It’s a new month and once again another opportunity to look at the progress of Microsoft’s newest desktop OS in relation to older versions ranging from 8 to 16 years old.
As has usually been the case since Microsoft stopped making the OS available for free to Windows 7 users, progress has been disappointing, with Windows 10’s market share only growing 0.02% from 26.78 to 26.8%.
Windows 7, still the largest OS, dropped in share from 49.46 to 49.04%, while Windows XP actually grew 1.28% to 6.94 percent of the market.
As can be seen from the graphs above, while Windows 10 was available free the growth rate of the OS and its replacement of Windows 7 was much more vigorous. The OS was growing at around 16% a year, vs a rather anaemic 4.5% per year at present, which meant while the OS was free it could have become the dominant OS in around 4-5 years, rather than more than 15 years at this rate.
Windows 10 remaining a minor OS, even on the desktop, has significant negative implications for both Microsoft and consumers. Developers are less inclined to support the Windows Store when most Windows consumers do not have access to it. The UWP initiative is floundering, resulting in Microsoft being forced into supporting apps written 15 years ago via Project Centennial. Microsoft is less able to push out security and feature updates, part of Windows as a Service, meaning Windows and Microsoft continue to take bad PR hits every time a new malware attack happens. Even users on Windows 10 suffer due to their friends and colleagues running older, vulnerable versions of Windows, losing their data and contact details. Edge, which is only available on Windows 10, suffers from poor support due to not being available to the majority of Windows users (Edge also grew 0.02% to 5.65%.)
India has recently demanded that Microsoft starts another push to upgrade the Windows world to Windows 10, and report that Microsoft is receptive to the idea.
Do our readers agree it’s time for Microsoft to take positive action and give their OS away for free, like nearly every other company in the world?