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Windows 10 Market Share Keeps Growing, Slowly



Microsoft recently announced that Windows 10 is now running on more than 270 million devices (including a few thousand Windows Mobile devices). I guess that’s something to crow about, but looking at the chart above from Netmarketshare, I have one question. “What’s taking so damn long”. Before you start jumping all over me with excuses, give me a chance to explain.

– Windows XP – OK, I get it. My small company is still using several Windows XP machines, all more than 10 years old. It was a good operating system, that does not have a free upgrade path to Windows 10.  So users are going to continue with  their XP machines until they die (one or the other), or become so infected (the XP machine), they are not recoverable. That may take another 3-5 years to get Windows XP into the “Other” category.

– Windows 7 – Yep. I understand that this is the primary OS for current business users today. And I realize that upgrading to a new OS takes a lot of time and resources. So business gets a bye here. At least for a couple years. But I am sure that tucked in with the 51.89% there are a bunch of consumers who have an opportunity to upgrade to Windows 10 for free until July, 2016. And no, as some uninformed people have asked me, you don’t lose your Windows 10 license after July 2016. It’s free, and it’s forever (or at least as long as your machines keeps running). I have read about people complaining that their machines are too old for the upgrade to Windows 10, so they want to stick with Windows 7 until they decide to replace their machine in another couple, or a few, or a few more years. In certain  limited cases, that may be justifiable. For example, if you had an old machine and upgraded from XP to Windows 7, maybe. But just maybe. At work, I have successfully upgraded four of our old Compaq Pentium PCs (I had a bunch of $39.99 Windows 8 Licenses), all nearly 12 years old, to Windows 10  with 1.5 to 3GB of RAM. Sure they are a bit slow, as you would expect of any 12 year computer. But they are a hell of a lot better than when they were running XP. No crashes. No freezes. Windows Defender protection. Microsoft Edge browsing. Universal apps. What’s not to like about that. I have also upgraded a couple 8 year old Windows 7 work  machines, which definitely put a little more spark in them. No issues. In fact, I have upgraded about 20 machines so far, and not a single error or rollback. Can’t say the same for the dismal experiences I had upgrading machines to Windows 8, or 8.1.

– Windows 8 & 8.1 – This category represents 12.01% of the current Windows base, and for the life of me I can’t understand why these machines have not upgraded. Can’t believe that too many businesses adopted Windows 8.x, except for those that got it for free in exchange for making a Microsoft commercial. And the $39.99 upgrade that Microsoft offered for Windows 8 didn’t exactly take the world by storm. So, I’m guessing that this is mostly new Windows 8 machines; desktops, laptops, 2 in 1s and tablets. Key operative word there is “new”. Meaning no hardware limitations to prevent users from upgrading to Windows 10. Only stubbornness and anxiety are keeping you from a superior, in every possible way, operating system. Face it, Windows 8.x was new and interesting, but it really did suck. Time to move on folks.

July will be here before you know it. And I hope Microsoft is planning promotions with BestBuy, Staples and other brick and mortars to offer coupons for discounted upgrade services to get as many people switched over before the “free” thing goes away. For the tech savvy out there, I think it’s time for a visit to your parents, aunts or uncles, or grandparents house. They need your technical skills, and soon. Mother’s and Father’s Day are coming up. What a great gift in exchange for a nice meal, and sometimes meaningless by thoughtful conversation. Plan to be there for 3 or 4 hours, cause those AMD powered machines do take a bit longer. Forget about that 1-2% monthly increase in market share. The next 3 to 4 months need to be in the 3-5% per month range with a big push from Microsoft. After that, it will be up to the OEMs to convince users to upgrade/replace their current antiques. Happy shopping.