Explaining why gamers are adopting Windows 11 more slowly than Windows 10 – Ars Technica


There was a time shortly after Windows 10’s release when Microsoft would release specific adoption numbers frequently, trumpeting how quickly the then-novel free update was being adopted by users of Windows 7 and Windows 8. The company hasn’t repeated that strategy for Windows 11, leaving us to rely on third-party data to see how quickly people are picking up the new OS.

We’ve pulled a few months’ worth of the Steam Hardware & Software Survey data and compared it to the months immediately following Windows 10’s release. This data is imperfect and inevitably a bit noisy—Steam users need to volunteer to send in the data—but the disparity in adoption is large enough that we can draw at least some conclusions.

Windows 11 was released to the public in October 2021, and Windows 10 was released in July 2015. In both cases, we used the Internet Wayback Machine to dig up seven months of data, including the month immediately before the release of each operating system. We charted the usage numbers for 64-bit versions of the operating systems (32-bit versions, along with versions like Vista and XP, are lumped into “other”), combining the numbers for Windows 8.1 and 8.0.

  • Windows 11’s adoption has been steady, but lower than Windows 10’s early adoption.

    Andrew Cunningham

  • Windows 10 benefitted from a lot of pent-up demand, taking a huge chunk of Windows 8’s share in its first two months.

    Andrew Cunningham

The upshot is that Steam users are migrating to Windows 11 about half as quickly as they moved to Windows 10. Six months after its release, Windows 10 ran on 31 percent of all Steam computers—nearly one in three. As of March 2022, Windows 11 runs on just under 17 percent of Steam computers—about one in six. Three-quarters of all Steam computers in 2022 are still running Windows 10.

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