AdDuplex: Windows 11's usage share rise slowed down to a crawl in March 2022

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 31, 2022
Windows 11 News

Last month, AdDuplex reported that Microsoft's Windows 11 operating system gained a sizeable chunk as its usage share rose to 19.3% of all monitored systems. This month, AdDuplex reports that growth slowed down to a crawl, as Microsoft's operating system managed to increase its usage share by a tenth of a percent to 19.4% in total.

windows 11 usage share march 2022

AdDuplex numbers are not exact, as it pulls these from thousands of applications for Windows 10 and 11 only. Still, the numbers provide us with trends, and the current trend does not look good for Microsoft's Windows 11 operating system.

Windows 11, despite being offered as a free upgrade, provided that the Windows 10 license is genuine and that the PC meets all the system's requirements, has not taken the Windows world by storm. While that was to be expected, considering that part of the devices that run Windows 10 and earlier versions are not compatible with Windows 11, it might remind veteran Windows users of other versions of Windows that did not do overly well.

Granted, a usage share of 19.4% six months after launch looks quite good on first glance. AdDuplex's numbers are on the higher end, as it monitors only Windows 10 and Windows 11 devices. Statcounter saw Windows 11 at a usage share of 7.89% in February 2022, compared to AdDuplex' 19.3% in the same month.

On Steam, Windows 11 is listed with a usage share of 15.59% for February 2022. One explanation for the higher number is that gamers are more inclined to run the latest versions of an operating system on their devices. Both services have not published numbers for March 2022 yet. The "real" number is unknown, but it is likely that it sits between the two extremes.

Two Windows 10 versions are placed first and second on AdDuplex in March 2022. The latest version of Windows 10, version 21H2, has a share of 28.5% according to the report. Windows 10 version 21H1's share is 26.5%. The Windows 10 version 21H2 share more than doubled from 12.1% in February, while Windows 10 version 21H1's share dropped 2.1% at the same time. Most gains came from devices running Windows 10 version 20H2, which ran out of support recently.

As far as Windows 11's growth is concerned; it is possible that growth may continue in April 2022. Assuming that the number does not grow by much, some may wonder whether it was a smart move to increase the system requirements of the Windows 11 and whether that is hampering the growth, or if something else is keeping customers from upgrading to the new operating system.

The April 2022 stats and Statcounter's and Valve's missing March 2022 stats may shed some light on this.

Now You: will Windows 11's usage share continue to rise, or has it plateaued already?

AdDuplex: Windows 11's usage share rise slowed down to a crawl in March 2022
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AdDuplex: Windows 11's usage share rise slowed down to a crawl in March 2022
Microsoft's Windows 11 operating system's usage share plateaued in March 2022 according to the statistics that AdDuplex released for the month.
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  1. owl said on April 18, 2022 at 3:54 am

    While the Steam study noted that gamers’ adoption of Windows 11 is about half as slow as Windows 10,
    Explaining why gamers are adopting Windows 11 more slowly than Windows 10 | Ars Technica
    Steam Hardware & Software Survey

    Now, a 10-million-unit survey by Lansweeper, an IT asset management software company, reveals that Windows 11 penetration is below Windows 7 and even Windows XP.
    Windows 11 Readiness Check – Is Your Business Ready for Windows 11?
    According to a survey conducted by Lansweeper in April 2022, the most popular Windows OS is Windows 10 with 80.34%, while Windows 11 is only 1.44%, which is lower than Windows 8 (1.99%), Windows 7 (4.70%), as well as the 20-year-old This is below even Windows XP (1.71%), which is an OS. Windows Vista and Windows 2000 accounted for 0.04% and 0.15%, respectively, while the Windows Server series accounted for a total of 9.15%.

    Notably, Lansweeper notes that adoption has been slower in business terminals than in consumer terminals.

  2. Yuliya said on April 1, 2022 at 9:25 am

    The fact that a company called AdDuplex knows this is somewhat unsettling. Mind you, all Windows 10 versions are identified simply as “Windows NT 10.0” within UA strings. In fact it’s the same for Windows 11 as well. It’s weird, as in creepy, to say the least.

    Steam’s on the other hand, it’s the optional survey and they pull the whole OS SKU which you’re running. They can pretty much tell what % of the participating users are running Win Enterprise, and even how many of them use the LTSC SKU, and precisely which LTSC version as well, architecture and all. I personally participate in that, I find it to be a very fair way to conduct a survey where you actually value your users/customers.

  3. ALF said on March 31, 2022 at 11:41 pm


    “I’m still not sure what the point of Windows was.”


  4. Anonymous said on March 31, 2022 at 11:21 pm

    I am sorry but this article is just dumb and it is only meant for clickbaiting the clueless anti-Microsoft commenters.

    Windows 11 despite of being “free upgrade” like you call it, it has many restrictions, unless you go around and force the update 5 years old computers are not going to get upgraded, so compared to win10 or Windows 8. it is stupid to think it will get the same numbers and people are going to rush to upgrade when their computers are not compatible.
    Also, only because it is ‘free’, you literally need to run the Microsoft’s checker to see if you are even able to upgrade, if you don’t run it, you won’t be able to ‘force’ the upgrade.
    Even if Windows 11 is free and your computer is compatible, Windows update will advise users to wait for their manufacturer to really support windows 11, so you can choose to force the upgrade, but people have to literally do stuff for that to happen.

    So… what is the point of this dumb article? say the obvious and how Windows 11 is not going to be as popular as windows 10 because it got bumps in the road to upgrade it. I mean, Microsoft have only offered 1 ‘official’ way to bypass some requirements, and not everyone is going to do that or know about it.

    Funny thing is how you are dismissing Steam numbers, even if they are more readable than AdDuplex, I mean, “AdDuplex is a cross-promotion network for Windows Store apps and games.”

    So it is stupid to think they would reflect anything real numbers, especially when most people who will use rufus or mediacreation.bat or something, are the ones that will not likely use anything that has AdDuplex on them and might use powershell to get rid of every single ‘windows store’ app, and even the windows store itself.

    Also, you make it seem like Steam is just for gamers when they even offer(ed) Allegorithmic Substance software (before Adobe acquired it) so many people, might install Steam just to keep running the non-Adobe version of it, and they don’t care about the gaming side of it.

    I mean, Steam Deck dumb buyers might affect a little the OS marketshare on Steam numbers but it will not change much the 1% Linux has, and how Windows increases marketshare while other OSs go down. Maybe that’s why some people would rather not pay attention to its numbers since it shows ‘gaming on linux’ is just a joke by people who would rather spend $ in good hardware and then ruin it by trying to ‘get away from Microsoft’, like if they will get a prize for not running Windows.

    I mean, this whole article doesn’t even make sense, are you waving a flag of happiness because people are waiting for next Windows 11 version? or because people aren’t willing to manually upgrade their computers with one of the many ways to bypass the requirements?
    I am sure they are some people who won’t bother because they think it requires too much work or something.
    Because of misinformation like when people say you have to clean install Windows 11 in order to get it in your computer, so some people might not even try to do it thinking it requires a lot of work and they ‘don’t need it’ since windows 10 is good enough for them.

    I mean at this point it is stupid to argue when it is obvious Windows 11 and Microsoft decided its fate by not allowing all computers to get upgraded and be restricted by stupid requirements, but making it seem like “oh but Windows 11 hasn’t grown much because AdDuplex numbers say it which is a network for Windows STORE apps and games don’t reflect it”. The only ones that should worry that is AdDuplex becuase their business depend on people using Windows Store apps and games, which not everyone care about and will not care about, especially if you can install real Win32 software from Microsoft Store, like you can now (I still won’t use Microsoft Store because of all the BS it creates in windows registry, so it is easier to use the official installer or portable program).

    1. Corky said on April 1, 2022 at 9:41 am

      Anyone got the TLDR version of that weighty tome as i stopped reading after the poster insulted everyone by saying the article is just dumb and it is only meant for clickbaiting the clueless anti-Microsoft commenters.

      I mean i know some people like burying their heads in the sand but berating people who are simply voicing their dislike of a product isn’t exactly going to convince people that the issues they have aren’t valid. If anything it’s just going to polarise opinions even more.

  5. Trey said on March 31, 2022 at 7:02 pm

    I’m still not sure what the point of Windows 11 was. It really did feel like an unnecessary half-assed release. I don’t want to deal with undoing all the junk that they’ve decided I need that comes with 11.Not for me or all the computers I support – friends and family. I’ve told them all to stay on 10.

    1. 8 said on April 1, 2022 at 8:14 am

      You still have to spend like 40-60 minutes to undo the junk on Windows 10, so what’s the difference?

      Both are shit, but for different asoects.

      1. Trey said on April 2, 2022 at 12:33 am

        Yea I’m tired of it all, but now it takes 50-70 minutes.

  6. chesscanoe said on March 31, 2022 at 6:41 pm

    I wonder if the current numbers actually reflect a fallback to Windows 10 after trying Windows 11.

  7. John G. said on March 31, 2022 at 6:23 pm

    W11 is a complete shame, it seems made by teenagers. Thanks for the article! :]

    1. Anonymous said on April 1, 2022 at 3:37 am

      Windows 11 is being developed by nitwits who never used Windows before. The only users who care about 11 are teenagers who love looking at their OS all day instead of being productive. I would be ashamed to say I worked on this train wreck. It was originally a failed OS shell called 10X. It brings nothing useful and it’s not suitable for productivity.

      1. yanta said on April 2, 2022 at 12:32 am


      2. John G. said on April 1, 2022 at 4:49 pm

        I agree!

  8. owl said on March 31, 2022 at 2:52 pm

    I have been a user since McIntosh (now Apple) and have experienced systems since MS-DOS due to my job responsibilities. “CATIA V5” was also required for my job.
    Despite this background, My entire family and I have now converted to a “digital detox lifestyle” and are practicing an analog, eco-friendly slow life.

    Devices I use regularly “iPad” because the degree things I use the Internet for now are RSS subscriptions, Internet radio (AirPlay), and messaging (E-mail, Signal). I have already lost interest in Windows OS.
    I don’t care about the operating system as long as it works for the functions I need. In short, I need a SDG2, bloatware-free, stable system.

  9. WhitneyHerd said on March 31, 2022 at 2:46 pm

    I hope it fails hard! Its a massive downgrade from version 10. I would say its worse than 8. Microsoft continues to castrate its own OS. All of Nadella’s words about creativity and personal agency and choice and removing barriers – utter bs.

    When they first introduced the new taskbar/systray and we found out it’s missing practically all the features/options we have in W10? The notion that it’s just new and they need time to implement things was already ludicrous, as if the concept of feature parity doesn’t exist or a company the size of Microsoft just can’t even achieve it before releasing new stuff. I would say, at least half of us are still very much not ok with this approach, if all the feedback is any indication.

    As time goes on, though, it’s evident that all these design decisions are absolutely deliberate and purposeful – and they’re eviscerating usability, ease of use, functionality, productivity; if nothing else, at the “worst” and “very least”: personalisation. Options. Choices. It’s a thousand times more ludicrous that anyone would want to neuter their own product, but here we are, it is what they are doing in W11 with shit like this. And for what? In order to chase some ephemeral ideals, to force tablet optimizations on literally everyone and their grandmothers, whether the customer wants/needs it, or not. For the record: I’m not against optimising for a newer/upcoming form factor or usage scenario – but why does that have to come the at the cost of features for any other? Features that have been around for years, if not decades. Especially if that other is the most common, most widespread they have had for decades, at that. It just boggles the mind. As if W8 never happened, as if they learnt nothing from it. (Granted, I know everyone prefers to pretend it didn’t happen, but that’s another matter.) And the arrogance with which they do it is simply incinerating.

    Microsoft, just… why? Why do you hate your Windows users so much?

  10. JohnIL said on March 31, 2022 at 1:22 pm

    I am not surprised given that Microsoft created such strict requirements for Windows 11. Lot of Windows users keep PC’s for a few years and Microsoft created such a hardware cut off that even affected hardware from just a couple years ago. Since Microsoft couldn’t seem to keep Windows 10 updated properly. I am not sure why they gave themselves more work having to update two desktop OS’s now? After using Windows 11 a few weeks, I don’t see much advantage to upgrading from Windows 10. In a few ways, I think its actually a downgrade.

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