Windows 10 isn't free anymore, but that's not slowing it down

Windows 10

It's the start of the month, so new Windows 10 adoption figures are in, and they show that the pace of uptake for Microsoft's desktop OS hasn't slowed down as some folks thought it might.

This is all about the free upgrade to Windows 10 expiring at the end of July, and now folks have to pay, you might expect that Netmarketshare's figures for August would show a slowdown in the progress of the operating system.

However, the analytics firm found that Windows 10 now holds a 22.99% share of the desktop OS market (Windows 7 was still top with a 47.25% share, with Windows 8/8.1 on 9.74%). Figures for July showed that Windows 10 had a 21.13% market share, so that represents a 1.86% increase over the course of August.

That compares to a 1.99% increase from June to July, so in other words, adoption has hardly slowed at all after the freebie offer expired.

So why is this the case? Well, it's possible that last-minute upgraders sneaking in on the deadline day might have been counted at the start of August, because Netmarketshare's figures are derived from web analytics, so don't precisely reflect exactly when people pressed the upgrade button (but rather, when they surfed the web next).

Also, there were still ways to access the free upgrade at the start of August – as we reported at the time, you could still use your old Windows 7/8.1 key to activate a Windows 10 install after the offer had expired. This could have been Microsoft giving users some unofficial breathing room to make the move if they were having second thoughts after the deadline had passed.

And there was another more dubious route: taking advantage of an upgrade path kept open and reserved for those who need assistive technologies (but anyone could use it because there was no verification process).

Such loopholes could have accounted for some of the numbers, certainly, but of course these figures aren't measuring upgrades but rather the overall usage level of Windows 10, and naturally sales of new devices may account for a good deal of the increase.

Even so, we're surprised not to have seen a bit more of a slowdown, but September's figures will likely clarify things, as there will certainly be no potential volume of straggling upgraders involved in those statistics.

Although all the new PCs set to come out later this year – many of which are currently being shown off at IFA, complete with Intel's newest Kaby Lake processors – may help to prop Windows 10 figures up further.

Pushed into the Lake

Certainly, in the longer-term, Kaby Lake (and indeed AMD's Zen) will help boost Windows 10 adoption numbers in terms of new machines and those upgrading their existing computers, because these processors – and all future generation CPUs – will require Microsoft's latest OS to work. The likes of Intel and AMD won't be providing updated drivers for Windows 7/8.1 systems going forward.

Microsoft might not have the free upgrade carrot – or should that be stick, what with the number of times we were hit by the W10 upgrade prompts – any longer, but there are certainly still weapons in its armory to help persuade folks that Windows 10 is the right move, despite any concerns they might have about issues such as compatibility, control over updates, or privacy.

Via: Betanews

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).