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75 Million Win10 Installations One Month Out

On August 26, 2015, MS made it known that the Windows 10 installed count had surpassed 75 million. A quick look at the calendar shows me that 8/26 is exactly four weeks after 7/29 (the day Windows 10 hit RTM status, and Build 10240 became available to non-Insiders). A fascinating article on Supersite for Windows entitled “Windows 10 Momentum” digs into these numbers, and also exposed me to a new and very different, UK-based source for online user population data named

GoSquared reports a very different fraction of Windows traffic from Win10 as compared to NetMarketShare.

Last week, I blogged about an earlier 67-million-installed figure from unofficial sources that apparently equated to a fraction under 1 percent of all desktops it monitored through its tens of thousands of sites. GoSquared, on the other hand, reports some very different statistics — namely, instantaneous readings that vary from a high of just over 20% on August 23 to a low of under 1% right out of the starting gate on July 28 (as far back as its data goes). I believe these numbers reflect the breakdown by Windows version (and the line graphs underneath the circular indicator shown above show the breakdown across Windows 7, 8, and 10 for the entire time line covered) at any given point in time graphed. What’s not clear to me is the size of the population that’s being monitored and how that population is composed. GoSquared is a subscription service which makes the population self-selecting (those willing to sign up and pay for its services).

What’s fascinating is the idea that if Windows 10 is indeed roughly 10% of the Windows population active on the Internet at the time the graph was generated, the total number of Windows users online falls under 1 billion. This makes more sense than the 17 billion figure I calculated last week, predicated on the assumption that all Windows users were online and that the number of online Win10 users scales smoothly into the overall number of Windows users across all versions. Alas, that’s not really the way that it works, because at any given moment we’re measuring only a fraction of the global population, excluding the approximately 1/3 of the globe that’s in its prime sleeping hours at that time. Assuming instead that we can measure a maximum of 2/3s of Windows users at any given moment, that raises the global Windows population to something in the neighborhood of 1.12 billion. But given the wide range of fluctuation in the Windows 10 numbers available by tracking the graph on GoSquared across the past week (which runs in a range from over 8 percent to under 15 percent of active users at the time of monitoring) we get a sense that the population is pretty fluid and changeable in size.

What I do like about these numbers is that they show a more realistic notion of what the overall population of Windows users might be, and put Windows 10 in a more realistic position vis-à-vis the other common versions in use (though XP and Vista are not on this radar). It remains very interesting to watch Windows 10’s explosive growth, and to see how that curve continues to climb. To me, that makes upcoming quarterly and yearly milestones equally interesting, especially as indicative of overall trends.

[Note added 9/1/2015 AM:]
When I checked NetMarketShare for Windows 10 yesterday, it was still reading under 1% (0.93, to be more precise). As of this morning, however, that figure has zoomed to 5.21%. This is much more in line with what I thought it should be, at about half of what GoSquared is reporting. I’m sure there’s a story in how those numbers could jump by 560% in one day, but I’m also pretty sure we’re not going to learn the no-doubt “oops!”-related details involved. Here’s the screencap:

What’s truly amazing about this 5.21% number is that Windows 10 achieved in 28 days what it took Windows 8.1 almost one year to achieve (the 8.1 number was 5.92% by the end of July 2014, about one year after the RTM date). At this rate (which obviously cannot be sustained for too much longer, though it will be interesting to see how long this run lasts), Win10 could conceivably surpass Win8.1 some time in early November! We’ll see…

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Free is a pretty big incentive. All the hype is a big motivator. However, after upgrading two of the six machines used by those in this house, I don't feel any incentive to upgrade others. W10 is a bit faster startup and shutdown, which I appreciate, but otherwise I am not thrilled. The changes in the total environment are a severe hamper to those of us who do serious work on our computers for many hours a day. I suspect there will be many who will be perfectly happy to stay with their Windows 7 just to avoid the hassle of changes. Microsoft has made it much easier to change but the results are not compelling. I am not impressed by fancy graphics.
I always enjoy your perspective on things, Mr. Clark. Thanks for sharing your impressions. Because I write about Windows -- and cover new Windows versions in some depth -- it's easy for me to forget that not everybody is compelled to track the latest and greatest of releases. All I can say is that I've learned to cope with these newer Windows versions (8, 8.1, 8.1 Update, and now 10) to the point where things feel pretty reasonable and natural to me. But I can see and understand that it's not that way for everyone, nor does it have to be that way. Just FYI, my completely computer-agnostic spouse (who doesn't want things to change once she understands how to use them in her own unique way) and my computer-philic son (who's always haring off after cool new stuff) both like Windows 10 enough not to complain about it very often, or at all vociferously. Thanks again for posting! --Ed--