Windows 10 market share skyrockets, while Windows 7 market share nearly halves

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 1, 2023
Updated • Mar 1, 2023
Windows 10, Windows 7

Analysing market share developments of the Windows operating system is usually a rather boring tasks. A percent or so shifts from one version to another, but unless something major happens, there is not much movement at all.

windows market share february 2023
via Statcounter

Microsoft's Windows 11 operating system, for example, gains about 1% of market share every month since its late 2021 launch. Similarly, the market share of older versions of Windows drops by about the same amount each month.

Something major happened in February 2023 though that has brought lots of movement to the market share statistics: Microsoft's Windows 7 and 8.1 operating systems did not receive the monthly security updates anymore, as Microsoft ended support for both operating systems in January 2023.

While many Windows 7 and most Windows 8.1 devices did receive a last security update in January 2023, administrators and users noted that no update of any kind was provided in February.

Statcounter keeps tracks of usage statistics, including those of browsers and operating systems. The third-party tracks usage across many web properties and uses the data to create market share reports.

According to Statcounter's latest information, Windows 7 usage nearly halved in February 2023. The operating system's market share fell from 9.55% in January 2023 to 5.34% in February 2023.

Similarly, but at a smaller scale, Windows 8.1's market share dropped from 2.28% in January 2023 to 1.14% in February 2023.

The big winner is not Microsoft's newest operating system Windows 11, but Windows 10. Windows 10's market share jumped from 68.86% in January 2023 to 73.31% in February 2023. Windows 11's market share increased as well, but only by 1.01% to 19.13% in February 2023.


With the Windows 7 and 8.1 operating systems falling out of support, users of these systems had a decision to make. Should they continue using the system and increase the security risk, upgrade to a new version of Windows, or even purchase a new device entirely.

A large percentage of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users seems to have picked the upgrade option. Most have selected Windows 10 as the target and not Windows 11. The explanation is simple: there is no direct upgrade from Windows 7 or 8.1 devices to Windows 11.

Additionally, Windows 11 has new hardware requirements that prevent direct upgrades from systems that do not meet the hardware requirements. While there are ways around this, Microsoft advised its customer base against upgrading unsupported systems, as it could not guarantee the delivery of any updates to these devices.

Windows 10 continues to be supported by Microsoft until October 2025. There is a chance that Microsoft is launching a second ESU program to extend support for Windows 10, at least for business and Enterprise customers.

Closing Words

Windows 7's and 8.1's market share will likely fall in March 2023 again. While it is unclear by how much, both market shares won't fall to 0% anytime soon. Windows XP, an ancient operating system by today's standards, is still listed by Statcounter with a 0.46% market share.

Most Windows 7 and 8.1 devices will be upgraded to Windows 10, as this is the direct upgrade path, and one of the easier options that are available to users.

Now You: do you still run Windows 7 or 8.1?

Windows 10 market share skyrockets, while Windows 7 market share nearly halves
Article Name
Windows 10 market share skyrockets, while Windows 7 market share nearly halves
The market share of the Windows 7 and 8.1 operating systems dropped significantly in February 2023 following the system's end of support.
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  1. Marios said on April 10, 2023 at 3:24 pm

    if it was MAINSTREAM that you can install server 2008 r2 security updates on win7 clients via the bypasstool it would be still 10%.

    they are already patched chrome 112 to work on 7 plus other programs……..

  2. craig said on March 3, 2023 at 5:29 pm

    I dumped Windows right after Windows 7. After I installed Windows 7 I had 13, yes 13 services that were calling someone somewhere for some reason! It took a bit of time but I got them to finally stop, but that’s BS you all. I am no geek, 67 years old, retired, had been with Windows since Windows 3, but I went to Linux, among others, Linux Mint Cinnamon, it works right out of the box so to speak, does everything I need and has a following like all get out and all sorts of programs that can take the place of Windows programs are out there for the user ABSOLUTLY FREE, except for the money it costs for your electricity.

    Windows is out to make money PERIOD! They make deals with chip and hardware manufactures to make other versions of Windows and other computers, obsolete, so you have to pay the ridiculous prices for new hardware and new OS’s! They are commercialized to the hilt and only care about market shares and not the user!

    I am by no means saying one is better than the other
    Microsoft is MONEY you want to pay the money, thats fine!…but do you get for what you pay???

    1. basingstoke said on March 28, 2023 at 4:17 pm

      Nothing wrong with paying for a polished product and good user experience – Windows 7 and it’s Office suite (2007,2010), definitely was that.

      To date I’ve not used an OS which is as sleek and polished as Windows 7 – how can you find out about services that phone home? How can you narrow down which ones do it, and more importantly, how can you stop them? You said you did it, might as well share the “how”, if possible.

      Would be much appreciated!

      I will not agree that Windows 7 was a money grab – there’s just no way to make such an argument when you contrast to Windows 10 and 11. W7 to me seemed like a product that was “standing on the shoulders of giants” in the sense that it was the summation of features from past OSes, with some minor changes. I paid for Windows and office and they have served me well – but I’d like to minimise/disable telemetry (you can’t in later OSes by MS).

  3. 6ig6oy said on March 2, 2023 at 7:14 pm

    Yes, I’m Windows 8.1 Home.

    Windows 8.1 is alive, Windows Update is dead.

    Now, it is done through “” (Windows Server 2012 R2 2023 x64) to download security patches. And you have to install it with W81ESUI_v0.1 (Thanks to abbodi1406).

  4. basingstoke said on March 2, 2023 at 3:17 pm

    Still use Windows 7 like nothing happened, got Photoshop 2015 and iZotope RX8 and 9, Reaper, Audacity, VLC, Foobar2000, Firefox, EAC, Python, Scratch, Soulseek, uTorrent, etc – everything that worked before works for me now, and it’s also stupidly stable. I do occasional full backups and more frequent file/folder backups…

    Unfortunately the folks recommending Linux don’t “get it”, I’m not staying on Windows because i’m quirky, it’s because I want to get on with doing the work I need to do, without huge headaches and frustration. Windows 7 (and maybe 8) were the last OS made by Windows where the user was more or less in control.

    I’d say even in 5 years time there’ll still be more things you can do easier on Windows 7 than a modern Linux machine, with the exception of maybe browsing.

    1. Someone said on March 3, 2023 at 11:47 am

      foo2000 is legend, even could handle properly my big library of music, (1200+ songs), without problems. Also has nice plugins, good-working interface and support via his forum. VLC, and I feel sorry saying that, became crappy ):

  5. Mothy said on March 2, 2023 at 2:30 pm

    Now You: do you still run Windows 7 or 8.1?

    I still use 8.1 but only as a virtual machine via Virtualbox. Otherwise I have moved on from Windows to Linux Mint 21.1 LTS little over two months ago. No regrets, I wish that I had made the move much sooner. Mint is a great OS, easy to use and very stable. Best of all it still respects the user with full control over the system unlike the clown show that is “Windows as a service” with 10 and newer.

    1. Someone said on March 3, 2023 at 11:40 am

      Lol, you reminds me, before 3 years ago, I had installed in virtualbox the XP, and tried to kill it via viruses, deleting registry.. I know, there is plenty guys on Youtube to do that, but feels better,
      when you do it yourself (:
      p.s. never try it on home in actual hardware.

  6. Someone said on March 2, 2023 at 12:10 pm

    I have to use win7 from 2015, and after that, I bought my primary pc what had 8.1 and finally, from 2017 till today, I use win10.. my next pc surely would have win11 OS, but WITHOUT ads, telemetry, and microsofts OS tweaks. If I had to select the best OS of all time from 2001 to 2022, would be 8.1 and 10.

  7. Akina said on March 2, 2023 at 8:47 am

    I used Win7 until 2019 end of support and upgraded to Win10. It was a disaster. I decided to downgrade to Win8.1, which I never used before due to prejudice, and I immediately fell in love with it. It was the best Windows experience I ever lived. Currently using Win10 and it’s still a disaster, impossible to use without a ton of tweaking and Win11 even worse.

  8. yanta said on March 2, 2023 at 12:57 am

    It almost seems as if every second OS release is a disaster
    XP good, VIsta Bad, Win7 good (Well after SP1), Windows 8 bad, Windows 10 OK (After 1709), and Windows 11 a big disaster, so if that logic holds Windows 12 should be acceptable after they fix the initial screw ups of a rushed release.

    But somehow I think the pattern will break as M$ get worse as what they do, strive to take more control of your hardware and control and limit what you can do on that overpriced hardware you paid for. They are becoming more arrogant and less cutomer focused by the day.

    It’s almosst as if someone else is pulling their strings. I don’t think there is any intelligence left in M$ to make rational business decisions.

  9. Shawn Eary said on March 1, 2023 at 7:06 pm

    I say we trash MS Windows; rename GNU\Linux background drivers from daemons to services; and then run .NET Core; MS SQL Server with SSMS; Power BI; Steinberg Cubase/Nuendo; Emulator X3; Spectrum HoloByte Falcon 4, Minecraft Bedrock and AquaKitty UDX on GNU\Linux with the help of Wine as needed.

    Sorry about the Wineing…

  10. NeonRobot said on March 1, 2023 at 6:53 pm

    No reason to drop Windows 7:

    Staying until web works, than switch to Linux.

  11. Jek Porkins said on March 1, 2023 at 5:32 pm

    Because Microsoft made sure and paid hardware companies too to drop support for Windows 7 so newer CPUs don’t support it anymore. They want everyone to use the craps Windows 10 and Windows 11.

    Windows 12 will be even worse – there you won’t be able to change the wallpaper without hacking into the system and potentially bricking your install in the process. Windows will not be movable or resizable either and you have to pay monthly subscription to be able to move your mouse cursor around. Ads will be embedded in such a way that you will have to look at them every 15 minutes because they will overtake the whole screen.

    1. Google said on March 1, 2023 at 6:22 pm

      Let’s do it. We will follow you with our Chrome OS.

  12. Kalmly said on March 1, 2023 at 4:57 pm

    I have two Win7 desktops and one Win10 laptop. I bought the laptop knowing it was going to get harder and harder to do much on the web without one. Luckily, I don’t do much online, but check the news, visit tech sites, and do research. I can still do all that on my 7 machines. Banking, and financial sites will soon be Win10 activities. But all my work and everything else of import stays with Win7 – where I can get things done and enjoy the process and the view.

    1. John G. said on March 2, 2023 at 8:17 am


    2. Anonymous said on March 1, 2023 at 7:31 pm

      + 1

  13. Anonymous said on March 1, 2023 at 3:44 pm
    1. Haakon said on March 1, 2023 at 6:49 pm

      There was another major roll up after SP1 upon which MS then decided all future roll ups for any Windows version would no longer be designated as an SP#. Which is why I always refer to my two Windows 7 systems as running Windows 7 “SP2.”

      That said, the newer designation, i.e. 21H2, provides greater awareness of status and can be controlled in Group Policy (Select Target Feature) or the Registry (Target Release Version Info).

  14. just an Ed said on March 1, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    Microsoft’s advantage is its acceptance by the business community. While the average person may opt for a Mac, that is unlikely for the majority of businesses, even (especially) small ones. When was the last time you saw Macs at your dentist or insurance agent, for example. Many of these smaller businesses are most likely why you saw such a huge jump in Wind10 use. (OK, my guess). ;-)
    As to your question, I have 2 hard drives with Windows 7, and 1 with Windows 10. I almost never boot into them. Well, one is in the bedroom, and I fall asleep to music using it; but it goes on the internet not at all. I need Windows for use with the IRS and NYS Tax systems; at least, if I want to file electronically. NY State fill in PDF’s require Adobe, actually.
    My daily use computer is Linux Mint, which works quite well for this old retiree.

    1. Microcraposoft said on March 1, 2023 at 11:48 pm

      You are on the right track, in my opinion. Except for those who relish hellish torment, nobody wants to upgrade to Windows 11. Most of us will stick with Windows 10 until 2025 or later, or we’ll switch to something else entirely. By then, hopefully the idiotic developers of Windows 11 will have been fired, and a new team will be in place to fix Windows so that it works the way it should.

  15. Anonymous said on March 1, 2023 at 1:48 pm

    Nobody requested Windows 11, which is a major failure. dreadful, insufficient operating system. The next operating system that everyone uses indefinitely will be Windows 10.

    1. Leo 2plash6 said on March 22, 2023 at 4:54 pm

      I saw this on Statcounter and I’m almost certain that it’s because Chrome, Opera (gx), Brave, and Edge all stopped supporting Windows 7 and 8.1 in mid February.

    2. Justin Sullivan said on March 3, 2023 at 1:37 am

      Both you and I, we never asked for any of this.

    3. John G. said on March 1, 2023 at 3:27 pm

      W11 is the worst failure ever. W10 is by now the absolute king of Microsoft, and probably W11’s developtment team is scared about the poor monthly increase of users. Here at my class there are only two guys with W11, four with macOS, six or seven with ChromeOS, five or six with Ubuntu LTS and more than forty students still endure their W10, rock solid tech creature OS ever done!

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