In September though, according to NetMarketShare, Windows 10 didn’t just show slower growth, it actually went into reverse gear and lost usage share. Yes, you read that right.
According to the figures, Windows 10 went from 22.99 percent globally, to 22.53 percent, a drop of 0.46 percentage points. It’s important to remember that NetMarketShare measures usage (people actually using the operating system, rather than having it installed), and that isn’t a precise science. Even so, Windows 10 losing share is a big surprise. When Windows 8.x did it two years ago, it came after months of dwindling growth. Here, NetMarketShare is showing us a healthy growing operating system coming to a dramatic and sudden stop, and then actually rolling backwards a bit. Are the figures to be believed? Well, while it wouldn’t be the first time that NetMarketShare has released usage numbers and then revised them a few days later, rival usage share monitoring firm StatCounter has similar findings.
While that company doesn’t have Windows 10 losing share, it does show it growing by just 0.08 percentage points for a total of 22.27 percent in September.
So what’s to be made of all this? Well, Windows 10 no longer being free has clearly had a major impact on its adoption rate, and it’s possible that a large number of users upgraded to Windows
10 while it was still free and then rolled back their systems to a previous OS. Enough to move the dial backwards? There’s no way to say for certain.
Returning to NetMarketShare’s figures, last month was a good one for Windows 7 which grew 1.02 percentage points to go from 47.25 percent to 48.27 percent.
Know what this means? Means AMD needs to release Cinebench and PCMark benchmarks with engineering samples of Zen on Windows 7 and 8.1 ahead of CES 2017 and compare them to Intel Haswell and Skylake processors (as the leaked benchmarks already show performance parity between Haswell and Zen under Windows 10, and Skylake still is supported with Windows 7 and 8,1). Remember these figures also include Windows Phone and new, unupgradable prebuilt systems, so with a literally dwindling market share for an OS which will officially support Zen, and the future of AMD hanging in the balance, we as customers need reassurance that the world's most popular OS will be able to realize a performance increase with Zen.