Windows 10 sees big jump to overtake Windows XP

Microsoft's new OS has Windows 7 in its sights

Windows 10 is making good headway and indeed is now the second most popular version of Microsoft's desktop OS, having finally beaten out old-timer Windows XP.

This is according to the latest figures from Net Applications, which previously had Windows 10 in third position behind XP. Now, Windows 10 is on 11.85% of desktops (a major leap of almost 2% in contrast to previous more lacklustre figures) edging out Windows XP which is on 11.42%.

Of course, the latest version of Windows is still some considerable distance behind Windows 7 which remains clear king of the hill on 52.47%.

Win-win for Windows 10

StatCounter, a rival web analytics firm and OS bean counting outfit, has also just released its latest figures for January at the start of this month, and it found that Windows 10 is now on 13.7% of machines out there. That's ahead of Windows 8.1 on 11.7%, and way ahead of Windows XP which is now on 8% by StatCounter's reckoning. The company has Windows 7 on a market share of 46.7%.

Whichever way you look at it, Windows 10 has made good progress during January, and it's even stronger in the UK according to StatCounter, with a 22.4% market share – that's not actually all that far behind Windows 7 which is now on 36.8% in this country.

In the US, StatCounter reckons that Windows 10 has hit 15.7%, with Windows 7 still having a very clear lead on 40.5%.

Windows 10 has now been out for six months, and has actually slightly outdone Windows 7 when it comes to initial adoption rate. As mentioned, Windows 10 is now on 13.7% of machines globally according to StatCounter, and Windows 7 managed to hit 13.5% in its first half-year. As for Windows 8, that only managed to rack up a 5% following in the first six months.

We've moaned plenty about Redmond's heavy-handed tactics in trying to force the Windows 10 upgrade on Windows 7/8 users, but it seems this isn't having a negative effect on adoption of the new OS. Far from it, in fact…