Windows 10 Boom May Be Over

John Lister's picture

Windows 10 has hit a five percent market share for desktop PCs. However, closer analysis suggests the boost from giving Windows 10 away free of charge may have already passed.

The five percent figure comes from a company called Net Market Share, which combines visitor data from around 40,000 websites. The statistics refers solely on visits from desktop PCs, a category that also includes laptops as well, but not tablet computers.

Windows 10 Adoption Far Ahead Of Windows 7

The figure gives several insights into the success of Windows 10. First, Windows 10 has reached the five percent mark extremely quickly: Windows 8 took around six months to reach the same point. Secondly, the number of people licensed to use Windows 10 is around double the number for Windows 8 after one month. (Source:

That strongly suggests that the number of people who downgraded to Windows 7 after purchasing a Windows 8 computer may have been much higher than originally thought.

Another element of the Net Market Share figures is more predictable: the Windows 10 market share appears to have come entirely at the expense of Windows 7 and 8, with XP and Vista unaffected. That's almost certain because Windows 10 wasn't a free upgrade for XP or Vista users, but Microsoft may be disappointed that more than one in 10 desktops are still running XP, even after it stopped offering security updates.

Windows 10 Honeymoon Period Could Be Over

While this all looks like great news for Windows 10, another analysis suggests the boom from the free upgrade offer may already be over.

ComputerWorld looked at market share data from StatCounter (estimated in a similar way to Net Market Share's process) and looked specifically at how much market share the system gained each week. To take account of consumers using their computers more on weekends, the site calculated a daily average of the previous seven days use.

It turns out that Windows 7 grew at a remarkably steady pace, picking up around half a percentage point of market share each week right from the start. In contrast, Windows 10 started out much faster, getting up to a 2.5 percent market share in the first week, but the rate of increase slowed rapidly. By the end of the first month, it was down to the same steady half a percentage point per week rate of Windows 7. (Source:

There are a couple of likely conclusions to draw from this. One is that the pool of people who were persuaded to upgrade immediately 'just because it is free' has already run dry. Alternatively, many of those considering a free upgrade may be acting cautiously and waiting for early teething troubles to be resolved.

It's also very possible that the initial rush to upgrade came from people with Windows 8 machines who saw a free Windows 10 upgrade as the easiest way to fix the problems and niggles they had with Windows 8.

What's Your Opinion?

Are you impressed that five percent of desktop PCs are running Windows 10, or is that a disappointment given it is free for many users? What's your forecast for the pattern of upgrades in the coming months and years? Do you think the free upgrades will help win over people on older Windows editions who believe that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

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alan.cameron_4852's picture

There are still a number of questions that Microsoft has not answered.
What happens after the first year of 'free' upgrades do they intend to charge for non-security updates?

Dennis Faas's picture

Windows 10 is free as an upgrade to Windows 7 and 8 users for 1 year after Windows 10 is released (up to July 29, 2016). As for Windows 10 updates, they are free for the life of the machine providing the machine running Windows 10 has been registered with Microsoft (which will be the case once the upgrade is performed and you have an Internet connection).

Navy vet's picture

I looked forward with great anticipation to the release of Windows 10. I had reserved it on both my main desktop (home built) and my Alienware laptop. Both were running Windows 7 with similar software. I made sure both were running the latest drivers and were fully updated. I upgraded the laptop first. The entire process took about 45 minutes and went flawlessly. When it booted to Windows 10 for the first time everything was perfect. Since then I have been tweaking and getting used to this excellent new OS. I was so encouraged by the easy, hassle free upgrade that I went ahead and tried it on my desktop.
It would start the process and then stall at around 24% while copying files. I went to the Microsoft Forums and saw that many people were having the same issue. I tried every suggestion. I even called Microsoft Tech Support twice. After about 20 attempts during the month of August I have given up. I will continue using Windows 7 on my main computer.
The 2 errors I was getting are C1900208 and 80240020.I even tried Dennis' detailed solutions with the same results-failure.

Dennis Faas's picture

If you have attempted my solutions and have not made headway, then I suggest you: backup the system, format the drive, reinstall windows 7 or 8, download all patches so you meet the win10 requirements, then do the media creation tool method to download windows 10. A number of people have confirmed that worked for them.

NickyK's picture

I did a forced install on my W8.1 Asus laptop and it took 2-3 hours but has been fine. I kept on having the same two error messages as Navy on my Acer Windows 7 desk-top and waited and waited. Eventually I got a "Ready to install" pop-up and it went in easily but did take time. It might, if you can bear it, be worth trying again in a week or two.

dan_2160's picture

I've upgraded seven Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 computers to Windows 10 without any serious clitches so far. The keys to a smoother upgrade include cleaning up your current Windows system pretty thoroughly (delete temporary files, etc; clean registry; run virus and malware scans; namely the maintenance the vast majority of PC users never do) and to install Windows 10 using Microsoft's Media Creation Tool so you install Windows 10 from a USB or DVD (you'll want to launch your current Windows and then use your file manager to launch the setup.exe file on your USB or DVD). The tool is available at:
When you first run the tool, be sure to select the proper version of Windows 10 - home or professional, 32 or 64 bit (you cannot upgrade a 32 bit to 64 bit directly; you would have to upgrade the 32 bit Windows and then do a clean install of the 64 bit version; you still get it free).

Every upgrade install I've done has seemingly ground to a halt at some point (for me, usually around 75%), but if you're patient and just walk away from the computer for 15-30 minutes or so, the installation will get over the hump.

One very important caution: If you have your OS and applications installed on a "C" drive and data on a separate "D" drive (or simply partition), be sure to make a backup image of the "C" drive before upgrading to Windows 10. If you have just a "C" drive, be sure to make a backup image on external media or clone the drive to another hard drive before upgrading to Windows 10.

The upgrade to Windows 10 will change some of your customizations (but not most) to the default settings. So if you have eliminated the shortcut arrows on desktop icons, you'll have to do that again. If you changed environmental variables like the temp folders, you'll have to change them again. If you want Windows to notify you when updates are available instead of automatically downloading and installing them, get instructions on how to return to notifications at:

After a few weeks with Windows 10 I would not go back to any previous version of Windows. So far Windows 10 has been more stable, snappier, and easier to use. It certainly should appeal to the vast majority of computer users who really don't have a clue what their computers are capable of doing and who just accept the default settings for everything. I'm not really sure to whom Windows 10 would not appeal except for that huge contingent among computers users who are simply terrified of change.

dan_2160's picture

It's always entertaining to see the speculation about adoption rates for new versions of Windows, especially with Windows 10 since it's the first OS upgrade that Microsoft is simply giving away for a year. Frankly, the number of people who have already downloaded and installed Windows 10 is huge. My guess is that the vast majority of these folk are pretty darned tech savvy. I build computers on the side and have seen that most computer users are techno-phobes who steadfastly refuse to educate themselves on how to use their computers (sounds like most Apple users too). I strongly suspect that they will be very slow to adopt Windows 10 even though it is a smooth upgrade. But most computer users have no clue how to upgrade an OS even when they are given step by step instructions. Heck, don't flinch at that inevitable first instruction to make a backup image or clone of their hard drive.

The Windows XP users are going to cling to their XP as long as they can. Heck, even Fry's Electronics brick and mortar stores still use Windows XP and MS-DOS for all of their in-house computers (which should embarrass the heck out of the company).

So while the huge initial adoption rate may be the peak rate, users will slowly but surely continue to upgrade to Windows 10 with some acceleration in upgrades in the month or two before the free offer ends next year. But it's important to remember that there are always peaks and valleys in how quickly users upgrade an operating system. There's the rush of early adopters who really know computers, and then the graducal adoption by the huge majority of computer users who barely know how to use their computers, much less upgrade an operating system (yes, I addressing you who still uses tabs and spaces to center a line in Word rather than the simple keyboard command -- of course such folk are not likely to be visiting this most excellent site).

Syscob Support's picture

Windows 10 does offer a way out for persons who got trapped with pre-installed Windows 8 and no downgrade to 7 path, but nothing else. My Windows 7 Pro and XP Pro machines will NOT be updated to this latest attempt by Microsoft to bamboozle users and generate revenue. 10 offers nothing to serious developers over 7 or XP.

spiras's picture

After upgrading my Win 8 laptop to Win 10, I have come to the conclusion that I will NOT be upgrading my Win 7 desktop any time soon. The reason? Edge. I find the default browser of Win 10 absolutely unacceptable. Until Microsoft rectifies Edge's shortcomings I won't upgrade, even if that entails losing the free upgrade.

NickyK's picture

I was not impressed by Edge either. So, I set IE11 as my default (which I use mainly for web-design reasons) and continue to do most of my "every day" internet via Firefox.

I have read that there is nothing wrong with having Edge as a default, especially if you don't use it. Hackers, so I was told, tend to go to the default. Using a second browser as your daily browser might afford a little extra protection.

Of course, the security of Edge will probably depend on how you set up your security when you installed W10. I am not interested in Cortana, I don't want Microsoft to "Get to Know Me" etc, so I have turned off everything that can be turned off.

dan_2160's picture

Seriously now, if your read Infopackets I bet you know how to change your default browser to something other than Edge. But just in case you don't know, in Windows 10, click on Windows Key + i and pick the "System" button. Go down to Apps and select a browser to be the default browser. Simple as that. Or in your preferred browser's options or preferences, click the box to make it your default browser.

Once you've done that, you may never need to see Edge again.

Once I saw that Edge does not import bookmarks from anything except Internet Explorer, I closed it and haven't clicked on the Edge icon since.

So what's the big deal? Is there any other more substantive reason you reject Windows 10?

kitekrazy's picture

I have two new builds with W7. I will probably wait til July 2016 on these. I have a system running W10. I've had to fix things that shouldn't be fixed. I had to disconnect a network drive and add it again. Show desktop is a hassle. Quick Launch is too small.
I can see free working as oppose to paying $100-$199. My XPPro to W8 Pro was $50.
XP Home to W7 was $50. I also bought a W7 Home family pack for $150. Pro Edition were $100. That was nice pricing.

david_5379's picture

Installed on laptop just fine but stuff missing
Installed on my PC everything kept crashing
Have gone back to windows 8.1 took a lot of time and have still not got all my programs back.
Not impressed
Not game enough to put it on my surface pro

CaddmannQ's picture

Win10 is now running on my best home PC & my wife's best home PC. Backup PCs run Win7.

It seems to play nice with the network so far; and it's not pretty, but it's not wasting power on gingerbread either. (What *is* it doing with all that power?)

I don't use it to do anything very critical yet & I haven't loaded it at the office either.

There's too much mystery surrounding things yet.

nospam_5346's picture

I wasn't about to give up my Win 7 Pro so I had bought a family pack of Win 7 Pro upgrades and only used 2 of the 3. I upgraded my Win XP drive to Win 7 Pro and then upgraded that to Win 10 so I could dual boot. That way I got Win 10 Pro for $50.00 instead of $199. I booted to Win 10 and turned off everything I could, imaged it, and now just have it for later. I don't intend to use it. So, while I'm in that update statistic, I'm not really as I don't use if for anything.

I hate that you can't uninstall all of their phone/tablet apps. I don't want Cortana and it uses 36 megabytes of my ram and still phones home even though I have everything connected with it turned off. I don't want Bing anything and yet can't uninstall any of it. Why is can't you uninstall weather? Etcetera.

It's still designed for mobile devices. As such, I'll use it only when I absolutely have to.

NickyK's picture

Easiest way (as far as I know) is to use IE11 on W10 and set your home page to your preferred search engine (for example, encrypted google or duck duck) and search from there.

NickyK's picture

Personally, I quite like W10. Yet, compared with Windows 7, it gives with one hand and takes away with the other. There are some great additions cancelled out by some "We fixed what wasn't broken" aspects. Well, not that different from XP's path to W7, to be fair.

Just as W7 was Vista fixed, so W10 is W8(8.1) fixed. However, Microsoft is trying to produce a new "user experience" in which we sync all our devices etc. Thus the desire to "Get to know you". It's not a bad idea at all and not sinister.

I can see great advantages and fun having Cortana reminding me when I have a dental appointment etc. I can see lots of possibilities in which MS "Get(s) to know me" so well that W10 can choose my restaurants for me, etc etc and whatever.

However, I don't want this. So, I payed close attention during the installation process and took the opportunity NOT to use any of the MS "Recommended" settings, but click on the tiny "Customize" line that was so small MS hoped no one would notice.

It does depend on what you want out of your (presumably at home) experience. If you want something that makes your mind up for you, then fine. Embrace W10 fully and you will have a fabulous time. It's not dangerous. It will recommend films, remind you of your birthday, sync to your cell etc. It isn't (well, not yet) going to send cybermen to your home. And then you can sync wherever you are from your cell or, in time, an implant in your ear.

However if, like me, you do not require a Cortana running of your life, or you hold on to the need to feel that one is still in control of one's life, then configure W10 to your own wishes (there are loads of safe free apps - calendars for example - that are just as good as what W10 provides).

Don't be put off by Windows 10. Roll up the sleeves and TELL it how you want it to behave.

nospam_5346's picture

I just saw an article where Microsoft admitted to downloading Windows 10 to peoples computers through Windows Update whether they reserved a copy or not. It's just sitting there on their hard drive in a hidden folder labeled '$Windows.~BT'.

So I have to wonder if Microsoft is counting all of those downloads as people downloading Windows 10?

I guess the bottom line is that you can't trust

@NickyK: I have told Windows 10 what I want it to do, but all of those programs are still taking up space on a computer I paid for...not Microsoft. I don't want them sitting on my hard drive. As a poster above noted, Microsoft can turn them back on via an update without me ever knowing...or at least not knowing for a while.

As for Bing, yes, I have done that, but the Bing Sports, Bing Weather , Bing etc apps are still installed on my computer. Again, I don't want them installed on my computer. I want them gone. And, you can't get rid of the Bing search.

My belief is that apps are for phones and tablets. Applications are for pc's. I want applications and I only want the applications I want. I want to be able to uninstall those I don't.

I want an OS. Period. I don't want all the eye candy which is designed to make you buy apps.

I have yet to try WinPrivacy to see if I can block Cortana from phoning home. I might try that to see if I can use it to block all the other phone home malware. I've used it on my Win 7 Pro to block the program that continually searches your programs to send the info to Microsoft for Win 10 compatibility. It's tried to phone home about 50 times since I blocked it. As I said, I turned off everything to do with Cortana and configured it to only do local searches through gpedit. It still used 1.9 megs of bandwidth. Not much, I know, but it shouldn't use any if it is turned off.

I'm not put off by Windows 10. I just don't like it. It still feels like a mobile OS. It seems everything is harder to find as far as settings, etc. Sure, there is a settings menu. But, there is also a control panel. What is where? The settings menu is by category. So, which category is what I'm looking for in?

There should be no system apps that you can't uninstall. There should be no apps period that you can't uninstall. You should be able to chose what you want installed and what you don't on top of the basic OS needed to run the computer.

mpwinsma's picture

I tried every which way available on the Win 10 Control Panel to get my default browser to change back to Google Chrome. I even downloaded the newest Sept 2015 version of the Browser and installed it on the Win 10 computer. Many places where Web Browser choices were to be made, Google (even though it was install and useable on this computer), Win 10 did not recognize that it was installed. And in the few places were it was recognized by Win 10 as installed, clicking of such places (including the .htm and .html choices for web browser), Google browser was not available. Even where I used Google itself to "choose a default" Win 10 refused to accept my choice. And as an added insult, at the bottom of one list of choices, where protocol is selected, only HTTPS was available and not HTTP. In another place where BOTH were available, I checked both and HTTP (when I went back to see WHAT WAS saved, only HTTPS was saved and HTTP was again unchecked.

In other cases, this time selecting my default for .xls and .xlsx, I attempted to use Kingsoft's spreadsheet program instead of my (yes, it is authorized and installed, too) Excel program and I used the "other apps on this computer" buttom to select the Kingsoft spreadsheet, "change setting" would not stick and Excel REMAINED the spreadsheet choice.

I am a Microsoft stockholder and have been for years. I am infuriated that EVENTUALLY Microsoft will lose a newer version of the law suit that they lost in the past regarding anti-competitive practices BUT THIS WILL BE too late to save me the extra work I must do EACH TIME I wish to use the (spreadsheet or web browser) that Microsoft intentionally made difficult to us upon installing Win 10.

moncome_5443's picture

I Installed Win 10 Pro in my laptop, did some testing, did some tweaking of course, used it for around 2 weeks and returned to Win 7 pro. My opinion you may ask? Win 10 is not for me, so Win 7 may be the last Windows I use, before changing to Linux.

I don't want to repeat anything already written. I completely agree with nospam_5346, and like him, I change my default browser to IExplorer, and turned down Bing, Cortana and all data collection from MS. Microsoft does not own my computer, so I should have the option to uninstall or delete any app that I don't want, and I should have the option to select the program to open a certain file, no matter if it is "approved" (Sold is more accurate) by MS.

Android and IOS are relatively new and they were born before any freelance developer apps hitted the market. Win 10 came almost 25 years after the first Windows and with tons of software (Free and paid) created by independant developers and small companies. Why MS is tryin to prevent us from using that software if we like to?

MS is repeating some big mistakes they made in the past. I think (and hope) Win 10 will cost MS enough market share to convince them that they are software developers, not gods.