Windows 10 Nabs Over 5% of Desktop OS Market in a Month

In its first full month of availability, Microsoft's latest operating system is already having a big impact on the OS market.

Windows 10

Windows 10 managed to surpass Mac OS X during its first full month on the market.

According to Net Applications, Windows 10 was running on 5.21 percent of the systems measured by the Web analytics firm in August. By comparison, Apple's Mac OS X operating system holds 4.76 percent of the market. Windows 7 remains the most popular OS with over 57 percent.

Microsoft released Windows 10 on July 29 as a free upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. On Aug. 26, Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of marketing for Microsoft Windows and Devices, announced on Twitter that 75 million devices were running the new OS. Also last week, during a visit to the company's Redmond, Wash., campus, executives confirmed that of those devices, 1.5 million were running Windows 10 Enterprise.

The system software's popularity is not only the cause of long wait times for technical support, it is also sparking concerns among privacy advocates.

Upon reviewing Microsoft's new privacy policy, which went into effect Aug. 1, Heini Järvinen, communications and community manager at the European Digital Rights (EDRi) organization, wrote on the group's Website that "Microsoft basically grants itself very broad rights to collect everything you do, say and write with and on your devices in order to sell more targeted advertising or to sell your data to third parties. The company appears to be granting itself the right to share your data either with your consent 'or as necessary.'"

Windows 10 includes a bevy of cloud-connected features, including Cortana, a voice-enabled virtual assistant. Some of the data Microsoft says it collects includes IP addresses, language settings, search terms and purchases.

Meanwhile, Cortana continues to spread her global influence. Cortana originally debuted in the United States, China, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom.

"Today, we will begin rolling out Cortana to Insiders on Windows 10 Insider Preview builds 10532+ as an optional download to Insiders in Japan and in English for Insiders in Australia and Canada," said Microsoft General Manager Gabriel Aul in a Sept. 1 announcement. "We also have an early version in English for Insiders in India, which will be updated with an improved voice later this month."

Like Apple's Siri and Google Now, users can ask Cortana to set reminders, search the Web and assist with other tasks. Key to popularizing Cortana, apart from integrating the technology into Microsoft's flagship OS, is localizing the experience, taking into account regional differences.

"Cortana is customized to reflect the local language, idioms and speech patterns of each country," said Marcus Ash, group program manager for Microsoft Cortana, in a blog post detailing his company's approach to localizing the technology. "We craft Cortana's local personality based on insights about each culture while at the same time staying true to the foundational principles that are universal to all markets: Cortana is positive, confident, intelligent and transparent."

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...