

Now You: What's your take on the data?

Microsoft: Windows 10 has an install base of 16% (November 2015)
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Microsoft: Windows 10 has an install base of 16% (November 2015)
Microsoft's Windows Trends website reveals the OS install base of all recent Microsoft operating systems among other things.
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  1. Valrobex said on February 10, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    I suspect that NetMarketShare & Statcounter are the more accurate as those stats include everyone. And to the best of my knowledge those services do not have a motive “to cook the books” unlike MS that wants to persuade us that all is well with Win10’s implimentation.

    Steam is obviously overstated due to the specialized interest of those users.

    I’m just curious about where are all the millions of users worldwide who still use Win XP & Vista and were left off the MS stats. 16%…Talk about wishful thinking on MS’s part…

  2. Anonymous said on February 10, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    So what they got bored of collecting stats after November or Windows 10 usage is declining so they are hiding it? :D

  3. Corky said on February 10, 2016 at 9:34 am

    I wonder if their OS install base figures include the many millions of illegal copies of Windows.

  4. juju said on February 10, 2016 at 12:50 am

    >>Now You: What’s your take on the data?
    something for me to poop on. just CIA homos cooking books.

  5. S2015 said on February 9, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    So, MS is probably happy with statistics the as the result of PUSHING Win 10 that hard. One more reminder (annoyance): MS is STILL working on a fix for WSClient.dll error but as a WORKAROUND.

  6. James T. said on February 9, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    “Windows 10 was released on June 29, 2015 officially”

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on February 9, 2016 at 9:41 pm

      Sorry, July, corrected.

  7. Jason said on February 9, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    Also worth explaining the big discrepancy between Steam and NetMarketShare/StatCounter statistics. Many games on Steam are Windows-only, so Steam will naturally have an unusually high Windows user base because of this.

    Maybe I’m just stating the obvious. :)

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on February 9, 2016 at 8:02 pm

      I don’t think that this accounts for the big differences. Gamers are more likely to upgrade their systems on average, or buy new ones, so that is probably one of the reasons as well.

  8. Pants said on February 9, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    I know you’re rounding, but the various rows tally up to 99, 100 and 101. The anal retentive in me is screaming …

  9. Corky said on February 9, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    As Microsoft is only reporting a percentage of their install base it’s going to be higher than the other bean counters, my maths is awful so I’m not going to attempt working out how the 10% non Microsoft operating systems affect things.

    1. Decent60 said on February 10, 2016 at 3:13 am

      The percentages are only of the latest OS’s installed of Windows, not of all OS’s out there. If you add rows up, it should equal 100%
      Tho there are few months where it’s 99% and one at 101%

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