Windows 10's global growth slowed down dramatically to end 2016

New data shows that while Windows 10 ended 2016 by running on a significant chunk of the world's computers, its global growth slowed significantly in December. As Computer World reports, data from analytics firm Net Applications only gained six-tenths of a percentage point of user share in December, continuing a trend of low growth in recent months.

From Computer World:

According to analytics vendor Net Applications, Windows 10 gained six-tenths of a percentage point of user share last month, ending on 24.4% of all personal computers. However, Windows 10 ran 26.6% of all Windows machines: The difference between the user share of all PCs and only those running Windows stems from the fact that Windows powers 92% of all personal computers, not 100%.

As the report points out, Windows 10 has experienced a rough several months, with the two-month period of September to October showing zero to negative month-over-month growth. The drop in month-over-month grown has shown a steady decline since the end of Windows 10's free upgrade period, which Microsoft ended at the end of July.

It's important to note that the data from Net Applications is only an estimate, having been calculated by recording the operating systems used by people who visit the firm's client websites. And interestingly, while global growth is down, Windows 10 seems to be doing better in the U.S. Digital Analytics Program, which measures traffic similarly to Net Applications — only with most of its traffic originating in the U.S. – pegged Windows 10's share of all Windows PCs at 35.8% for December. That's an increase over 34.4% in November.

Again, it's important to keep in mind that these are just estimates, and only Microsoft has the full, unfettered view of Windows 10's growth. Still, it's an interesting look into how Windows 10 is performing on the world stage.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl