Windows 10, not Windows 11, market share spiked last month — here's why

Microsoft Surface Pro 6
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • Windows 10's market share increased significantly in February 2023.
  • The shift in OS usage coincided with many users leaving Windows 7 and Windows 8.1
  • PCs that shipped with Windows 7 are unlikely to meet the minimum requirements for Windows 11, which may explain the surge in Windows 10 usage.

Windows 11 may be the newest operating system from Microsoft, but it's far from the most used. Windows 10 has hovered around a 70% market share for well over a year, according to Statcounter (via Neowin). Interestingly, the latest stats showed a large increase in Windows 10 users in February 2023.

Windows 10 market share increased from 68.86% to 73.31% between January and February of this year. That spike brings the operating system to its highest share since June 2022.

Windows 7 market share in February plummeted from 9.55% to 5.33%. Notably, Windows 7 extended support ended in January 2023.

Windows 8.1 saw a significant drop as well, falling from 2.28% to 1.14%. Windows 8.1 also reached end of support in January of this year and will not receive extended support.

With Windows 7 and 8.1 reaching end of support in the same month, it's not surprising to see people move to newer versions of Windows. What may be surprising to some is that many are not shifting to the newest OS from Microsoft.

Windows 11 did see an increase in market share from 18.12% to 19.13% in February, but that's significantly smaller than the gain seen by Windows 10.

While other factors may be at play. Users are likely moving from Windows 7 to Windows 10 because their systems do not meet the strict hardware requirements of Windows 11. PCs that originally shipped with Windows 7 are unlikely to have the components necessary to upgrade to Windows 11, such as a TPM 2.0 chip.

Windows 10 will still be supported until October 2025, so anyone running the operating system has a while before worrying about finding a system that can run Windows 11.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at