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Windows 10 creeps past Windows 7 usage, latest update barely used

Windows 7 has just one more year of standard support to go.

About three and a half years after its release, Windows 10 seems to have convincingly passed Windows 7 in usage share. Online stat-tracking service Net Market Share puts Windows 10 at 39.22 percent of usage versus 36.90 percent for Windows 7.

Web-based stat-tracking services vary in their estimates of who’s using what operating system. That’s due to different sites being monitored and different methodologies in handling the data. Net Market Share is the one we’ve seen most often quoted by third parties (including Microsoft and Mozilla), so it is notable as the companies’ own preferred measure. Another widely referenced service, StatCounter, reckons that Windows 10 passed Windows 7 a year ago, putting the new operating system at 52.42 percent to its predecessor’s 35.65 percent.

That’s a lot of people still using Windows 7—an operating system that’s due to be end-of-lifed in January 2020. Microsoft says that corporate migrations to Windows 10 are going strong, with more than half of enterprise machines on Windows 10 as of October last year. But the clock is ticking to migrate remaining machines.

This is particularly acute for home users. In the corporate space, Microsoft will be offering paid extended support for Windows 7; enterprises will be able to buy up to three additional years of Windows 7 security updates. Enterprises willing to switch to Redmond’s new VDI infrastructure won’t even have to pay for the security updates; they’re included in the price of the cloud-hosted virtual-machine service. Neither option is available for home users.

One of the sticking points with migrating to Windows 10 has been concerns over the quality of its updates. This came to a head with the most recent October 2018 Update. That was pulled after the discovery of a bug that in some circumstances caused data loss. The bug is now fixed, and Microsoft is removing the throttles that control how rapidly each new update is deployed. But the impact is already clear: three months after the update’s original release (and just under two months since it was re-released), only seven percent of Windows 10 users are using the October 2018 Update, according to AdDuplex.

In comparison, the previous April 2018 Update reached 50 percent of Windows 10 systems in just its first month.

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