Nearly three and a half years after its release, Windows 10 last month surpassed its enterprise predecessor, Windows 7, as the most popular operating system on the planet.
Windows 10 jumped by 1.1 percentage points in user share in December, climbing to 39.2% of all personal computers and 45.5% of all PCs running Windows. For your reference, Windows ran 86% of the world’s systems. Most of the remainder ran macOS, Linux or Chrome OS.
Meanwhile, Windows 7 lost 2 percentage points last month, four times the loss of November and the largest one-month decline in over a year. Windows 7 ended 2018 on 36.9% of all personal computers and on 42.8% of all Windows PCs.
The moment when Windows 10 replaced Window 7, the crossover point, happened two months ago.
The last major migration, from Windows XP to Windows 7, reached crossover in August 2012, or 20 months before XP’s April 2014 retirement. Windows 10’s was less than 13 months before Windows 7’s retirement, currently slated for Jan. 14, of next year.
When Windows 7’s support ends, it should be powering slightly more than 36% of all Windows PCs, while Windows 10 will be running 55%. The first number – the projected user share for Windows 7 at its retirement – fell from the month-ago forecast (which pegged it at a record 40%) because the 2009 OS returned to a large decline in December.
By comparison, Windows XP accounted for 29% of all Windows PCs when it dropped off the support list.
Elsewhere in December’s data, the user share of Windows slumped once again, dropping eight-tenths of a percentage point while the combined share of all Macs ended the year at 10.7%, a record high for Apple’s OS. Linux’s user share rose by seven-tenths of a point and Google’s Chrome OS stayed flat, with those alternate OSes at 2.8% and 0.3%, respectively.
Reporting for Computer Insider, I’m Bob Pritchard