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Windows 10 Desktop Share Passes XP

As of the latest figures from NetMarketShare.com, Windows 10’s desktop operating system marketshare has just surpassed that for Windows XP, that venerable, creaky and insecure OS whose support went bye-bye when it hit end-of-life status on April 8, 2014. Almost two years later, it’s still kicking after a fashion, with various arms of governments world-wide (including branches of the US military) still paying for extended support contracts into 2016.

In fact, XP’s 11.42% marketshare still beats that for everything except Windows 7 (52.47%) and 10 (11.85%), including

  • Windows 8.1: 10.4%
  • Mac OS X 10.11 3.44%
  • Windows 8: 2.68%
  • Mac OS X 10.10: 2.33%
  • Everything else: 5.4%

On the one hand, I’m amazed that XP has persisted as long as it has in “zombie status” (still in use after end-of-life has been reached). It’s a testament to various aspects of human organizational behavior, including inertia, parsimony, and sheer cussedness, none of which are especially flattering, but all of which are too apt to be denied.

On the other hand, it’s cool that Windows 10 has now jumped into second place overall. Now, it can start whittling away at Windows 7’s still unbeatable majority market share of 52.47%. Shawn Brink of TenForums.com observes that XP has been losing a fairly steady 0.5% in marketshare over the past year, which would indicate that it could vanish as soon as two years from now, or fade into the “other” category (less than 2.5%) in as little as eighteen months. We’ll see!

What I’m interested in watching going forward, is how well the dip in Windows 7 usage corresponds to the rise in Windows 10 usage. My guess is that Windows 10 will grow mostly by stealing from Windows 7 marketshare. I’ll keep an eye on this and report back in a few months.

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NetMarketShare.com Desktop Operating System Market Share for 2/8/16 shows Windows 10 finally ahead of Windows XP. ‘Bout time!

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