Latest Windows 10 Update Currently Exceeds Windows 11 Adoption

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Windows 11 began rolling out to compatible Windows 10 PCs in October 2021, and it appears just under 20% of PCs have made the jump to the new operating system.

This comes from monthly data obtained by the AdDuplex advertising network, which samples 60,000 PCs running software using its advertising technology on various applications. It’s not the largest sample size ever, but it’s certainly a good indication of where we’re at in terms of OS adaptation. The ad network found that while Windows 11 has reached a decent milestone for its release, there’s still a long way to go for Microsoft’s latest operating system.

With the release of Windows 11, Microsoft effectively transitioned its users to Windows 11 or Windows 10 21H2 update. The Windows 10 21H2 update arrived in July, and in October the Windows 11 update was offered to users with compatible PCs. Currently, Windows 10 21H2 update has taken the lion’s share of user updates, at 21%. However, Windows 11 adoption isn’t too far behind, standing at 19.3%, according to the data.

Windows 11 will certainly eventually overtake Windows 10, but as XDA Developers note, the number of Windows 11 users has grown by only a small percentage over the past month. In January, Windows 11 usage share was 16.1%, representing a 3.2% increase in users in February.

Meanwhile, the Windows 10 21H2 update only affected 12.1% of users in January, which dropped to 21% in February.

Windows 11 Insiders account for another 0.3% share, although the many active versions of Windows 10 make up the biggest slice of the pie: Windows 10 21H1 still holds a 27.5% share, and Windows Update 10 20H2 of 2020 still holds 17.9%.

There are even a few users who are still using Windows 10 updates from 2018 or older at 2.4%.

Windows OS version market share, sourced from AdDuplex
February 2022 January 2022
Windows 11 19.3% 16.1%
Windows 11 Insiders 0.3% 0.4%
Windows 10 21H2 21% 12.1%
Windows 10 21H1 27.5% 28.6%
Windows 10 20H2 17.9% 26.3%

Looking at the history of Windows version adoption, you can actually see that according to data from AdDuplex since 2016, Windows 10 20H2 update has been as slow as Windows 11 update over the first months of his life. Then it picked up pretty quickly, which is almost certainly how Microsoft scales its updates to devices and users these days.

Windows 11 also received similar treatment: the first wave of devices offered by the OS were quite thin, then it was gradually offered to more and more users. Although it’s unclear whether Windows 11 will see as sharp or a sustained surge in adoption as previous versions of Windows 10.

It’s clear that updating the over one billion active Windows PCs to a new operating system was always going to be slow, but Windows 11 has another cause for concern when it comes to adoption rates: the new operating system has somewhat restrictive system requirements.

Windows 11 does not support all processors spanning the annals of PC history. Instead, processor and platform support settings are set by Microsoft, mostly in the name of security. This means that some processors common in gaming PCs, such as first-gen AMD Ryzen processors or 7th-gen or older Intel chips, are not compatible with the operating system.

A modified image to show the Microsoft Store on Windows 11 and Windows 10 operating systems

Windows 11 is gradually gaining features over Windows 10, but it’s still not a must-have upgrade. (Image credit: Microsoft)

Thus, there are loads of machines that will never make the jump to Windows 11 as it is today. Microsoft will continue to support Windows 10 until 2025, so expect more versions for this operating system in the future, namely security updates. After that, some machines will be left without a paddle.

Still, that shouldn’t deter a few devices from upgrading to Windows 11 before then. Millions of machines will be compatible and almost all new devices manufactured today will meet the standard.

Some users with compatible machines may be waiting for a more compelling reason to upgrade to Windows 11. up to date. Maybe we’ll all have more reason to make the switch at some point, because right now upgrading is more or less a decision based on style and preference than anything functional.

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