Windows 10 overtakes 8.1 for the first time

Microsoft's much-discussed Windows 10 operating system has overtaken its predecessor - Windows 8.1 - for the first time, according to web analytics company StatCounter.

Windows 10 hit 13.7 per cent of desktop internet usage worldwide in January 2016, compared to 11.7 per cent for Windows 8.1 but still a long way behind Windows 7 which stands at 46.7 per cent.

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In the UK specifically, Windows 10 surged ahead in January with a usage of 22.4 per cent, compared to 12.8 per cent for 8.1 and 36.8 per cent for Windows 7. It's an identical pattern in the US, with Windows 10 now in second place in terms of internet usage with 15.7 per cent, behind Windows 7 which has 40.5 per cent.

"Microsoft’s determined promotion of Windows 10 seems to be having an impact," commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter. “However, there remains a lot of loyalty to Windows 7 and it will be interesting to see if it becomes the equivalent of XP which, 14 years after launch, refuses to lie down and still has a 8 per cent global share in terms of desktop internet use."

StatCounter also found that the first six months of Windows 10 usage is greater than it was for Windows 7 and 8 at their initial half-year stage. After six calendar months, worldwide Windows 10 usage stood at 13.7 per cent, compared to 5 per cent for Windows 8 and 13.5 per cent for Windows 7.

Image source: Shutterstock/Stanislaw Mikulski