Windows 10 Is Faster Out of the Gate Than Windows 7 by Keith Ward

By Keith Ward, Windows Expert as written on
How well has Windows 10 done since its release on July 29? Well enough that it's been more popular than the much-beloved Windows 7 during the same time frame.
"Windows 10 came out of the traps much faster than Windows 8 and also exceeded the launch of Windows 7," Aodhan Cullen, CEO of web analytics company StatCounter, said in a press release. The release showed that in its first full month of release -- August -- Windows 10 had worldwide usage of 4.9 percent.
By comparison, Windows 7 stood at 4.1 percent after its first full month. To probably no one's surprised, the disliked Windows 8 had just 1 percent of usage after its first month.

U.S., U.K. Strength

In the United States, those stats are a little rosier. A chart in the same press release shows that Windows 10 has 5.64 percent market share for usage, compared to 4.3 percent in the U.S.
for Windows 7 just after its release. And in the U.K., things are even brighter: 8.45 percent of users are on Windows 10, essentially double that for Windows 7 in the same time period, which was in use by 4.34 percent.
Windows 7 was released to the public on Oct. 22, 2009, so the first full month of usage would have been November 2009. Windows 8 was released on Oct. 26, 2012. The comparison with Windows 7 is the most relevant one, since Windows 10 appears to be closer to that operating system's trajectory and acceptance by the public.

Windows 7: Still King of the Hill

According to another web analytics company, Netmarketshare, Windows 7 still dominates in terms of the total market, with more than 57 percent of the world using it.
Windows XP, which refuses to die even though it's no longer supported by Microsoft, is next at just over 12 percent. Windows 8.1 -- the follow-up to Windows 8, which has done better but is still generally frowned upon -- is in third place at slightly more than 11 percent. Windows 10 is fourth at 5.21 percent (as we're now in the third week of September, and the figures at the top of the story stopped in August).
(It's interesting to note that Windows 10, which has been out less than two months, is already more popular than the Mac operating system, OS X, which is many years old. This isn't a commentary on Mac computers, which are very good, but instead a sign of the strength of the Windows brand.)

Free Is Good

What accounts for the strong showing by Windows 10? Well, to start with, it's a free upgrade (for the first year). It's the first time users didn't have to pay to install a new version of Windows, and that is undoubtedly a huge factor -- although how big is impossible to say.
The other critical reason is that Windows 10 has gotten a tremendous amount of positive press. That's important because even though it's free, people would be very cautious to upgrade if it was viewed harshly by the press and the rest of the Internet. Consider the cases of Windows Vista and Windows 8; they were pilloried by the media when they came out, and would have likely tanked even if they were free (in Vista's case, as I've pointed out, it ranked very high on one magazine's list of all-time tech flops.)

The Crystal Ball

Do these strong numbers mean that Windows 10 will eventually be as popular (or even more so) than perennial favorites Windows XP and Windows 7? No, they don't. We're in the computing age when Windows is competing with Apple and Android for devices, and Windows will be just another player, rather than the whole game. But it is good for Microsoft to see that the public is reacting favorably to its newest -- and likely last (named) -- operating system.


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