It looks like adoption of Windows 10 moving along rather swiftly, probably because of the free upgrade offer from Microsoft. The newest version of the operating system has been out for less than a year, and it has now overtaken Windows 8.1 for the first time. Also Windows 10 is being picked up faster than Windows 7 as data from StatCounter shows that global usage of the newest version after six months is now greater than it was for 7 at the same point following its release.

Windows 10 usage now greater than that of Windows 8.1

The firm reports that global usage of the latest version of Windows surpassed the previous version in January, reaching a 13.7% share of Internet usage in the desktop operating system market. Windows 8.1 held an 11.7% share in January. However, Windows 10 is still significantly behind Windows 7 in terms of share because 7 users logged nearly half of global Internet usage in January.

windows 10

Unfortunately, the new OS did not help stem the decline in PC sales as some hoped it would.

Windows 10 usage rising in the U.S.

StatCounter found that usage of the newest version of Microsoft’s desktop operating system reached 15.7% in the U.S. after overtaking the previous version in December, although Windows 7 still leads the pack with a 40.5% share. In the U.K., Windows 10 held 22.4% of the market in January, putting it well ahead of 8.1 at 12.5% after overtaking it in October. Windows 7 usage in the U.K. has fallen to just 36.8% there.

“Microsoft’s determined promotion of Windows 10 seems to be having an impact,” StatCounter Chief Executive Aodhan Cullen commented. “However, there remains a lot of loyalty to Windows 7 and it will be interesting to see if it becomes the equivalent of XP which, 14 years after launch, refuses to lie down and still has a [sic] 8% global share in terms of desktop internet use.”

Although Windows 7 still reigns supreme, StatCounter found that usage of Windows 10 after six months is greater than usage of 8 and 7 six months after each version’s release, not only globally but also in the U.S. and the U.K. The firm put together this table showing the growth rates of the last three versions of Windows:

Table A. Desktop internet usage share for sixth calendar month since launch

Windows 10

(Jan 2016)

Windows 8                                  

(April 2013)

Windows 7

(April 2010)

Worldwide 13.7% 5.0% 13.5%
US 15.7% 5.8% 14.7%
UK 22.4% 6.6% 15.2%