Windows 10 surpasses Windows Vista and Windows 8 desktop usage

The beginning of a new month means new market share stats for desktop operating systems and Windows 10 is already moving up the ladder.

Richard Hay, Senior Content Producer

September 1, 2015

3 Min Read
Windows 10 surpasses Windows Vista and Windows 8 desktop usage

We have already heard from Microsoft that Windows 10 has been upgraded and installed on over 75 million devices in less than a month after the new operating systems release.

That momentum puts it well ahead of any previous release of Windows in Microsoft's history but how are those numbers translating to overall usage of Windows on desktops worldwide?

Since it is the beginning of a new month Net Market Share, a company that tracks statistics for Internet connected devices, now has updated information on overall desktop operating system market share.

I want to take a look at the last three months worth of data for the various versions of Windows and see what the trends look like leading up to the entry of Windows 10 into the marketplace.


Windows OS Market Share (Jun - Aug 2015)

Windows XP

Windows Vista

Windows 7

Windows 8

Windows 8.1

Windows 10

Data provided by > Net Market Share

So a few observations with these numbers:

  • Interesting to see Windows XP jump nearly half a percentage point in August. A much smaller gain was seen in July for Windows Vista but the downward trend returning the following month. Could this have been users powering up some old machines to see if they could get their systems to install/upgrade to Windows 10 despite their lack of eligibility?

  • Windows 7 was trending downwards from June to July but took a big hit in August of almost 3%. I suspect that drop is directly related to Windows 10 upgrades from Windows 7 devices.

  • The decline of Windows 8 remained steady over this three month period.

  • Windows 8.1, the free upgrade to Windows 8, only experienced a minute drop between June and July however, it dropped nearly 2% in August. Just like Windows 7, this drop was likely due to upgrades to Windows 10.

The first appearance of Windows 10 in Net Market Share's numbers was in August, the first month of the operating systems global availability, and it grabbed 5.21% of the desktop quickly surpassing its predecessors Windows Vista and Windows 8.

I expect it will overtake Windows 8.1 and Windows XP within the next two months, if not sooner, and jump into second behind Windows 7.

Net Market Share also tracks the desktop share of MAC OS X and so I added together all of the reported versions of that OS for August 2015 and it totals 6.52% of the total share.

That means Windows 10 is just 1.31% away from overtaking the overall MAC OS X market share and that should occur sometime in the next couple of weeks based on the average upgrades to Windows 10 each day (2.5 million daily based on the 75 million installs in the first month).  Even if that drops off, Windows 10 will pass OS X sooner rather than later.

Pretty impressive start overall for what has been labeled the last major release of Windows for Microsoft.

But, wait...there's probably more so be sure to follow me on Twitter and Google+.

About the Author(s)

Richard Hay

Senior Content Producer, IT Pro Today (Informa Tech)

I served for 29 plus years in the U.S. Navy and retired as a Master Chief Petty Officer in November 2011. My work background in the Navy was telecommunications related so my hobby of computers fit well with what I did for the Navy. I consider myself a tech geek and enjoy most things in that arena.

My first website – – came online in 1995. Back then I used GeoCities Web Hosting for it and is the result of the work I have done on that site since 1995.

In January 2010 my community contributions were recognized by Microsoft when I received my first Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award for the Windows Operating System. Since then I have been renewed as a Microsoft MVP each subsequent year since that initial award. I am also a member of the inaugural group of Windows Insider MVPs which began in 2016.

I previously hosted the Observed Tech PODCAST for 10 years and 317 episodes and now host a new podcast called Faith, Tech, and Space. 

I began contributing to Penton Technology websites in January 2015 and in April 2017 I was hired as the Senior Content Producer for Penton Technology which is now Informa Tech. In that role, I contribute to ITPro Today and cover operating systems, enterprise technology, and productivity.

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