Windows 10 May 2019 Update makes big gains as Microsoft forces upgrades

Cortana in Windows 10
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Windows 10 May 2019 Update got a big boost in adoption last month, and over half of all Windows 10 users are now on this version – although whether they made the move of their own volition, or were pushed, is another matter…

According to the October stats from AdDuplex – which compiles its figures from adverts in Microsoft Store apps across some 90,000 Windows 10 PCs – the May 2019 Update now represents 56.6% of users.

That’s another big leap for the latest version of Windows 10, and in fact an 11.1% increase compared to September.

So on the face of things, it appears that all the recent problems which have been popping up with cumulative updates issued for the May 2019 Update aren’t putting people off upgrading.

However, when you consider that the April 2018 Update dropped from 24.1% of Windows 10 users in September to 13.6% in October, that’s a decrease of 10.5% – meaning that almost all the May 2019 Update upgraders (11.1%) came from here.

And remember that the April 2018 Update is now living on borrowed time, and as the end of support deadline is November 12, Microsoft has been forcing upgrades to the latest version of Windows 10 on these users for obvious security reasons.

Upgrade cattle prod?

So while we can’t know anything for sure, it seems a pretty obvious conclusion that the fact that the May 2019 Update is forging ahead – it really has made massive gains over the last couple of months – has a great deal to do with those upgrades being mandatory.

It’s also a pretty safe assumption to make that the majority of the remainder of those April 2018 Update users will have upgraded when we get November’s stats; so that’s likely another big 10% or so increase in the cards.

The Windows 10 October 2018 Update, incidentally, remained almost static on 25% of market share, only 0.5% less than in September. And those are users who don’t need to upgrade due to any imminent deadline, of course…

Another interesting snippet is that 0.5% of folks are running Windows 10 preview builds, meaning that around one in 200 users are testers for the OS.

Having made all of these observations, however, we’d do well to remember that we need to be cautious about relying on one set of statistics as a picture of any particular market.

As the background to all this, Microsoft is now preparing the next big Windows 10 upgrade, the November 2019 Update which might land on November 12 (and if not then, it’ll be coming soon enough). However, it’s a minor update more about tweaking and small performance improvements, with no major new features being introduced.

There’s a reason for its more trivial nature, apparently, and the rumor mill contends that this is because Microsoft is readjusting the release cadence of Windows 10 upgrades to better match with the launch of Windows 10X next year.

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).