What is in store for Windows 10 in 2017

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 2, 2017
Updated • Jul 5, 2017
Windows, Windows 10

2016 was an interesting year for Microsoft and its Windows 10 operating system. The company ended the free for all buffet in the first half of 2016, but not before pushing the free offer way to aggressively to the PCs of its customers.

The second half saw the release of the Anniversary Update for the operating system which added much needed functionality to it.

Things did not go as well from a usage point of view, at least not according to third-party tracking companies like NetMarketShare.

The company saw Windows 10 climb from about 12% in January 2016 to about 24% in December 2016. The stats don't look nearly as bad if you look at the full year, but if you split the observation mid-year, you may come to a different conclusion.

Windows 10's usage share jumped from 12% to 21% in the first six months of the year, and only from 21% to 24% in the second half.

Much of this can be attributed to the end of the free offer -- even though that has not really ended as I have shown recently. Even more troubling: both Windows 7 and Windows XP are doing considerably well. Windows 7 lost only about 4% of usage share in all of 2016, while Windows XP, an operating system that is not supported anymore, only 2%.

Note: Microsoft's own Windows 10 stats paint a different picture.

What is in store for Windows 10 in 2017

new microsoft paint

The outlook for Windows 10, at least from a usage share perspective is not that positive. If you take into account the slow growth of the operating system and reluctance of users to upgrade to it now that the free ride is over, it seems likely that this trend will continue.

If you assume a growth of 0.50% per month, Windows 10 would end up at about 30% of the market at the end of 2017. A optimistic growth target of 1% per month would push it closer to 36%, but I cannot see that happening on its own.

The end of support for Windows Vista won't change that, considering that the operating system is not even listed anymore by most services.

Microsoft could revitalize the "get windows 10" campaign to push the target upwards, but it will certainly alienate even more customers in the process.

Microsoft plans to release two feature upgrades for Windows 10 this year. We know only about the first, the Creators Update. Microsoft confirmed already that it will push new ways of "creating things" to Windows 10. The company did highlight that by showcasing the new Paint 3D application which allows you to create 3D objects.

The update will feature other changes, security for the Enterprise for instance, Store games with drivers, and many under the hood changes.

I don't expect the update to push Windows 10's usage share a lot, considering that the Anniversary Update did not do that either.

The second update will be released in the second half of 2017, most likely around September/October.

Microsoft may release the rumored Surface Phone in 2017, now that it more or less ended all sales for Nokia devices.

That phone won't make much of a dent however unless that phone brings something to the table that others don't, or is heavily subsidized. Considering  Microsoft's "phone" strategy in the past decade, it is fair to say that customers are wary when it comes to new phone devices by the company.

Closing Words

Windows 10's growth will continue, there is no doubt about that. Unless something major happens however, it will not accelerate in 2017.

Now You: What's your prognosis for Windows 10 in 2017?

What is in store for Windows 10 in 2017
Article Name
What is in store for Windows 10 in 2017
What will 2017 bring for Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system? A look back at 2016, and an analysis of what is in store for 2017.
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  1. A or B, not C. said on January 3, 2017 at 3:47 am

    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story = M$: Windows 10.
    M$ hv gone rogue with Win 10, eg mandatory auto-updating, mandatory Telemetry & Data collection(NSA spyware.?), tricking tech-savvy Win 7/8.1 cptr users into being auto-upgraded to Win 10 in April 2016, disallowed the latest Intel 7th-gen Kabylake n AMD RyZen chips from supporting Win 7/8.1, replacing n degrading Delta/Differential updating for Win 7/8.1 with cumulative Patch Rollups in Oct 2016, etc.
    ……. There is not much future in store for M$-Win 10, ie same fate as Win Vista n Win 8/8.1. Hopefully, in 2018 or earlier, M$-Nadella will come to their senses n chuck away Win 10 n give us a better Win 11.
    Recently, Adobe hv resumed support for Linux for Flash Player, ie after stopping this support in 2012 = the Flash Player plugin in Firefox for Linux stuck at Version 11. This is likely bc Linux has recently gained a substantial market share bc of the Rogue One(= M$-Win 10). I am using Linux Mint 17.3 booted from an external USB HDD n keeping my non-updated Win 7 cptr as a spare OS since Aug 2016, n this move by Adobe is a Godsend.
    If M$-Win 10 do not change, the only likely viable alternative to the Rogue One(= M$-Win 10) is for a large company like Google to take a popular Linux distro(eg Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Zorin) under their wings n in no time the Linux distro will be as successful as their mobile Android OS – based on earning revenue from ads, sales of marketing data n apps/programs(= commissions) n not from sales or rental/subscription of OS licenses. Google’s coming Fuchsia OS may also be a viable alternative.

  2. JasonR said on January 2, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    Sheesh, well i predict plenty more anti-Microsoft articles on this site in 2017, because that’s what it seems to have turned into lately Martin. Sure, they’ve messed up some things, but by God so have the tech media darlings Apple and Google, and then some. And clearly you’ve got a target audience for it given the commentators who lap it up to get their kicks in regards MS.

    I used to like this places balanced approach, and have followed the site for years, but your objectivity seems to have disappeared somewhere along the line. I’m out, good luck in 2017.

    1. Bestforall said on January 3, 2017 at 9:58 pm

      Well, goodbye then. I don’t think your criticism is accurate but if you are so aggravated it probably is the best if you get out. You can always come back, I am sure Martin will keep the door open. Good luck for you in 2017, too.

    2. DaveyK said on January 3, 2017 at 4:36 pm

      Maybe you’d like to say which part of the article you think is wrong? Windows 10 gaining only 3% market share in 6 months is what the stats say, Martin is just reporting this. From what I see in the article, Martin is basing his predictions for 2017 on these stats. Should he not be doing this and instead predicting a sudden acceleration of Windows 10 usage? If so, why?

      In short, you criticise that the article is anti-MS, but to me it looks pretty balanced and factual. If you’re not a fan of it, at least say which bits you disagree with!

    3. Gary D said on January 3, 2017 at 12:51 am

      @ JasonR

      Goodbye !!! We will not really miss you. You do not understand the point of Martin’s blogs and the input from posters. Unless MS listens AND acts on the objective criticism from this and other blogs (e.g. Ask Woody) , then I really do not see a rosy future for the company, especially in the Enterprise sector.

      I quote you: “Sure, they’ve messed up some things, but by God so have the tech media darlings Apple and Google, and then some.” Did Google or Apple buy Nokia? MS did and then wasted billions by dumping mobile development despite releasing Win 10 as a UWP !

      When there is justified criticism of MS and the direction in which the company is going, why do you (and many others) jump in immediately with diversionary comments reference Google and Apple.
      At least Google and Apple do not f**k up users PCs/Laptops with crap “security” updates and new “shiny” versions of Win 10.
      Programs uninstalled, drivers uninstalled, update downloads that cannot be installed, etc, etc, etc !!!!!!!
      The best example is the monthly roll ups which do not allow users to choose what they need but must be installed an an “all or nothing” basis with no in depth information for the changes.

  3. Kat said on January 2, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    To keep selling software, M$ need to accept that they have to give people more of what they want and far less of what M$ wants you to have. If they adhere to their “Windows Ten is our last OS” mantra, they’re screwed, unless they change it an awful lot. As it is, I won’t use it, other than the odd bit of testing on my old lappy. I have updates totally disabled, on my W7 machine, as I can’t trust them to force W10 on me, if I enable it.

    Trust, once lost, is extremely difficult to get back.

    1. Anonymous said on January 3, 2017 at 1:19 am

      My take is there will be some small growth, mostly due to attrition. But trust is completely gone with too many. There seems to be enough vocal criticism of W10 that average Joe is aware that something is wrong.

  4. LD said on January 2, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    Wouldn’t any one of us like to be the fly on the wall at a year-beginning MS strategy meeting, especially the Windows and Devices Group. The bosses and their henchmen all there tasked with promoting and growing market share. Wouldn’t we all like to know what these players really think about their products and services?

    W10 and W7 duked it out in 2016, but it was not a fair fight. W10 was prevented from winning on its own merits and W7 got hobbled. They did not meet their 2016 W10 market share target, so when they discuss this in 2017, will they blame W10, the consumers or themselves? If any one of us could be that fly on the wall, we’d probably topple off it, if they laid the blame squarely on W10. I think we are predisposed to think that they would blame the consumer.

    Windows Update topped the list of 2016 failures at Microsoft. It is the service that most users despise. WU’s quality is questionable (slow scans, broken fixes and missing documentation), yet they plug on. If only we knew what they are going to do to clean up this sludge pit in 2017. Your guess and mine – nada!

    The consumer was in their cross hairs in 2016 (whom they managed to severely wound) and I think they will refocus and set their sights on businesses in 2017. MS have got to stop waving their weapons around with reckless abandon if they have a good shot of capturing this group. However, I think they will continue with their heavy handed tactics. Remember, the top Marketing guy said they got everything right except for one step too far.

    I agree with Martin, 2017 will be slow and steady growth for Windows 10. Without a fly spy we can only speculate.

    1. Corky said on January 2, 2017 at 7:23 pm

      I guess they think Windows 10 is wonderful and people who haven’t upgraded are luddites, most people I’ve meet who’ve worked at Microsoft have been indoctrinated so much they consider the Microsoft way the only way to do things and react rather badly to any form of criticism.

      1. Ann said on January 6, 2017 at 1:38 pm

        DAvey K you’ve nailed it.

      2. DaveyK said on January 3, 2017 at 4:25 pm

        I agree. They don’t seem to be capable of acknowledging the faults of Windows 10. It is a pity as there are a lot of good things with Windows 10, however there are a few major issues that put a lot of people off. In my opinion, MS would improve Windows 10’s market share a lot with the following changes:

        1) Provide an option to turn off the spying completely.
        2) Give users control over updates (the current situation is a real deal-breaker for a lot of people).
        3) Polish and complete the UI properly so that it isn’t some sort of unfinished Windows 7/Windows 8 hybrid mess like at present.
        4) Implement proper testing once again to cut down on the number of buggy updates
        5) Apologise unreservedly for GWX and admit that they messed up badly with it.

        If they do these five things, they might find Windows 10’s reputation improve somewhat. Heck, I might even consider using it myself. Right now, there’s no chance it’s going on any of my machines.

  5. hirobo said on January 2, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    The only Win10 I’ll use is on a cheap (ie. disposable) $100 tablet. Any more expensive, if it doesn’t support Win7/8 can forget about it…

  6. Yuliya said on January 2, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    You know the OS is garbage when your calculator application takes 5 seconds to load from an SSD. God knows what a piece of bloated junk this Paint 3D application is. With the only SKU not having all this junk in it, LTSB, being such an unusable bug riddled mess – because not making it available to purchase is not going to stop anyone from installing it – and getting worse with each iteration, I don’t see Micro$oft going too far with it.

    1. George said on January 4, 2017 at 1:31 pm

      That’s exaggerated – calculator loads instantly here (as in less than 1 sec). Perhaps your SSD isn’t optimized or something else is going on.

      1. Mike said on January 20, 2017 at 10:47 pm

        I saw this and decided to launch mine and see how fast it is. First launch ~7 seconds, each launch after that was immediate.

  7. dan said on January 2, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    Microsoft needs new leadership. Fast.

  8. RichardT said on January 2, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    My prediction is that Microsoft will continue to ramp up their efforts to make it more and more difficult to keep Windows 7 and 8 PCs up-to-date, in the hope that more people surrender and ‘upgrade’ to Windows 10.

    1. 420 said on January 3, 2017 at 8:10 am

      my prediction is, within 10 years microcrap will be all but out of business, hopefully.

    2. A or B, not C. said on January 2, 2017 at 3:16 pm

      @ RichardT ……. Agree. M$ may even use Windows Update to randomly brick people’s Win 7/8.1 cptrs with booby-trap security updates = many of them will hv to buy new OEM Win 10 cptrs.

  9. Corky said on January 2, 2017 at 11:34 am

    My prediction for Windows 10 is it will be much the same as the last half of 2016, that is people will migrate to it reluctantly and in small numbers throughout the year unless Microsoft drastically changes course on the direction they’re taking Windows.

    Windows as an OS is becoming increasingly irrelevant what with IoT and mobile devices and despite Microsoft’s attempts at making Windows into an OS for said devices all they’re doing is alienating their existing user base, they’re doing what they’ve always done historically, they’re throwing existing customers under the bus in their attempt to stay relevant to new emerging markets and in the past that worked when there were few alternatives, nowadays however Microsoft isn’t the only player in the market.

  10. Anonymous said on January 2, 2017 at 11:30 am

    Hopefully in Paris we still have Chinese stores like Rue Montgallet to buy second hand competitive machines under W7.

  11. Steve B.Job said on January 2, 2017 at 11:01 am

    Another anti-Microsoft article with a bunch of the usual anti-Microsoft comments.
    Yeah yeah, google spyware is better, Apple will make you rich… (you can censure me ghacks, but at least you read it ahaahahha… google sucker).

    1. Aedisson said on January 2, 2017 at 10:27 pm

      Thank you, Steve. You are the living proof that 10 yards of field path can be more intelligent than some humans.

    2. T J said on January 2, 2017 at 1:26 pm

      @ Steve B.Job

      “Another anti-Microsoft article with a bunch of the usual anti-Microsoft comments.
      Yeah yeah, google spyware is better, Apple will make you rich… (you can censure me ghacks, but at least you read it ahaahahha… google sucker).”

      I’ve got news for you, Steve. Nobody in this forum censures idiots like you: they just shake their heads with pity as yet another MS Troll sticks his/her head out of the Troll den and writes garbage then tries to deflect objective criticism of MS by mentioning Google and Apple. Are you insecure/paranoid about using Win 10. Do you know that you can get treatment for your condition?

      With regard to your comment, despite it being full of gibberish we were able to understand your pretty muddled writing style.

    3. Corky said on January 2, 2017 at 12:00 pm

      So let me get this straight, pointing out the negatives is to be seen as being anti (insert company name here)?

      Because if so haven’t you just done exactly that with your reference to Apple & Google?

  12. Earl said on January 2, 2017 at 10:36 am

    Microsoft needs to make Win10 everything that users in general want it to be (which doesn’t include being malware) and nothing that they don’t want it to be (not a tracking tool for marketing) and charge $50 for it–under old policy: all of your Windows systems up to 10 [consumer, not business]. I mean, they want EVERYONE to update all of their systems to it, right? Failing that, Win10 will simply gain market by attrition: old machines die, new machines have Win10. (And the attitude that my hardware belongs to them such that they can do anything with it they want to because I’m running their OS… that has to go.)

    At this point, my old Win7 machine running old Win7… I’m perfectly happy with. My new machines… not Windows systems.

  13. ShintoPlasm said on January 2, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Sadly, 2016 was also the year when Microsoft utterly lost its way with its mobile platform and phones. I was an early fan of Windows Phone 8/10, but the way MS has handled this segment and customers has been catastrophic. And they aren’t being very transparent about their roadmap for this either… To me, 2017 is when MS refocuses on desktops and convertible laptops, but finally gives the boot to its mobile platform. So much wasted potential!

    1. ilev said on January 2, 2017 at 10:02 am

      So much wasted potential! and ~$28B in lose.

  14. ilev said on January 2, 2017 at 8:12 am

    “Microsoft may release the rumored Surface Phone in 2017”

    Meanwhile, Microsoft Israel is replacing all employees Windows Phone devices with Apple’s iPhone 7/Plus and Samsung’s S7/Edge.

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