Windows by the numbers: Windows 10 spikes, Windows 7 dives

Windows 10 in January posted its second-largest single-month increase in user share, when its works-for-business forerunner, Windows 7, exhausted its free support.

According to data published Saturday by web metrics vendor Net Applications, Windows 10 added 3.7 percentage points last month – almost twice the increase of the month before – to end January at 57.1%, a record high. Windows 10’s portion of the user share of just Windows PCs climbed almost two points, to 64.8%.

(The percentage of Windows PCs is larger than the percentage of all personal computers because Windows does not power every desktop and laptop. In January, Windows was the OS of 88.1% of the world’s personal computers – a significant increase; more on that later. Of the remainder, all but a small fraction ran macOS, Linux or Chrome OS, in decreasing order.)

Microsoft retired Windows 7 three weeks ago, on Jan. 14. Although the Redmond, Wash. firm delivered the final general security updates to customers then, businesses can purchase post-retirement patches through the Extended Security Updates (ESU) program.

Windows 7 plummets to equal XP’s at-expiration share

The now-retired Windows 7 finished January – and its allotted half-a-score – with a 25.6% share of all personal computers, down a whopping 4 percentage points (also the second-largest decline ever in one month), and at 29% flat for those systems running some kind of Windows.

That decline was the largest since August 2016 and depressed Windows 7 to the same share Windows XP had when it wrapped up its long run in April 2104. Warnings by Computerworld that a greater portion of Windows 7 would remain at its retirement were ultimately unfounded.

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