Happy New Year Microsoft: Windows 10 is now the most popular desktop OS in the world

Microsoft had a rough 2018. It wasn’t quite Facebook levels of crisis, but Microsoft definitely had a few wobbly moments last year. There was Google finding security flaws in the new Windows 10 S operating system, hackers exploiting an embarrassing truth about Microsoft Edge, the Windows 10 update debacle in October, the Windows 10 bug that hit its credibility with businesses, and to top it all off, Bing spent some of last year throwing out racist search results.

A new year has started, however, and Microsoft has some good news to focus on as it pushes into the new year. The software giant has finally hit one of its most important targets.

Windows 10 has overtaken Windows 7 as the world’s most popular desktop OS

According to figures from analytics firm Net Applications, Microsoft’s flagship OS has finally taken over from its older brother. The OS market share statistics from December has Windows 10 enjoying a 39.22% market share for desktop users and Windows 7 behind it on 36.9%. The last month of 2018 was the first month of Windows 10’s reign as the top dog.

The interesting thing to note here is that Microsoft has recently announced that it will be pulling official support for Windows 7. This is usually the death knell for an OS; users will no longer receive regular security updates that keep them and their devices safe. With 36.9% of all desktop users still using Windows 7, however, that still leaves millions of PC and Laptop users staring down the barrel of a gun. It’ll be interesting to see if these users move to Windows 10 when they finally jump the Windows 7 ship or if they’ll consider other desktop operating systems like Chrome OS or Linux.

Even though Windows 7 is another Microsoft operating system, the fact that Windows 10 has knocked it off the top spot is still good news for Microsoft. Having to provide support for an OS takes time, effort, and money. Since it first launched Windows 10 for free, Microsoft has been quite clear about its stated aim of having everybody using the same operating system so that it can focus its support efforts. Since then, Microsoft has made a couple of moves to push people onto Windows 10 including charging for support of Windows 7 devices. The OS market share statistics from December show that the market is moving in the direction Microsoft wants it to.

We should also take a moment to celebrate the length of Windows 7’s time at the top. It saved Windows from the disaster of Windows Vista and gave us all something to rely on when Microsoft was experimenting with touchscreens and botching Windows 8. Goodbye old friend. You served us well and we won’t forget you easily.

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