At the end of October, the world’s most widely used desktop operating system was Windows 7 from Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) with nearly 56% share. Since August, when Microsoft’s latest OS, Windows 10, was released, Windows 7 has dropped by about 2 percentage points.
And what about Windows 10? At the end of August the new OS claimed 5.2% share, which grew to 6.6% in September, and to 7.9% in October. Windows 10 trails Windows XP (11.7% in October) and Windows 8.1 (10.7%). Adding in Windows 8, Vista, NT, and 2000, the various versions of Windows claimed just over 90% of worldwide desktop OS share. The data come from NetMarketShare.
The worst news for the Redmond giant is that market share growth slowed in October. Windows 10 grew by 1.31 percentage points in October compared with share growth of 1.42 percentage points in September. That probably helps explain why Microsoft has been pushing Windows 10 upgrades hard enough that it was installed on some desktop machines automatically and without the consent of the machine’s owner.
Microsoft said in a statement:
As part of our effort to bring Windows 10 to existing genuine Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 customers, the Windows 10 upgrade may appear as an optional update in the Windows Update (WU) control panel. This is an intuitive and trusted place people go to find Recommended and Optional updates to Windows. In the recent Windows update, this option was checked as default; this was a mistake and we are removing the check.
Beginning in January, Microsoft will change its categorization of Windows 10 from an ‘Optional’ update to a ‘Recommended’ update. Depending on a user’s update Control Panel settings, the upgrade could take place automatically. It will be possible to intervene and stop the upgrade and Microsoft will continue to allow users to roll back to their systems if they don’t like or want Windows 10.