Microsoft's Windows 10 has easily surpassed the global usage share ascension of Windows 7 six years ago, putting it on track to become the company's most successful OS introduction ever.
Windows 10's usage share neared 6.6% on Sunday, data from analytics vendor StatCounter showed. That was a 23% increase over what the OS logged the Sunday prior, continuing the unbroken stretch of double-digit-or-more, week-over-week increases since Windows 10's July 29 debut.
The operating system's usage share increase has comfortably exceeded that of its closest rival, Windows 7, during the latter's first 18 days of availability in the fall of 2009. Windows 7's high-water mark during that stretch was 3.8% by StatCounter's count.
StatCounter estimates what Computerworld has dubbed "usage share" by tallying page views, making the Irish metric firm's numbers a signal of activity on the Internet rather than of users.
Windows 7's uptake as measured by StatCounter was quicker off the mark than was Windows 10's, a fact that should not come as a surprise, since the former was released as a paid upgrade that users had been eagerly buying in the run-up to its Oct. 22, 2009, official launch.
Microsoft treated Windows 10 differently, choosing to not only give away the upgrade to hundreds of millions of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users, but delivering that upgrade to customer subsets over time, part of an effort to minimize stress on the Redmond, Wash. company's content distribution network and allow it to track problems, then presumably fix them, before triggering upgrade notifications for the next "wave."
By the fourth day after its introduction, Windows 10's usage share had topped that of Windows 7 at the same point in its post-debut schedule. Windows 10 has not relinquished the lead since then.