back to article Windows 10 market share growth just barely has a pulse

November lies behind us in all Reg-reading jurisdictions, so it's time to again consider the state of the desktop by gazing at the three services we use to assess desktop operating system market share. Those three – StatCounter, Netmarketshare and analytics.gov, each assess OS share by looking at web traffic. The first two …

  1. Barry Rueger Silver badge

    Ahem

    Does that account for the obnoxious, full screen Windows 10 pop up ads that are obliterating The Reg mobile site this week?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Ahem

      What adverts on the mobile site?

      1. WolfFan Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: Ahem

        Those would be the ads which finally got me to install ad-blockers on all my mobile devices. Those would be the ads which were a major marketing success... for the boys who charged $2 in Apple's store for an ad-blocker which worked, the free ones I tried not stopping the damn pop-overs. Those ads. Die, Win 10 ads, die in fire.

        1. asdf Silver badge

          Re: Ahem

          >for the boys who charged $2 in Apple's store for an ad-blocker

          Don't trust an adblocker unless its open source. I block ads on my non rooted iPhone by pointing at privoxy running on my router. I will concede I don't browse on my phone hardly at all without wifi though. When I do I tend to use opera mini with all images turned off to save data or if on vacation I use the red onion browser which has an ad blocker built it.

  2. Winkypop Silver badge
    Devil

    Ahhh yes

    I remember Windows 10, wasn't that the one with the really annoying marketing campaign and invasive software reminders?

    How time flies.

  3. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Windows10? What is it?

    1. malle-herbert Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re : Windows10? What is it?

      It's an operating system created by Microsoft that spies on you and tries to monetize your private information...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Re : Windows10? What is it?

        Those spying "features" are backported to W7 & 8

        https://www.extremetech.com/computing/213183-once-more-with-tracking-microsoft-backports-privacy-invading-windows-10-features-to-windows-7-8

        1. CompUser

          Re: Re : Windows10? What is it?

          A lot of users didn't let the telemetry/spyware be installed in the first place on Windows 7 and 8, so it wasn't back ported for these users.

          On Windows 7 and 8, you can uninstall the telemetry/spyware quite easily, so you don't have to be stuck with Microsoft's data collection efforts.

          On Windows 10, users have compulsory telemetry/spyware.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Re : Windows10? What is it?

            >On Windows 10, users have compulsory telemetry/spyware.

            Sadly if you need to stream your Xbox to your computer (hiding in bedroom to play not always option for the family man gamer, and front TV usually claimed) basically forced to use Win 10. Thank goodness for Virtualbox and Whonix to restore your privacy however.

    2. Alister Silver badge

      RE: Windows 10? What is it?

      It's the operating system Microsoft couldn't get business to buy even when it was free.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: RE: Windows 10? What is it?

        It's the operating system Microsoft couldn't get business to buy

        Are you sure it's an operating system and not a keylogger that sends everything you do to Microsoft and the 5 eyes?

        1. TVU Silver badge

          Re: RE: Windows 10? What is it?

          "Are you sure it's an operating system and not a keylogger that sends everything you do to Microsoft and the 5 eyes?"

          ...in which case it's definitely a PUP potentially unwanted programme!

    3. VinceH Silver badge

      It's the version of Windows that has brought a small increase* in the number of people asking for their computers to be fixed.

      * Because it's only a small number of people who are using it.

    4. inmypjs Silver badge

      "Windows10? What is it?"

      Some software Microsoft wrote to promote linux and Macs.

      1. John Miles

        re: Some software Microsoft wrote to promote linux and Macs.

        For the first time since the Apple III, I have been seriously looking at Apple's offerings, but then they released the updated MacBook Pros now I am not sure - I want it to run Lightroom otherwise I'd just switch to Linux (though DarkTables looks promising so maybe just Linux anyway)

        Hopefully by 2020 one of the players will have sorted themselves out or a third party will give a better option

        1. Captain DaFt

          Re: re: Some software Microsoft wrote to promote linux and Macs.

          "or a third party will give a better option"

          If This one included a web browser, I'd switch in a minute for home use!

          (But then, I still have a soft spot for old school.) ☺

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It still has a pulse?

    Someone pull the plug, yank the IV, tear out the feeder tube, & smother the fekkin thing with an overstuffed pillow. It'll be an act of mercy & kindness... to the rest of the world.

    Fekkin microsoft. They don't even deserve the machine that goes BING!

    1. Avatar of They
      Pint

      Re: It still has a pulse?

      Have a pint for the monty python reference.

  5. Lee D Silver badge

    I put my workplace on 8.1. Every machine. There were a few 7's still lying around but we got rid of them as soon as I could get to them. We network-boot to re-image machines, and it takes 20 minutes. Any time there's a problem with the hardware, we fix it, ore replace it, press F12 in BIOS and 20 minutes later our machine is working, available to the user, on the domain. So we built the 8.0 image, every time a machine needed wiping or I had 20 minutes spare, we'd F12 another one. When 8.1 came out, we just upgraded the image and carried on that same way until they were all 8.1.

    So, we also have Windows 10 "for free" with our licensing. I can upgrade at any time. All my images are 8.1 and I can build a 10 image from that no problem with identical settings and software. It'd take a day even if I had to start from scratch.

    My question: What's the impetus?

    At home, it's to remove the nags. But 10 does nothing for me that 8.1 doesn't, and 8.1's supported for YEARS yet. I'm not saying I'll take it down to the wire, but apart from saying "We're on 10", I obviously don't NEED anything that it offers.

    And when I tested 10, half our banking stuff fell over or wasn't compatible which meant we didn't bother to test further until that was sorted.

    But... as a commercial entity... what do I get back for deploying 10 on my next re-image of a machine rather than 8.1?

    When you could upgrade for free, today, deploy site-wide casually by the end of the week, and still can't find a reason to do so beyond the version number itself, adoption is going to be slow.

    1. Geoff Campbell
      Windows

      For me...

      ...the impetus was desktop-to-phone integration, and the impetus for the phone was the Display Dock and Continuum.

      I really hope they get around to releasing a Surface Phone sometime soon.

      (Yes, yes, I know I'll get downvoted for having the temerity to say something good about Microsoft. Do you think I care?)

      GJC

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: For me...

        The sales figures for the new Nokia phones will bury the sales figures for any MS offering... and we will all be cheering them on from the sidelines.

        1. Geoff Campbell
          Windows

          Re: Nokia phones

          We'll see. If Nokia release a standard me-too mid-range Android device, I suspect they'll fail spectacularly. If they do something original, they might do well. Can;t imagine what that might be, though.

          Microsoft already have something unique and original. They just need the devices to support it, now.

          GJC

        2. inmypjs Silver badge

          Re: For me...

          "bury the sales figures for any MS offering"

          Not much of a challenge is it.

          I don't see there is much of Nokia left apart from the name and a name with nothing behind it is worthless.

          I might pay a little more attention to a product with Nokia written on it but not a premium.

    2. DougS Silver badge

      @Lee D

      Let me answer your question "What's the impetus?" [to go from Windows 8.1 to 10] with a question. What was the impetus to go to 8.1?

      I see absolutely no good reason to do so, and 7 is supported three more years. You are probably quite rare in managing corporate PCs and putting them on 8. No one on 7 today is going to go to 8, it'll be skipped when they finally decide to (i.e. are forced by EOL of 7, just like they were forced off XP by its EOL) upgrade.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: @Lee D

        and 7 is supported three more years.

        I do hope that the open source community uses this time well, as Win7 EoL is a big opportunity to get into the enterprise.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: @Lee D

          Too late. If Linux was going to be a viable alternative it would have to be a viable alternative TODAY. The lead time for going from 7->10 is a minimum of 18-24 months from the time the admins start creating test loads to the time a full rollout is complete for any enterprise.

          The time to switch to a completely different OS is quite a bit longer than that, due to the need to evaluate replacement applications for most of what they do, and there simply isn't enough time if they started evaluating Linux today to be assured they could have the rollout complete by Dec. 2019. Windows 7 is EOL on Jan. 14, 2020.

          Any enterprise considering this will probably have started about the time Windows 10 was released.

          1. TVU Silver badge

            Re: @Lee D

            "Any enterprise considering this will probably have started about the time Windows 10 was released."

            However, there is plenty enough time for larger businesses to look at other options when it comes to the end of life date for Win 8.1 in 2023. Not only that, domestic home users and smaller businesses can definitely get set to change over before the Win 7 end of life date in 2020.

          2. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: @Lee D @Doug S

            I agree the door is closing on desktop Linux and all that goes with it, in the Enterprise.

            Given the general reaction to Win8 & 10 by businesses, I expect the business world to generally do as they did with XP and delay upgrading from Win7 until after the official EoL. Hence why I think the door is still open...

            As for Enterprise's considering Win10, whilst the basic OS has been around for a little over a year, MS only really finally delivered a version of Win10 that can actually be said to be Enterprise ready last month (ie. version 1607). (Yes, I know they announced version 1507 back in August as the first business ready version, but it has taken MS a few months to get it 'stable' for actual deployment...).

            Also before you commit to a Win10 rollout, you do need to get your head around the CBB and LTSB deployment constraints MS has placed on them and decide if your organization can live with MS's dictates and the costs these will cause your business to incur during a period of high uncertainty (ie. Brexit).

          3. CompUser

            Re: @Lee D

            There are businesses which run Linux as their main OS so running Linux in a business environment is possible depending on the software requirements (more than the office applications).

            There are also flavors of enterprise Linux desktop that have been around for many years which are designed and suitable for businesses.

            Businesses have more than 3 years to migrate in full or in part. That's a long time.

            1. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: @Lee D @CompUser

              The issue isn't so much the non-existence of enterprise Linux desktop, but the seeming lack of progress on enterprise Linux desktop and associated systems. Given MS's behaviour towards business and enterprise users really since the EoL of XP, it is not just a little surprising but actually of concern that we haven't seen a significant increase in activity with vendors promoting enterprise Linux desktop environments and in the numbers of organisations either using Linux desktops or seriously evaluating them.

      2. Montreal Sean

        Re: @DougS

        There are companies who have gone to 8.1, I know of one major Canadian bank that migrated to 8.1 with their last PC refresh.

        Why they did it? No clue. Maybe because of the Surface Pro tablets they rolled out to management?

        I think they are crazy.

    3. TVU Silver badge

      "I put my workplace on 8.1. Every machine. There were a few 7's still lying around but we got rid of them as soon as I could get to them. We network-boot to re-image machines, and it takes 20 minutes."

      ^ That's what I'm going to be advising the people I help out to do - go to Win 8.1 (with Start8) rather than risk Win 10 on an existing machine (Win 10 seems to be better when it comes pre-installed on new equipment). For those who are more open minded, I'm also going to suggest considering a move over to Linux now that office suites like FreeOffice, SoftmakerOffice and WPS are all available for Linux.

      Win 8.1 is going to be supported until the spring of 2023 but then things start to get scary. What do we do after Win 8.1 is no longer supported?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >>> I put my workplace on 8.1. Every machine.

        You evil b@stard! I respect that mate, you must really hate your employers.

    4. Spotswood

      We disable...

      all the Telemetry via Group Policy. It ain't that hard. It's not compulsory nor mandatory. I get that people aren't pleased about this (count me as one of them), but let's try and also be clear on the options and facts. Also, DontSpy10 achieves this quickly on a standalone PC. As far as Windows 10 goes as an OS there are certainly some improvements but it's not as stable as 8.1 which has gotten pretty good these days.

      1. CompUser

        Re: We disable...

        Microsoft management have stated that the telemetry can't be turned off.

        The only way this could be done is to install a back door into the OS. Microsoft will collect the information it wants from your computer and there is no stopping it (unless you isolate the system with an external firewall with no connection to the internet whatsoever).

        No installed program can stop all of the telemetry.

  6. Tezfair
    Facepalm

    Let me guess...

    Come December / January there will be reports of a significant increase in Windows 10 sales.

    Of course it will and will have nothing to do with the fact that all the downgraded W7 PCs at the dizzies have all sold out and only W10's are left.

    1. oldcoder

      Re: Let me guess...

      Don't forget the source of all those "reports" will be Microsoft...

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Let me guess...

      "all the downgraded W7 PCs at the dizzies have all sold out and only W10's are left."

      I predict a serious decline [even more than already] in the PC world, and lots of interest in refurbs and 'upgrade' parts. THAT, and people with OEM disks that can install 7 for you using your Win-10-nic Pro license... [maybe even for a *FEE*]

      WHEN the computer and chip makers realize how badly FSCK'd they were by Micro-shaft with Ape and Win-10-nic, they'll embrace "something else", which at the moment is likely to be some flavor of Linux, and encourage a mass market shift towards THAT.

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: Let me guess...

        You know BB, this is the first thing I've ever agreed with you.

        Don't scare me like this. :)

        1. Peter2 Silver badge

          Re: Let me guess...

          Mmmm. There is nothing out there than can match outlooks ability to share calendars and mailboxes in a team working environment. yet, that's the killer.

          An outlook replacement has to meet these tests:-

          1) A boss should be able to delegate read only access for his PA to read (but not send from) the boss's email account.

          2) The boss should be able to delegate full access to his calendar for his PA, who can book in appointments for him.

          3) The process for all steps above should meet the following simple requirements:-

          3A The entire process should take less than 30 seconds from the users account. IT should not need to be involved.

          3B) It should not require the boss to divulge his password to his PA. (Giving your password to anybody else results in misconduct proceedings or dismissal at a lot of workplaces.)

          3C) It should be extremely user friendly, and not require any IT knowledge or training beyond being told where it is on the menu. If the user has to know the server address etc, this is an immediate failure. IT should know this, the user should not have to care.

          3D) It should be achievable without training or support for a user with an IQ in the low average range, because the average user is of average intelligence and we also have (a depressing number of) below average users as well as utterly fucking hopeless users that we still have to support. We don't want to speak to them constantly because the software sucks.

          When there is a stable open source program released that duplicates the core delegation and calendar functionality in outlook 1997 outlined above and passes the simple user acceptance shown above then Outlook and exchange will start slowly vanishing.

          When exchange is gone then so are the windows servers running it, and at that point Libreoffice will take the place of the rest of the office suite. When that happens, windows is no longer required on the desktop or server and the following year will be the year of *nix on the desktop.

          Nothing out there at the moment is good enough.

          If I went to *nix at the moment, the users would have my severed head within a year and my successor would be reimplementing outlook/exchange.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Funny...

    I'm at a customer's right now looking at a machine that was decommissioned back in 2015 because of 'issues'; It runs Win 7, but apparently the GWX rubbish got installed somehow. But the box never survived beyond the actual rollout of 10.

    I got it up and running, but it keeps looking for the 'free update' now I'm guessing it's no longer available...

  8. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Happy

    Windows 11

    I, for one, would be very interested in a "Windows 11" that combined the speed and usability features of Windows 10 with the Windows 7 user interface. Yes, I'd pay for that.

    I work with all the different versions (XP onwards) almost every day and each one has - at least in my mind - some really nice features. I see Windows 8 and 10 and being experiments with the GUI more than anything else ... and I look forward to Windows 11 finally getting it right.

    What's that darling, I'm talking in my sleep again? I just had a great dream, I'll tell you all about it in the morning when I wake up.

    1. VinceH Silver badge

      Re: Windows 11

      "I, for one, would be very interested in a "Windows 11" that combined the speed and usability features of Windows 10 with the Windows 7 user interface. Yes, I'd pay for that."

      Ditto - as long as it came with a cast iron guarantee of there being no invasive telemetry, or the ability to switch it off. I doubt it would, though.

    2. Captain DaFt

      Re: Windows 11

      I look forward to Windows (N) finally getting it right.

      Funny, people have been saying that for forty years now! ☺

      (My, how time flies!)

    3. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Windows 11

      Well said V1.

    4. Timmy B Silver badge

      Re: Windows 11

      "I, for one, would be very interested in a "Windows 11" that combined the speed and usability features of Windows 10 with the Windows 7 user interface. Yes, I'd pay for that."

      You can pretty much make that with stardock stuff now.

  9. MJI Silver badge

    I wonder where XP is currently

    Especially as it refuses to die

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: I wonder where XP is currently

      Why should it die - it's a perfectly good operating system - sure, I wouldn't send it out into the wild woods (the Internet) without being very careful but otherwise it's fine. I keep several systems running because we have applications built for and on XP and Microsoft refuses to see compatibility as a virtue. If you work in software maintenance then it helps to have a few XP systems around.

    2. Andy Non
      Meh

      Re: I wonder where XP is currently

      I still have a very old XP desktop, hooked up to a printer. Wouldn't dare let it online, but it is quite adequate for lots of older software applications. I'll keep using it until the hardware finally dies, then replace it with a Linux computer.

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: I wonder where XP is currently

        XP? That's modern. I have an old 2k box running our voicemail system. Amazing how solid it is, the uptime is pretty impressive.

  10. Carl D
    Linux

    I'm sitting back in my comfy chair posting from Linux Mint and getting my popcorn ready for this month's Windows Patch Tuesday entertainment.

    What will MS screw up this time? How will they try to sneak more spywa... oops, telemetry into this month's Windows 7 new 'rollup packages'?

    Glad I don't have to deal with this BS anymore. But, I do feel a bit sorry for the millions of Windows 10 unpaid beta testers worldwide. Just a bit.

    And, on the rare occasion that I boot up into my permanently off the Internet Windows 7 (SP1 level only) partition the good old MC Hammer song comes to mind - U Can't Touch This - dedicated to MS - with my middle finger extended just for good measure.

  11. JLV Silver badge
    Facepalm

    lessons not learned, users not listened to

    I won't go as far as saying anything, complimentary or not, about 10.

    But one thing that is easily noticeable is how much of a Vista Window 8.x turned out to be. It should have been the big sibling in the popularity contest. Not Windows 7, a much better Windows, but one that is also 7 years old and would have been replaced years ago by 8, if 8 didn't suck.

    Really, heads should have rolled over 8. Should have been all Robespierre, a bloodbath, with anyone associated with making the Metro look decisions on Windows 8 shunted off to the Gulags. From the senior UI designers to the marketers to upper management of the Windows product line. Anyone who misread consumer and business sentiment to that extent and signed off on it.

    Then the new blood wouldn't have been so stubborn in foisting upon us another set of really undesirable traits - telemetry and the forced upgrade. I mean, how exactly do you manage to transform what should have been a goodwill exercise - a free Windows upgrade - into yet another PR disaster? Take away those 2 deplorables and Windows 10 would be perceived very differently. Easily solved by cutting them away, it's not like they had to do extra work to fix things.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: lessons not learned, users not listened to

      I prefer to call Windows 8.0, Windows Hate, Point? None.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Arch Linux

    Nuff said.

  13. riki

    Market share

    One of the reasons Windows still holds an important share of the market is because most users are computer illiterate.

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