Upgrading Windows 7 users to Windows 10 has been Microsoft’s top priority ever since it launched the new operating system for two different reasons.
First, Windows 7 is currently the world’s number one desktop operating system, so convincing the majority of users to make the switch is always the more important thing to do.
But second, getting people off Windows 7 was critical because Redmond wants to avoid another Windows XP moment in 2020 when support for this OS version is coming to an end, and the company expects many users to simply refuse to give up on it, just as it happened in April 2014 with XP.
Fortunately, new preliminary stats for the month of December show that Microsoft’s strategy is rapidly paying off.
Before anything, note that these are just early figures for December, so they could change before the end of the month. But anyway, they are a clear indication that Windows 7 has finally started losing users in both Europe and North America.
Windows 7 previously had a market share above 50 percent, and the arrival of Windows 10 made almost no difference in the first months after the launch.
And yet, new data provided by StatCounter shows that, in Europe, Windows 7 has dropped to no less than 44.18 percent, while Windows 10 has already jumped on the second position with 15.34 percent. The difference between the two is still huge, but don’t forget that we’re discussing an operating system launched five months ago versus one that got to see daylight in 2009.
In North America, Windows 7 has lost even more users, but not necessarily thanks to Windows 10. Windows 7 is currently at 41.6 percent in this region, but Windows 10 is not the one on the second place. Mac OS X is the runner-up with 18.21 percent, as Apple has a bigger market share in this side of the world. Windows 10 is, however, next with 12.44 percent.
At first glance, Windows 10 still has a long way to go to become a powerful rival to Windows 7, but if Microsoft manages to accomplish its plan to bring the new OS on 1 billion devices by 2017, these rankings could change in about 12 months. Windows 10 will undoubtedly continue its growth while Windows 7 will still go down every month, so it’s probably just a matter of time until a switch of places happens. The big question is when this will happen.