Windows by the numbers: Windows 10 is on track to reach 85% by mid-2021

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Windows 10 recorded strong growth again in June as the five-year-old operating system added more than a percentage point in share just as the now-obsolete Windows 7 retreated by almost as much.

According to metrics vendor Net Applications, Windows 10 grew by 1.1 percentage points to reach 58.9% of global OS share last month, which represented 68% of all Windows’ editions. Both numbers were again records for Windows 10, with the latter putting the operating system on track for reaching a 70% share of Windows within 60 days.

Windows 10’s percentage of only Windows PCs was significantly larger than the percentage of all personal computers because Windows does not power every system. In June, Windows was the OS of 86.7% of the world’s personal computers, the same fraction as in May and like that month, a record low for Microsoft’s operating system. Of the remaining 13.3%, all but a puny seven-hundredths of a point ran macOS, Linux or Chrome OS.

As Windows 10 went up, so Windows 7 went down.

For the second straight month, Windows 7 lost share, parting in June with nine-tenths of a percentage point, dropping to 23.4% of all PCs and to 26.9% of just Windows. Windows 7 hadn’t been at a share level that low since January 2011, more than nine years ago and only 15 months after its launch.

Back to normal? Windows, maybe … the world, not so much

This two-month run of Windows share normalcy – Windows 7 loses share, Windows 10 picks it up, plus some – was in contrast to earlier this year, when the reverse was the case. Computerworld has tried to explain the odd turnabout as caused, at least partially, by the coronavirus pandemic and the chaos it generated when millions were sent home to work from there.

In those explanations, the historic work-at-home numbers and the abandonment of the usual workplaces meant a downturn in Windows 7-to-Windows 10 migrations – accounting for the March-April rise of the former and fall of the latter. Then, in May, when some parts of the country took steps to reopen commerce and companies called employees back to their normal work-day haunts, the tide reversed, with Windows 7 falling and 10 climbing.

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