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Windows 10 Adoption Rate Slows During October

As the latest figures from StatCounter and Netmarketshare for October show slowing adoption rates for Windows 10, Microsoft is looking at ways to nudge more users into its new operating system.

The company revealed last week that it will soon classify Windows 10 as an “optional update” for users with devices still running Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. And early in 2016, it plans to recategorize Windows 10 as a “recommended update.”

Originally, upgrading to Windows 10 consisted of a two-step process. First, users would have to request free copies of the OS. The company would then notify them at a later date when they could start the upgrade process. Now, the upgrade process will begin automatically once users reserve their copies.

Once listed as a recommended update, the upgrade process will begin automatically for any users who have the automatic upgrade option activated.

Windows 10 has now been downloaded by more than 110 million users, according to Microsoft’s most recently published update on October 12. Despite a fast start, though, adoption of the new OS has recently slowed down.

Slowing Adoption after Fast Start

The latest data from Netmarketshare gives Windows 10 a 7.94 percent share of the total desktop operating system market. That’s up from 6.63 percent in September.

StatCounter, which uses different metrics, reports the Windows 10 market share at 9 percent, compared to 7.64 percent in September.

While both tracking firms continue to see Windows 10 usage rising, the rates of that increase have definitely slowed since the OS was launched on July 29.

“Windows 10 came out of the traps much faster than Windows 8 and also exceeded the launch of Windows 7,” StatCounter CEO Aodhan Cullen said in early September.

Microsoft is so eager to see the new OS take off, it’s even talking about helping users with pirated copies of earlier versions of Windows get their hands on Windows 10. The company said last week that it would be experimenting with making it easier for people in the United States to upgrade pirated copies of Windows to the new version.

Windows 7 Still Leads

In a post on the Windows blog Thursday, Terry Myerson, executive vice president of the Windows and Devices Group at Microsoft, encouraged users who haven’t yet upgraded to Windows 10 to consider the move. He noted that anyone who doesn’t like the new OS will have 31 days to revert back to their older versions of Windows.

“Depending upon your Windows Update settings, this may cause the upgrade process to automatically initiate on your device,” Myerson noted. “Before the upgrade changes the OS of your device, you will be clearly prompted to choose whether or not to continue. And of course, if you choose to upgrade (our recommendation!), then you will have 31 days to roll back to your previous Windows version if you don’t love it.”

He added that the automatic download will not initiate for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users with metered connections who turn off automatic updates.

According to Netmarketshare’s latest data, the most used OS is still Windows 7, with a 55.71 percent share of users on desktop devices, followed by Windows XP with 11.68 percent and Windows 8.1 with 10.68 percent. However, those shares are down from September, when they stood at 56.53 percent, 12.21 percent and 10.72 percent, respectively.

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