Microsoft’s Windows 10 has overtaken the 15-year old Windows XP in about six months of its launch. According to January data from NetMarketShare, the OS that came out at the end of July 2015 now has more desktop users than Windows XP. That’s a remarkable feat. By comparison, the Windows 8 and 8.1 did not overtake XP until about three years after Windows 8 was released.
Windows XP still used by millions
At the end of January, Windows 10 had 11.85% market share compared to 11.42% of Windows XP. Now the only OS ahead of Windows 10 is Windows 7, which still commands an impressive 52.47% market share. Windows XP was released in 2001, and extended support for the OS ended in April 2014. But millions of people still use the ancient OS.
Windows XP was remarkably successful mainly because it was Microsoft’s first PC operating system to be based on Windows NT technology. Microsoft’s goal is to get over a billion devices running Windows 10 by 2018. The new OS continues to make progress towards that objective, surpassing 200 million installations at the end of December 2015.
Windows 10 market share is only expected to go up as Microsoft is increasingly pushing users to upgrade. Recently, the Redmond-based company started pushing it as a ‘Recommended’ update instead of an Optional one. It means if automatic updates are turned on on your PC, Microsoft will automatically download the codes to your PC and then seek your confirmation to upgrade to the new OS.
Jack Schofield of ZDNet predicts the market share of Windows 10 to grow steadily to 20% by the time the software giant stops offering it as a free upgrade at the end of July. He estimates that its market share will rise further to 30% by Christmas 2016 depending on the general health of PC market and whether Microsoft would offer good upgrade deals. Since the launch of Windows 10, the Windows 7 market share has steadily declined from 60.73% to 52.47%.