Windows 10 holds strong: nearly 7 out of 10 desktops still powered by the older OS

midian182

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In brief: With its final feature update having arrived in 2022 and all the talk about Windows 12, one might imagine that Windows 10's popularity is waning. According to the latest figures, however, the OS was just as popular at the end of 2023 as it was at the end of 2022: found in almost seven out of ten Windows desktops worldwide.

Statcounter's latest update on the desktop Windows version share worldwide over the previous 12 months won't be welcome reading for Microsoft. Windows 10 ended the year with a 67.42% share. Twelve months earlier, that figure was almost identical - 67.95%.

Statcounter

Microsoft has been trying to push people from Windows 10 to Windows 11 since the latter arrived in October 2021. And while the most recent version of the OS has seen its share of the market grow 10% over the last twelve months, that's not as fast as Microsoft wants. In December 2023, Windows 11 was found on just over a quarter of desktop PCs globally.

As has been the case with previous Windows versions, businesses are the prime reason why Windows 10 continues to endure. In the gamer-focused Steam survey, Windows 10 has been losing ground to Windows 11 for months. There's only an 11% share difference between the two, and Windows 11 will almost certainly move ahead at some point this year. That said, the fact that Windows 10 is still used by more than half the respondents is significant.

Now read: Essential Apps to Install on your Windows PC or Mac

Windows 10 will reach its end-of-life date in October 2025, after which it will no longer be supported. However, Microsoft announced last month that users and businesses can receive three additional years of critical security updates if they're willing to pay for them. No word on how much the subscriptions will be, but based on Windows 7's ESUs, they won't be cheap. There's always the option of patches from third-party groups like 0patch, though.

The final feature update for Windows 10, 22H2, arrived last year. There have also been reports of Windows 12 arriving as soon as June 2024 alongside a slew of new "AI PCs." Whether Microsoft ends up using the name Windows 12 is still unclear, especially with Windows 11's market share still lagging so far behind Windows 10.

Research firm Canalys reported last month that following Windows 10's end-of-life date in 2025, up to 240 million PCs could be sent to landfills due to Windows 11's controversial hardware restrictions.

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It holds on because the "average user" has never updated their BIOS, and/or never turned on TPM, and doesn't realise their machine can upgrade if they do. They just see a message saying their system isn't ready (because TPM is usually off in older systems), and leave it at that.
 
Windows 10 was designed primarily for the user, with a huge amount of user interaction and feedback going into its development cycle. I participated many times and saw many elements being upvoted and included, or downvoted and dropped.
Windows 11 on the other hand was made to Microsoft's own agenda and as far as I'm concerned they can keep it.
The key difference between the two is this: 10 asked users what they wanted and 11 told users what they were going to get.
I have installed Windows 11 numerous times and I run into so many bad design choices that I uninstall it within a week. Windows 11 is an amateurish OS, and I'll never use it.
 
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It holds on because the "average user" has never updated their BIOS, and/or never turned on TPM, and doesn't realise their machine can upgrade if they do. They just see a message saying their system isn't ready (because TPM is usually off in older systems), and leave it at that.
OR, its because they run one of the hundreds of millions of systems that microsoft arbitrarily cut off from windows 11 because *reasons*. There's still core 2 hardware hanging around, and metric tons of haswell, broadwell, skylake, and kaby lake systems in use that MS just refuses to allow, unless you have one of the arbitrary kaby lake CPUs that MS likes for some reason.

All those people will remain on 10 for years to come, and nothing MS does will change that.
 
If Microsoft would remove the install restrictions for older hardware, I'd be willing to wager they would double the install base. I have 5 computers at home, 2 of which aren't eligible, one (which galls me no end) has TPM 2.0, but a lowly 6th gen i7 CPU. It would run Windows 11 just fine otherwise, but is sidelined because of their arbitrary requirments.

Honestly, I don't see why the arbitrary limitations at all. Older hardware will eventually cease to be useful and be replaced by newer hardware, which will have all of Microsoft's dream hardware underpinnings. They're trying to force something that's unnatural in the hardware world and are still dumb enough to stand around scratching their heads and wondering why everyone's not just buying a new computer. To me it is evidence they as individuals and as a company are completely out of touch with their users.
 
Still have two back up desktops that have Core2 Quad intel cpu's, RX480 video cards and 16GB memory running windows 10 pro just fine!😁No eleven for me!! P.S. My 2022 desktop I turned TPM off to keep Micro turd from nagging me about eleven!
 
And I wouldn't really know how to sell Windows 11 to an average user. There's nothing to gain, potentially something to break, different UI might not be liked by them...
 
Don't know why some news outlets refer to Steam survey has indicative of general users.

The first pic is valid, but the second is a gamer-centric survey.
Statcounter shows the general public's usage of Win10 at 67%, Win11 as 27%, Win7 at over 3%.

I'm personally on Win8.1 and won't be moving in the foreseeable future, even though I'm stuck with an ancient and God-awfully slow bulldozer system.

As mentioned by others, the same argument can be used since the days of Win7 - Microsoft has bought nothing new to any operating system, only making the experience slower, more memory intensive and bloated.

The only reason people moved to Win10 is either because of being forced (forced updates), or because people thought they were getting a good deal with a "free" licence, or some naively thought they were getting something new.

Meanwhile, gamers only move Windows due to DirectX 12 in Win10 and other advancements in Win11.
 
When 10 reaches end of life, I'm actually moving over to Linux.

There's some fundamental things that Microsoft to decide to enforce into it's OS, which I do not agree. I recommend anyone installing and activating https://www.oo-software.com/en/shutup10 for a change.

Half of the OS is infested with things like telemetry. You don't even know what's it sending back to homebase.

Windows Updates that either seem to make your work lost, settings have removed or end up with a BSOD once a failed installation was unable to roll back.

 
It holds on because the "average user" has never updated their BIOS, and/or never turned on TPM, and doesn't realise their machine can upgrade if they do. They just see a message saying their system isn't ready (because TPM is usually off in older systems), and leave it at that.

And then there are those of us (me) who turned off the BIOS setting to make sure Windows didn't decide to update itself to 11 on its own. (It's never done a full feature update like that on its own before, but one never knows with the MSoft shenanigans these days).
 
When 10 reaches end of life, I'm actually moving over to Linux.

There's some fundamental things that Microsoft to decide to enforce into it's OS, which I do not agree. I recommend anyone installing and activating https://www.oo-software.com/en/shutup10 for a change.

Half of the OS is infested with things like telemetry. You don't even know what's it sending back to homebase.

Windows Updates that either seem to make your work lost, settings have removed or end up with a BSOD once a failed installation was unable to roll back.

I put Linux on my laptop (there's still an unused factory fresh Windows 11 partition on there). It had a bit of a rough start because I didn't think through wifi driver support before buying the laptop, and I don't think the power management is as good as it would be in Windows, but it's working pretty smoothly overall. Only reason I stay on Windows on my desktop is for all the gaming I do. If all the games were supported on Linux (and frame rate was close enough to Windows) then I'd be switching over completely.
 
Don't know why some news outlets refer to Steam survey has indicative of general users.

The first pic is valid, but the second is a gamer-centric survey.
Statcounter shows the general public's usage of Win10 at 67%, Win11 as 27%, Win7 at over 3%.

I'm personally on Win8.1 and won't be moving in the foreseeable future, even though I'm stuck with an ancient and God-awfully slow bulldozer system.

As mentioned by others, the same argument can be used since the days of Win7 - Microsoft has bought nothing new to any operating system, only making the experience slower, more memory intensive and bloated.

The only reason people moved to Win10 is either because of being forced (forced updates), or because people thought they were getting a good deal with a "free" licence, or some naively thought they were getting something new.

Meanwhile, gamers only move Windows due to DirectX 12 in Win10 and other advancements in Win11.
I was one of the rare people who liked Windows 8 and 8.1. Not everything, but the Start screen was a welcome change over the menu (I don't understand why people like the Start menu so much. Why would you want to click 5 times on a menu to get to what you want when you can get to it in a single button press from the Start Screen? And you don't have to clutter your desktop to have that feature, either, the Start Screen goes away and leaves a clean interface when you aren't using it. In fact I still use the Start Screen on Windows 10).

Much of Windows 10 is the same (or at least it was when it first came out, of course Windows 10 has changed quite a bit in some places since initial release), so you probably won't notice any performance impact if you upgrade to 10.
 
I was one of the rare people who liked Windows 8 and 8.1. Not everything, but the Start screen was a welcome change over the menu (I don't understand why people like the Start menu so much. Why would you want to click 5 times on a menu to get to what you want when you can get to it in a single button press from the Start Screen? And you don't have to clutter your desktop to have that feature, either, the Start Screen goes away and leaves a clean interface when you aren't using it. In fact I still use the Start Screen on Windows 10).

The Start screen to me just looked like a cluttered mess, listing everything installed all at once when most of the time I'm using a handful of programs that happily can be access from a menu that takes up 1/24th of my screen instead, and, if it isn't in that menu, typing a few letters in the search bar will find it immediately.

The true atrocity is Microsoft had the nerve to implement this in the server OS, somewhere I personally feel it never belonged, trying to RDP or VNC through an already borderline VPN connections to a server just to have it nearly freeze your connection if you accidentally click on the start menu... Always good times. Fortunately, 2012 is nearly all gone.

For reference, I'm still on Windows 10, using open shell for the classic start menu which I've customized to my needs giving me access to everything I need and use on a regular basis in a window that takes up 1/24th of my screen, nor do I have a desktop cluttered with icons.
 
Everytime I use Windows 11 in a work environment, I'm reminded why I want nothing to do with it. It's an OS no one asked for doing things no one asked for. It changes features and behaviors of Windows that were made with focus groups that don't actually have to work with Windows 10 and is designed with the same mentality as most mobile apps: Change for change's sake.
 
The Start screen to me just looked like a cluttered mess, listing everything installed all at once when most of the time I'm using a handful of programs that happily can be access from a menu that takes up 1/24th of my screen instead, and, if it isn't in that menu, typing a few letters in the search bar will find it immediately.

The true atrocity is Microsoft had the nerve to implement this in the server OS, somewhere I personally feel it never belonged, trying to RDP or VNC through an already borderline VPN connections to a server just to have it nearly freeze your connection if you accidentally click on the start menu... Always good times. Fortunately, 2012 is nearly all gone.

For reference, I'm still on Windows 10, using open shell for the classic start menu which I've customized to my needs giving me access to everything I need and use on a regular basis in a window that takes up 1/24th of my screen, nor do I have a desktop cluttered with icons.
The start screen definitely requires customization to make it nice and easy to use, and the pre-installed bloatware (or not installed bloatware) needs to go away.

Microsoft taking away user agency in how they customize their experience is what keeps me from going to Windows 11. Ultimately they can make all kinds of UI changes and I have no problem with that - as long as the user has easy to use settings to customize their experience to the way they like it. I don't know why that concept seems so hard for Microsoft. It isn't just the UI, it's in applications, too. They wish that their platform was a closed ecosystem they had control over and could monetize every install. But their platform won't be that, and them trying to shoehorn us into it just alienates everybody.
 
I have installed W11 twice. First a few months after release. It looked better, perhaps, but when I tried to do anything, wtf, the context menus are like a kiddy learner edition. Then I noticed the telemetry. Back to W10.

Second time about 18 months later I thought, well it's had time to mature, and took for granted that they would have made the context menus similar to W10.

Well, I was shocked how awful it was. I wanted to like it. But everything I did from business, to gaming caused frustration. Worst the simplifed right click menu. I don't remember it may have changed a bit, but tha't besides the point. It was seriously frustrating.

So it sounds like I hate it, but not really. Somethings are better. Mostly it's the basic things that W10 users take for granted that just weren't there. Seeing as that was the case it just made me frustrated, not all the time, but enough to not like it. One more thing which may be just me, but I found games didn't perform as well, not all, but a fair few - each update seemed to make gaming better, then the next one back again. Rinse repeat.

I uninstalled after giving it a decent 1 month trial. (I use my PC all day, everyday so that's a lot of hours, but rather than get used it it, time just showed more and more irritations. I won't go into that, long posts are not fun to read.

To finish, I am back on W10 pro 64. I will not be going near W11 again. For me, it's a stress fest, basically sucks something unclean.
 
Windows 11 brings nothing of value while actively damaging the user experience by screwing with context menus and forcing online accounts. Gee I wonder why nobody wants to use it!
But unfortunately for users of Intel 12+ gen as they have to use windows 11 due to windows 10 can't handle the non uniform cores
 
OR, its because they run one of the hundreds of millions of systems that microsoft arbitrarily cut off from windows 11 because *reasons*. There's still core 2 hardware hanging around, and metric tons of haswell, broadwell, skylake, and kaby lake systems in use that MS just refuses to allow, unless you have one of the arbitrary kaby lake CPUs that MS likes for some reason.

All those people will remain on 10 for years to come, and nothing MS does will change that.
Intel 8th gen pc were launched on 2018.
By the time windows 10 eol on October 2025, 7th gen or older pc will be at least 7 years old.
Not many of them will be still in use.
My 2015 haswell laptop completely died this year.

I don't like windows 11 too and still use 10.
Hopefully by that time 11 task bar has gotten back 10's functionalities
 
I own windows 11 pro. However, after installing it the latency on the RAM and CPU L3 cache was higher than windows 10. So I reverted it and never looked back. Latency is everything in gaming.
 
But unfortunately for users of Intel 12+ gen as they have to use windows 11 due to windows 10 can't handle the non uniform cores
Is there anything new indicating there's much of a gulf in the difference in performance? From everything I've seen, the difference in real world application is minimal at worst. I've been running Windows 10 on a 12700K with no issues and expected performance (same when running benchmarks).
 
But unfortunately for users of Intel 12+ gen as they have to use windows 11 due to windows 10 can't handle the non uniform cores
Holy Shxxx, I hadn't thought of that or known that.
Thanks, that's very useful info. I wonder why I'd never read that before, oh well. thanks.

I'm running W10 pro with an i9 9900ks chip (z390). When I setup it was easy to create a local account which I still use exclusively. No windows store shitty apps. Even Nvidia CP I use. It is the only one? that the store can be bypassed. If not install with NVclean install, they actually download for you then edit it - meaning remove bloat. Lots of options and things can be "left out of the driver. In my case I'm conservative I guess, but it still cuts off over 100MB of the usual install size. I tick the "no telemetry box" too. I never have trouble with NV drivers.

Additionally I blocked the store through group policy, change a registry setting, and disabled all store related services. That' over kill, but at least I don't get bothered by that crap.

One more thing. Completely getting rid of the store is no where as bad as MS would have one believe. All windows updates, optional updates, defender updates work as normal.

Maybe having a local account makes it easier? But I've set this config two years ago and my PC runs great. Not sure with an MS account - can't really see it working, but I may be wrong.

Whoops, got somewhat off topic. Still it's related to running windows 10. Ha Ha.

Looks like my next upgrade new rig will be delayed by a year or three!!
 
It depends on your overall goals, but in terms of absolute performance, there is no noticable benefit in using Windows 11 over Windows 10.


Supposedly Windows 11 is able to utilize Intel's Thread Director to better leverage the E-cores, but I haven't been able to find any tests/articles showing this in something that would translate to a practical setting. Realistically, you may save some power consumption running Windows 11 over Windows 10, but the performance differences are so marginal as to be invisible to the end user.
 
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