Windows 10 growth stutters as Microsoft's freebie upgrade deadline looms

Windows 10

Windows 10 is now on over 20% of PCs, at least over in the US, according to the latest figures measuring the adoption of Microsoft's newest operating system.

The figures are drawn from, which tracks visitors to various US government websites, and while one in five computers might seem an impressive milestone for Redmond to have achieved, Windows 10 growth has slowed considerably of late.

March saw Windows 10 hit 20.2% but that's only a 1% increase compared to February's figure and just over 2% up on January.

Adoption is just creeping up, then, which is likely to be something of a concern for Microsoft given that the deadline for the free Windows 10 upgrade (from Windows 7/8.1) is now looming.

Folks only have until the end of July – just four months' time – to make the move to the new OS for free, and when Windows 10 is no longer a free lunch, we can obviously expect a downturn in terms of adoption.

Windows 7 still holds the lion's share of the market when it comes to Microsoft's desktop OS, with 63% of users running this variant according to the government website figures. Windows 10 is in second place on 20.2% as mentioned, well ahead of Windows 8/8.1 which accounts for 12% of users. Windows XP holdouts now total 3%.

Fence sitters

Doubtless there will be a rush to upgrade in July, as those still sitting on the fence are forced to make a decision whether to move to Windows 10 or not, for good. And Microsoft still has some aces up its sleeve to play, by all accounts.

Those include supposedly ground-breaking new features which will apparently be revealed this week at Redmond's Build conference. While we don't have any clue what these will be, they will 'change everything' according to one Microsoft exec – all we do know is they are nothing to do with Cortana.

And when it comes to gamers, another alleged 'game changer' will be the ability to mix AMD and Nvidia graphics cards in your PC thanks to a piece of DirectX 12-leveraging software from Stardock. Of course, DX12 is Windows 10 only, so that's a rather nifty feature only those on Microsoft's newest OS will benefit from.

These won't be the only boons coming to Windows 10 in the future either, although all this has to be balanced against the likes of privacy concerns and Microsoft's hard-selling tactics when it comes to pushing the new OS that many have found off-putting.

Via: Computerworld

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).