Windows by the numbers: Windows 10 nears ‘crossover’ point with veteran Windows 7

Windows by the numbers: Windows 10 nears 'crossover' point with veteran Windows 7

After a September stumble, Windows 10 last month resumed its march toward replacing Windows 7 as the world’s most popular operating system, an analytics vendor reported this week.

According to California-based Net Applications, Windows 10 added eight-tenths of a percentage point to its user share in October, reaching 38.3% of all PCs and 43.9% of those running Windows. (The second number is always larger than the first because Windows never powers all personal computers; in October, Windows ran 87.3% of the world’s systems. The remainder ran macOS, Linux or Chrome OS.)

As expected, Windows 10’s October increase more than made up for the prior month’s downturn. It was slightly larger than the 12-month average for the three-year-old OS and likely puts Windows 10 back on track for a sustained climb.

Meanwhile, the veteran Windows 7 lost 1.6 percentage points of user share last month, its biggest decline since May. Windows 7 ended October on 39.4% of all personal computers and on 45.1% of all PCs running Windows.

Window 10 and Windows 7 have never been closer. The crossover point – the moment when Windows 10 powers a larger percentage of all Windows PCs than Windows 7 – will almost certainly occur this month, according to Computerworld‘s calculations using the average monthly movement of each. As recently as last month, that crossover was forecast for December.

Crossover will not mean an end to Windows 7, nor represent total victory for Windows 10. But the sooner-rather-than-later milestone means a better outlook for Windows 10 come January 2020, when Windows 7 reaches the end of standard support. At that point, Net Applications’ revised trend lines signal that Windows 10 should be running 60% of all Windows systems, with 37% still powered by Windows 7. Because of the business-as-usual increase of Windows 10 and also-normal decrease of Windows 7, those figures are higher and lower, respectively, then they were a month ago.