Windows 10 takes global lead

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Since Windows 10's launch in 2015, Microsoft has made a concerted effort to get people using older versions of Windows to upgrade.

In a blog post on Thursday, Microsoft said the next-gen productivity suite will not be compatible on machines running Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. In a support article for service and support of Windows and Office, Microsoft has revealed you'll need to upgrade to Windows 10 if you want the latest version of Office without subscribing to the company's Office 365 service. The update takes Windows 10 to build 16299.214 and resolve issues in KB4056892 that was pushed to customers in early January to help fix Spectre and Meltdown exploits.

StatCounter Chief Executive Officer Aodhan Cullen describes the fact that Windows 10 overtook Windows 7 as "a breakthrough for Microsoft".

Microsoft's evaluation criteria for unwanted software already covered many other bad behaviors, including apps that tamper with browsers settings, impair computer performance, and programs that don't provide a clear way to install, uninstall, and disable it.

Windows 7 has to ultimately go down regardless of many Windows fans being reluctant about making the big move to Windows 10.

The operating system was broadly well received, building on improvements in Windows 8.1 and including capabilities such as the Cortana AI assistant.

Nevertheless, the speed with which Windows 10 has been adopted has been slower than Microsoft initially anticipated. Windows 10 1703, which Microsoft began delivering in April 2017, will hit its end of support date on October 9, 2018 (with the extension for Enterprise/Education until April 9, 2019). "Microsoft will be hoping that it can replace it a lot quicker than XP, launched back in August 2001, which only fell below 5% usage worldwide in June of 2017". Microsoft officials conceded a year ago that it would take longer to hit the 1 billion mark, likely due to the failure of Windows 10 to gain traction as a smartphone OS.

This update applies to Windows 10 version 1709. With this rate, it will take at least 3 to 4 months for Windows 10 to get over Windows 7. Fellow analytics provider NetMarketShare did not record the same figures.

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