Windows 11: Market share at XP level in April 2022, is the euphoria over?

Windows[German]If you follow the press coverage, Windows 11 is a tremendous success – almost 20 % of the desktop market should already run with this operating system. But there are doubts – an analysis by Lansweeper suggests that Windows 11 will run on about 1.44% of all PCs in April 2022. I have not heard any figures from Microsoft so far. So it's time to put the Lansweeper numbers against the AdDuplex data.


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It's a funny situation: Microsoft realizes in 2021 that they have pretty much missed the market requirements with the Windows 10X development. So the project has been canceled and the "promise" was made (to me it sounded like a threat) to mangle the development leftovers into Windows and other products (see Plug pulled: The End for Windows 10X …). As we all know, this has resulted in Windows 11 – and the hardware requirements for this operating system, which is a Windows 10 substructure with the Windows 10X interface, are challenging.

In Jan. 2022, Microsoft announced that anyone with a compatible system could now upgrade to Windows 11 (see Windows 11 upgrade for compatible devices in final availability phase (Jan. 2022)). But somehow I can't imagine that too many users are jumping to this platform – too many things are still broken and under development. Some things like the new centered start menu are just a usability mess.

Gigantic figures at AdDuplex

The cross-promotion network for Windows Store apps and games, AdDuplex, publishes monthly figures on the distribution of operating systems on various platforms. These are determined from the data of more than 10,000 active apps and games that use the AdDuplex network and deliver more than 30 million ad impressions daily.

AdDuplex: Windows-Verteilung März 2022
Windows distribution March 2022, source: AdDuplex

I had briefly touched on it in the post Windows 10: Version 1909 and 20H2 reaching end of support on May 10, 2022. The March 2022 AdDuplex figures says, Windows 11 has a 20% market share in the Windows desktop sector, if you also count Windows Insiders. Would be a gigantic market share – even if it was said that the upgrade rates to Windows 11 "stalled" in March compared to previous months.


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The alternative Lansweeper view

The US company Lansweeper also collects data on operating system usage in the US market. I had already presented an evaluation of the company in October 2021 in the article Windows 11: Most hardware don't fulfill the minimum requirements, Microsoft reveals by-passing trick that the majority of existing hardware is not compatible with Windows 11. Now I became aware of another Lansweeper report Is Your Business Ready for Windows 11? from April 12, 2022 through various tweets from colleagues.

Windows 11 adoption (Lansweeper)

The new report paints the picture of non-Windows 11-compatible hardware among companies and consumers that was already clear in the first report. However, the section "Windows 11 Adoption Rate" is interesting, as it shows figures for the first time. The chart below gives the Windows version distribution as of April 4, 2022.

Windows 11 Adoption Rate (Lansweeper)
Windows 11 Adoption Rate, Source: Lansweeper

And that's a big surprise: While the press makes a lot of noise about Windows 11, Lansweeper shows the share of this operating system on Windows systems ist at 1.44%. Just for comparison: Windows XP, which was dropped from support in 2014, still holds a share of 1.71% on Windows systems, according to the report. Even Windows 8, which is no longer supported, still has a share of 1.99%. Windows 11 is nowhere near beating either figure for Windows market share.

The Lansweeper figures are based on a scan of 10 million PCs, with 20% representing enterprise devices and 80% end-user systems.

Windows 11 Adoption Rate (Lansweeper)
Windows 11 Adoption Rate, Source: Lansweeper

The above chart shows that the distribution in the consumer sector is increasing, but in the enterprise sector it is very slow – which is to be expected. But the rate of Windows 11 systems is quite sobering. The colleagues from ComputerWorld quote Alan Mendelevich, CEO of AdDuplex, that the AdDuplex figures are certainly much too high. But also the Lansweeper data would certainly not reflect the distribution of Windows 11, but would be too low. The feeling is that the Windows 11 share of Windows systems is more likely to be in the realms of the Lansweeper figures than the AdDuplex values. However, it is still too early for a final assessment of whether Windows 11 will be a commercial top or a flop.


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