There was a time shortly after Home windows 10’s launch when Microsoft would release particular adoption numbers often, trumpeting how shortly the then-novel free replace was being adopted by customers of Home windows 7 and Home windows 8. The corporate hasn’t repeated that technique for Home windows 11, leaving us to depend on third-party knowledge to see how shortly persons are choosing up the brand new OS.
We have pulled a number of months’ price of the Steam Hardware & Software Survey knowledge and in contrast it to the months instantly following Home windows 10’s launch. This knowledge is imperfect and inevitably a bit noisy—Steam customers have to volunteer to ship within the knowledge—however the disparity in adoption is giant sufficient that we are able to draw not less than some conclusions.
Home windows 11 was launched to the general public in October 2021, and Home windows 10 was launched in July 2015. In each circumstances, we used the Web Wayback Machine to dig up seven months of knowledge, together with the month instantly earlier than the discharge of every working system. We charted the utilization numbers for 64-bit variations of the working techniques (32-bit variations, together with variations like Vista and XP, are lumped into “different”), combining the numbers for Home windows 8.1 and eight.0.
The upshot is that Steam customers are migrating to Home windows 11 about half as shortly as they moved to Home windows 10. Six months after its launch, Home windows 10 ran on 31 p.c of all Steam computer systems—almost one in three. As of March 2022, Home windows 11 runs on slightly below 17 p.c of Steam computer systems—about one in six. Three-quarters of all Steam computer systems in 2022 are nonetheless working Home windows 10.
It is easy to interpret these outcomes as an indictment of Home windows 11, which generated some controversy with its comparatively stringent (and sometimes poorly defined) security-oriented system requirements. At the least some of this gradual adoption is brought on by these system necessities—most of the PCs surveyed by Steam most likely cannot set up Home windows 11. That may very well be as a result of customers have an older unsupported CPU or have a number of of the required safety features disabled; Safe Boot and the firmware TPM module have been usually turned off by default on new motherboards for a few years.
However there are different compelling explanations. Home windows 11’s adoption appears to be like gradual in comparison with Home windows 10, however Home windows 10’s adoption was additionally exceptionally good.
Home windows 8 and eight.1 weren’t well-loved, to place it mildly, and Home windows 10 was framed as a response to (and a repair for) most of Home windows 8’s person interface modifications. And individuals who have been nonetheless on Home windows 7 have been lacking out on a number of the good quality-of-life additions and under-the-hood enhancements that Home windows 8 added.
You may see that pent-up demand within the soar between July 2015 and September 2015. Within the first two months of Home windows 10’s availability, Home windows 8 hemorrhaged customers, falling from round 35 p.c utilization to 19 p.c. Nearly all of these customers—and a smaller however nonetheless notable chunk of Home windows 7 customers—have been transferring to Home windows 10. Home windows 11 additionally received a good early adopter bump in November 2021, however its positive aspects each different month have been a lot smaller.
In distinction, Home windows 11 was introduced with little run-up, and it was changing what customers had been informed was the “final model of Home windows.” The place Home windows 10 changed one new, unloved OS and one well-liked however getting old OS, Home windows 11 changed a contemporary OS that no person actually complained about (Home windows 10 ran on over 90 p.c of all Steam computer systems in September 2021—even Home windows 7 in its heyday could not boast that type of adoption).
It is also price noting that Microsoft didn‘t attempt to re-create that preliminary burst of adoption for Home windows 11. Following some turbulence after early Home windows 10 servicing updates, Microsoft started rolling updates out extra methodically, beginning with small numbers of PCs after which increasing availability steadily as issues have been found and ironed out. Home windows 11 solely entered “its final phase of availability” in February, making certain that anybody with a suitable PC may get Home windows 11 via Home windows Replace in the event that they wished it.