Windows 11 Adoption Fails to Impress

John Lister's picture

Six months in, Windows 11 doesn't appear to be attracting a rush of new users. While claims that it's less popular than XP look a little shaky, the adoption rate appears to have slowed significantly.

Only Microsoft knows exactly how many people are running various versions of Windows, but numerous independent studies attempt to estimate the figures. This usually involves extrapolating from a sample of users whose operating system is identifiable, for example when they visit a website or use a particular application.

The most eye-catching recent estimate comes from a company called Lansweeper which found just 1.44 percent of people use used its software were running Windows 11, behind the two-decade-old XP on 1.71 percent. (Source:

Sample Audience Matters

As PC World has pointed out, that's likely a misleading figure as Lansweeper is more likely to be used by people running large networks, including those with hardware devices other than traditional PCs. However, even when you isolate consumer users only, the figure for Windows 11 is only 2.25 percent. (Source:

The figures do certainly vary depending on the pool used for estimates. For example, Statcounter, which measures visitors to websites that use its analytics tools, has Windows 11 on 8.57 percent. Steam, a gaming platform often used by people with high-spec computers, puts it on 16.8 percent.

The methodology means the Statcounter figure is probably the closest to actual use among the general population and that brings more concerning news for Microsoft. Its graphs show the Windows 11 share already appears to be leveling off, with barely any increase over the past month.

Momentum Halted

For historical context, Windows 10 showed consistent growth after its launch, with Statcounter having it on 16.2 percent after six months, almost double where Windows 11 is at the same point.

The weak debut may be as much about hardware as people's response to the new operating system. Sales of new PCs in recent months have been sluggish, with possible factors including supply chain problems and many people having bought new machines during the work-from-home era and thus not needing new hardware. That could mean fewer people getting Windows 11 preinstalled.

There's also the issue of Microsoft intentionally restricting the number of people who can upgrade existing machines thanks to tight restrictions that rule out upgrading from Windows 10 to 11 seamlessly on older hardware that does not support TPM (trusted platform module).

What's Your Opinion?

Do you find these estimates plausible? Are your surprised Windows 11 appears to be off to a slow start? Was Windows 11 an unnecessary release?

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Average: 4.9 (7 votes)


Dennis Faas's picture

Past history says that every other Windows edition released usually ends up being a failure, with the exception of Windows 98. Generally speaking, Windows 95 and 98 were a great success; Windows ME was a total bomb (Windows 2000 was excellent but more geared towards professionals); Windows XP was a massive success - mostly because broadband started to take off around this time; Vista was a massive failure (requiring a major hardware upgrade just to run it); Windows 7 was a massive success; Windows 8 was not widely received (due to the new start menu and too many changes in the graphical user interface with a focus on mobile); Windows 10 was a huge success, while Windows 11 is struggling from the get-go most likely due to the TPM requirements.

Focused100's picture

Dennis I agree with your timeline exactly. Even tho my newer laptop supports TPM I can't see the need to upgrade? to W11 anytime soon. I will at least wait for the first major service pack before I consider.

I'm impressed with all the comments on this

aki's picture

I don't think anyone sees the real benefit of "upgrading" to Windows 11 (I don't). Better security? Maybe. Worth going out and buying a whole new laptop to run it? Probably not. Microsoft also lied to us. They told us Windows 10 was the *last* version of Windows. It's just not a cost effective decision to make for little to no improvement to what I already have in Windows 10.'s picture

It seems to be change for the sake of needless change. The loss of the quick launch toolbar is a deal breaker for me.

glen's picture

It appears to me that W11 came along just so the techies at MS had something to do! In my opinion, unemployment would have been a better choice.

I'm waiting for the first upgrade to come along to correct all of the misplacements that occurred when W11 was released.

Kookie's picture

I have yet to adopt Windows 11 because my desktop PC is "on notch below" the minimum requirements set by Microsoft. I am not going to buy a new PC to accommodate their requirements!

nate04pa's picture

I don't see any compelling reason to upgrade. The OS is a means to an end. Most of us use a computer to perform tasks and, in my opinion, W11 doesn't change how they perform.

Perhaps when W10 reaches end of life I will need a new system and, by then, we may be using W12 or higher.

leedit's picture

Why did they hide the simplest of tasks and make them harder to use. To do the basic tasks goes to a second floating page, and they have three versions of the same tasks in the first floating page. This is change, not for the better but, to change to justify a new version of the OS.

While some things are faster, over, it's not that much faster. I used to be able to get to my ISP in under 1 second, once I removed the nVidia bloatware. Now it takes over 7 seconds no mater what I take out of memory. Who's check what? And why does it have to interfere with startups.

Just venting. Win 11 came with my new computer which itself was a revelation. No racks for drives just a massive solid state drive and multiple usb and other ports to attach drive towers and optical drives.

kevinb478's picture

I've heard a lot of things about windows 11 and I'm not planning on using it until I absolutely have to but I know that all the stores like walmart and best buy all the new computers have it installed but I built my own computer about 2 years ago and I'm not looking forward to having to buy a new motherboard just so that I have to have TPM 2.0 which is required or whatever it's called cause I'm not sure on how to turn it on or if I can on the motherboard that I have which is an H370 Aorus gaming 3 WIFI reversion 1.0 but according to the pc health check from Microsoft my system will run win11 for what I have except for turning on TPM 2.0 or whatever it is they call it

olds97_lss's picture

Since it won't work on any of the 4 PC's in our house (without doing something special to let it install), I won't be using it any time soon. Kind of stinks as I'd like to have it on at least one machine to play around with it, but I really don't feel like dealing with forcing it to install with my older CPU's/MB's. Buying a new PC just for w11 seems pointless to me.

craynr_15956's picture

I reinstalled Windows 10 due to the missing features in Windows 11 that were in previous versions, mainly the locked down taskbar.