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Windows by the numbers: Windows 10 rolls on past 70%

Windows 10 breached the 70% share barrier last month when calculated as a portion of Windows-only desktops and laptops, putting the operating system on track to account for three out of every four Windows PCs by the end of January.

According to U.S. analytics vendor Net Applications, Windows 10’s share jumped by 2.8 percentage points, the most since January, and ended October on 64% of all systems. When figured as a fraction of Windows-only machines, Windows 10 accounted for 72.2%, a record for the five-year-old OS. This second number is the more important of the pair, as it provides the most accurate representation of Windows 10’s position within the business universe, where runs-on-Microsoft remains central.

(Windows 10’s percentage of only Windows PCs was larger than the percentage of all personal computers because Windows did not power every system last month. In October, Windows was the OS on 88.8% of all PCs worldwide, up one-tenth of a percentage point from September. Of the remaining 11% and bits, all but a picayune 10th of a point ran macOS, Linux or Chrome OS.)

Windows 10 has been piling up the share this year, pandemic and business chaos be damned. Through the first 10 months of 2020, Windows 10 has added 10.7 percentage points of share, representing a 20% increase.

Meanwhile, Windows 7 took a dive almost as steep as Windows 10’s climb.

Windows 7 lost 2.4 points of share, plummeting to 20.4% of all personal computers, representing 23% of Windows-only PCs. The downturn was the largest one-month decline since January 2020 and the final number was a record low for Windows 7 on its post-2015 swan song.

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