Now that Windows 10 is a full month old, usage statistics from firms like StatCounter and NetApplications are starting to roll in. So far, there’s good news and bad news.
Thanks to Microsoft’s free upgrade offer for consumers running Windows 7 and higher, Windows 10 usage is booming. StatCounter found that Windows 10 already accounts for 4.88 percent of worldwide Internet usage. By comparison, Windows 7 only reached 4.05 percent usage during its debut six years ago, and Windows 8 only achieved 1 percent of usage.
In the United States and United Kingdom, the gap in early adoption between Windows 10 and previous versions is even wider, as you can see in the chart above.
Of course, Windows 10 still has a long way to go, with 48.05 percent of Internet usage still coming from Windows 7, and 16.15 percent coming from Windows 8 and 8.1, according to StatCounter. NetApplications has Windows 7 usage even higher, at 57.67 percent in August, compared to 5.21 percent for Windows 10. Still, usage of earlier Windows versions is moving downward, with Windows 7 falling by several percentage points over the last month according to both metrics firms.
The bigger challenge for Microsoft will be to turn those free upgraders into active users of Microsoft services. Here, the outlook isn’t so bright, as StatCounter notes that usage of Microsoft’s new Edge browser has steadily fallen since late July. This suggests users are giving the browser a try, but ultimately returning to Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and even Internet Explorer.
Why this matters: Microsoft has been selectively sharing some of its own statistics, including 75 million Windows 10 installs after four weeks, and a six-fold increase in Windows Store app downloads compared to Windows 8. But firms like StatCounter and NetApplications give a more neutral view, showing whether people are moving away from older Windows versions and sampling new Microsoft services. Their first reports show that Microsoft’s work is off to a solid start, but far from finished.
Jared Newman has been helping folks make sense of technology for over a decade, writing for PCWorld, TechHive, and elsewhere. He also publishes two newsletters, Advisorator for straightforward tech advice and Cord Cutter Weekly for saving money on TV service.