Microsoft: Windows 10 is doing Well. Netmarketshare: Well …

Either way you look at it, Windows 7 still seems to be Windows 10’s closest competitor. Prior to Windows 10, there was a similar situation with Windows XP; funny how Microsoft’s main competition always seems to be previous versions of their newer products.

Microsoft’s updated Windows Trends statistics indicate that the Windows 10 operating system is doing well. Third-party services like Netmarketshare beg to differ. Microsoft updated the Windows and Store trends page that is full of statistics for developers with new data that covers the time period between September 2014 and August 2016.

The company saw its own operating system Windows 10 at 39% back in June,a figure that differed highly from those put out by tracking services such as Netmarketshare.

The updated numbers for July and August saw an increase of 3% in July and 1% in August to a total of 43% globally at the end of August 2016. Windows 7 on the other hand fell in that time from 46% in June 2016 to 42% in August 2016.

microsoft windows install base

The situation in select regions of the world is even more so in favor of Windows 10. Windows 10 has an install base of 55% in the United States, 54% in Western Europe and 47% in Japan according to the updates statistics.

If you look over at Netmarketshare, you get a totally different picture.

Windows 10’s usage share increased in recent time, but is nowhere near the numbers that Microsoft reports. According to latest Netmarketshare stats of November 2016, Windows 10 is at 23.72% after three months of barely moving at all and even losing market share in one of the months.

Windows 7 on the other hand sits comfortably at 47.17%, almost double Windows 10’s usage share. Netmarketshare saw Windows 7 drop by a little bit more than 5% this year. Windows 10 doubled its usage share thanks to the free offer from 11.85% to 23.72% in November 2016.

Why is there such a huge difference?

It is clear that both statistics cannot be true at the same time. Even if you take into account that Microsoft provides statistics only for Windows 7, Windows 8.x and Windows 10, and Netmarketshare for Windows XP and non-Windows operating systems, you won’t get the same numbers.

The main reason why Microsoft’s stats differ from any other service comes down to methodology. Microsoft tracks the devices that Windows 10 is installed on, while Netmarketshare and other services usage share.

According to Wayne over at Betanews, Microsoft’s stats include Windows 10 devices that are not sold yet.

Third-party services on the other hand record usage share based on visits to certain web properties.  Netmarketshare monitors a network of over 40,000 sites with 160 million unique visitors per month, and uses the information to compute the statistics.

What we do know is that Windows 10’s market share is increasing but even if you take Microsoft’s numbers at face value, it is doing so slowly (4% in two months is not particularly fast).

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