More than three years after the release, Windows 10 has passed Windows 7 in market share. That means more desktop computers are now running Microsoft's latest and greatest operating system than any other operating system, according to Net Applications. The milestone is a great way for Microsoft to finish 2018, although the company certainly hoped it would not take so long for Windows 10 to take over Windows 7.
The Windows 10 adoption started very strong, but slowed down rapidly as months progressed. Microsoft aimed at 1 billion units running Windows 10 in two to three years, but backpedaled on that goal.
The operating system was installed on over 75 million PCs in the first four weeks and consisted of 1
Windows 10 had a 38.14 percent market share in November and achieved 1.08 percentage points in December to beat 39.22 percent. Windows 10 market shares have been reduced since the free upgrade expired in July 2016.
Windows 8 fell 0.05 percentage points to 0.88 percent, while Windows 8.1 lost 0.14 points to 4.45 percent. Together they owned 5.33 percent of the market at the end of December. The duo peak was 16.45 percent back in May 2015.
Windows 7 fell 1.99 percentage points, dropped from 38.89 percent to 36.90 percent. This made it possible for Windows 10 to become "most popular desktop OS" in December. Windows 7 took over Windows XP way back in September 2012, and consisted of 60 percent market share in June 2015.
Windows Vista doesn't even record anymore (it fell below 1 percent market share at the beginning of 2017, the month of the 10th anniversary). Windows XP somehow recovered 0.31 points to 4.54 percent.
Breakdown of market share
Windows surpassed 0.83 percentage points to 86.20 per cent in December. Year on year, Windows lost losses from 88.51 percent in December 2017.
Between November and December, MacOS achieved 0.94 points at 10.65 percent while Linux gained 0.70 points at 2.78 percent. During the year, MacOS was up from 9.02 percent, and Linux was up from 2.12 percent.
Net Applications uses data captured from 160 million unique visitors each month by monitoring over 40,000 websites for its customers. This means that it measures user market share .
If you prefer usage market share you will get your data from StatCounter, which looks at 15 billion page views every month. The operating system figures for December are available here.