New data from Netmarketshare shows that Windows 10 adoption was up in October compared to September. However, upgrades have generally slowed since August. That was when Microsoft ended its free upgrade program for the platform and transitioned to the Anniversary Update.
In September, Microsoft announced that the platform was running on 400 million devices around the world. Since the last confirmation in May, the platform had increased 100 million from 300 million devices.
Much of the adoption took place over Microsoft's free Windows 10 upgrade period. Since that closed, customers have had to pay to upgrade from older Windows builds to Windows 10. The result has been a slip in adoption rates over the last two months.
Netmarketshare shows that in October, Windows 10 desktop OS share is now 22.59%, up 0.06% from September. The month before the share was 22.53%. In the last two months, Windows 10 has failed to reach the levels of August, when it accounted for 22.99% of the market.
Interpreting the Data
It is worth noting that Netmarketshare does not discuss how many people upgraded. In other words, these numbers are not a guarantee that Windows 10 adoption has slowed. The decrease could be attributed to growth in older Windows builds or other platforms. However, the most likely scenario is a shrinking upgrade cycle.
Of course, this is inevitable. Now that customers have to pay for the platform, it is more likely that fewer will take up the offer. Also, with 400 million devices already running the OS, adoption was guaranteed to slow at some point. The problem is, Microsoft made the lofty prediction of seating Windows 10 on 1 billion devices by 2018.
That is simply not going to happen now, which Microsoft has already acknowledged.