Windows 10 officially comes out tomorrow, and everyone’s curious if it’s going to be a hit like Windows 7, or a flop like Windows 8.
On one hand, it fixes a lot of the big missteps of Windows 8, and re-establishes the old-school Windows desktop as the central way to do things, instead of the newfangled (some would say alienating) touch screen interface that Windows 8 introduced. On the other hand, the world is very different now than it was when Windows 7 came out in 2009 — people spend a lot more time on smartphones, and Windows now makes up only about 15% of all devices connected to the Internet (it used to be closer to 100%). Even Microsoft has acknowledged that the world is moving on from Windows everywhere.
Hit or flop: How will we know? The chart below can help. It shows global market share of Microsoft’s last two major Windows releases after 12 months. If the trajectory of Windows 10 looks like the upper line, Windows 10 is in good shape. If it looks like the lower line, watch out.
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