New data shows that Windows 10 advances towards its goal of becoming the world’s number one desktop operating system, but at first glance, it does it rather slowly.

NetMarketShare numbers for the month of January show that Windows 10 got closer to Windows 7 in terms of global market share, and if the same trend is maintained, there’s a good chance a switch of places happens in the second half of the year.

Specifically, Windows 10 improved from 32.93% market share in December 2017 to 34.29% in January 2018, while Windows 7 dropped from 43.08% to 42.39%. The gap between the two has thus been reduced to just 8.1%, down from no less than 10.15% in the last month of 2017.

Other Windows versions

The other desktop operating systems are way behind leaders Windows 7 and Windows 10, with Windows 8.1 in the third place thanks to its market share of 5.56%, down from 5.71% in December.

The good news is that Windows XP is also declining at a much faster pace than before, possibly thanks to the Meltdown and Spectre fiasco, as its share dropped from 5.18% in December to 4.05% the last month.

The top non-Windows desktop operating system in the January 2018 charts is macOS 10.13 with a share of 4.01%, while Linux is now at 1.38%.

Overall, Windows continues to be the preferred choice on the desktop with a total share of 87.79%, followed by macOS with 9.95% and Linux with 1.93%.

The somewhat worrying news for Microsoft is that while Windows loses ground, Apple’s macOS keeps growing. Apple’s desktop operating system improved 0.93% the last month, while Windows dropped 0.72%. Linux fell 0.19% the last month.

At this point, Microsoft is working on the next Windows 10 update codenamed Redstone 4 and projected to launch in the spring. Windows insiders will be the first to receive it, followed by the production ring in April.

Windows 10 slowly improves its share

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