Windows 10 powers 9% of business PCs

Microsoft Windows 10 powered about 9% of all business personal computers a year and a half after its launch, a just-released study of corporate deployments said.

According to Austin, Texas-based Spiceworks, an online community and resource for IT professionals and the vendors trying to reach them, the proportion of company-deployed PCs running Windows 10 was almost double that of its predecessor, Windows 8, which powered 5% of all enterprise desktop and laptop systems.

That Spiceworks' number was just a fraction of the global user share of Windows 10 -- on Saturday, analytics vendor Net Applications pegged 10's share as 25% of the world's PCs -- was no surprise. Most of the users who have adopted Windows 10 were consumers, not commercial customers: The latter are traditionally much slower to migrate machines to a new OS.

The most prevalent OS on business PCs, said Spiceworks, was Windows 7, the 2009 edition that has just over three years before Microsoft ends its support. But the operating system in second place, at 14%? That was Windows XP, which Microsoft retired three years ago this month.

Net Applications' global numbers for Windows 7 and XP in March were 49% and 7%, respectively.

Spiceworks' study also highlighted what it called the "penetration rate" of various Windows versions in businesses, defining the term as "the percentage of companies running at least one instance of that operating system." Those rates were, as expected, considerably higher than the editions' shares.

For example, 34% of the companies whose deployment data was evaluated by Spiceworks had one or more systems running Windows 10, while Windows 7's penetration was an almost-unanimous 87%. And Windows XP, which should have been scrubbed from networks years ago, had a worrisome penetration rate of 52%.

The penetration rate for Windows 10 did not signal the imminent adoption of the operating system by commercial customers, but it may hint at the level of interest in the new OS or illustrate how actively enterprises are testing Windows 10 prior to deployment.

Spiceworks' study can be viewed on the organization's website.

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