Less than four weeks after its official release, Microsoft's Windows 10 has come close to -- but has yet to surpass -- the global usage share of Apple's OS X, the only significant rival to Microsoft's family of operating systems, new data shows.
According to Irish analytics firm StatCounter, Windows 10's worldwide usage share reached 7.3% on Sunday, a record since its July 29 launch.
Also yesterday, OS X climbed to 8.3%.
Usage share is Computerworld's term for StatCounter's measurements, which are of Internet activity because the company tallies page views to its clients' websites, then uses the browser agent string to calculate the percentage of the devices powered by various operating systems.
The gap between Windows 10 and OS X yesterday was larger than on Saturday, when the difference was about eight-tenths of a percentage point, the smallest this month. Both OS X and Windows 10 go through weekly cycles, with the former typically peaking on Tuesday and the latter on Sunday.
But continued growth of Windows 10, the different cycles notwithstanding, should push the new OS's usage share above OS X's within the next week, two at the outside.
That's not a shock: Windows 10, even though new, has a much larger potential user base than does OS X, which runs only on Apple's own Mac notebooks and desktops. Microsoft regularly touts the figure of 1.5 billion when talking about the number of devices that run Windows worldwide; Apple's last announced number of in-use Macs was 80 million.
Windows 10's usage share picked up momentum on Saturday, Aug. 22, after several days of either no gains or only small increases. Even so, the new operating system's growth has slowed from its earlier torrid pace.
Gains over the weekend's two days, for example, were smaller than the weekend prior: While the week-over-week increases on Aug. 15 and Aug. 16 were 1.7 and 1.2 percentage points, respectively, week-over-week measurements on Aug. 22 and Aug. 23 were only 0.6 and 0.7 percentage points.
For the week Aug. 17-23, Windows 10's global usage share was 6.1%, an increase over the prior week that was less than half that of the gains posted by the week Aug. 10-16.