Windows 10 Version 20H2 Pushes Past 20 Percent Usage Share

Posted on February 25, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Uncategorized with 12 Comments

According to a new AdDuplex report, Windows 10 version 20H2 is now in use on over 20 percent of Windows 10-based PCs.

“[Windows 10 version 20H2] is on a little over 20 percent of surveyed PCs now,” the report notes. “In February, Windows 10 20H2 added around 3 percentage points to its share for the second month in a row.”

AdDuplex surveyed almost 80,000 PCs to get this data, and it does seem that 20H2 usage has gone up at the same slow pace it did in the previous few months. In December, 20H2 accounted for 13.6 percent of all Windows 10 PCs. And in January, it was 16.8 percent.

And that slow growth hasn’t really moved its position in the usage chart: Windows 10 version 2004 is still the most-used Windows 10 release, with about 42 percent usage. And Windows 10 version 1909 is still in second place with almost 27 percent usage.

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Comments (12)

12 responses to “Windows 10 Version 20H2 Pushes Past 20 Percent Usage Share”

  1. navarac

    And this is a version that is still in Beta Channel, as is 21H1 !

  2. crp0908

    Nice. Love the fragmentation of Windows 10. 5.8% are still using the out-of-support Windows 10 1903. It proves my point that WaaS is not sustainable.


    How is Windows 10 WaaS an improvement over the long term stability and lifecycle that we used to have with Windows 7?

    • codymesh

      In reply to crp0908:

      long term software support like Windows 7 is not normal. Even ubuntu from 2009 didn't have as long of a support lifecyle.


      long overdue: time for people's expectations to change.

      • crp0908

        In reply to codymesh:

        My expectations have changed. I'm expecting a lot more people running out of support operating systems and probably don't even realize they are doing it since all Windows 10 versions appear mostly the same to the layman user.


        So yeah. This is progress.

        • dftf

          In reply to crp0908:

          "...since all Windows 10 versions appear mostly the same to the layman user"


          Is any OS really different here?


          If you had a number of Mac devices, all running different, recent versions of macOS, and all set to the same wallpaper, would the average user be able to tell you which is the most-recent? Or same for Android, iOS/iPadOS and many Linux distros, like Ubuntu and Mint?


          I mean, many users get tricked into downloading malware when they see a pop-up online telling them something like "Your Adobe Reader need urgent update,, do it now!!" and the UI in the pop-up message is still the Windows XP visual-style, even-though they're on Windows 10, or looks like Windows 10 when they're on macOS! Some users don't pay much attention...

          • crp0908

            In reply to dftf:

            Windows 7 had a very different interface and update schedule compared to Windows 10. Someone should know if they are running Windows 7 versus if they are running Windows 10 simply by interacting with it. However, most layman users are not going to be able to easily tell the difference between Windows 10 1903 (which is now out of support) versus Windows 10 20H2 (which is the latest). Of course it may be difficult for a layman user to tell if they are running Windows 7 SP1 versus Windows 7 RTM but that was one disruption in 10 years.


            What are the new features of 20H2? I read that there aren't many. What's the point of WaaS these days besides upgrading for the sake of upgrading? If security features and updates are necessary, can't Microsoft just issue monthly patches instead of disrupting the entire OS every 6 months? Can't new features be modular instead of being forced on users?


            My point is from 2009 until Jan 2020 users could run Windows 7 and could receive updates at any period throughout that time with one SP issued. It was easy to determine which version of Windows you were running. Now, with Windows 10, there are all kinds of uncertainty and twice-a-year disruption for the layman user. Its even confusing for some IT folks who don't realize that right now Windows 10 1803 Enterprise is still supported while Windows 10 1903 Enterprise is not. Microsoft repeated this with their recent announcement of 5 year support for LTSC 2021. Microsoft is just making things more confusing and disruptive with each 'new' version of Windows 10.

            • dftf

              In reply to crp0908:

              "constant Windows 10 updates versus just one SP1 for Windows 7":

              Yeah, and try doing a clean Windows 7 SP1 install thesedays and getting the updates from Windows Update... good-luck waiting hours while WU chokes itself and gets slower-and-slower the more updates are installed. Whereas with Windows 10, use the Media Creation Tool to create a 20H2 flash-pen or ISO, then after the first boot, all it will need to install are five updates: the latest's months Windows and .NET Framework updates; the Adobe Flash Removal Tool (which won't be necessary from a clean 21H1 install, as it'll not be installed by-default); the latest Windows Security definitions; and the latest Malicious Software Removal Tool. 5 updates sure is a whole lot-easier than the 100s Windows 7 would need (and even the "System Update Readiness Tool", the "unofficial SP2", will only take you up-to October 2014, so still 5 years and 3 months of updates to install!).


              "Now, with Windows 10, there are all kinds of uncertainty and twice-a-year disruption for the layman user"

              Not really... many of the updates install the same as a typical "patch Tuesday" batch and only take as-long. When you update from 2004 to 20H2, for example, you'll barely notice anything different. Likewise, when 21H1 comes-out, going from 20H2 will be the same. It may cause disruption, perhaps, for some enterprises which have PCs that don't connect to the Internet and aren't internally WSUS managed. But for such devices, that's what the LTSC releases are aimed-at!


              "It was easy to determine which version of Windows you were running"

              Maybe sometimes, but not always. Hey, this piece of software requires Windows XP with Service Pack 2. Just by looking, is there any-way to instantly tell the major XP patch level? Or how-about for the lay-person between Vista and 7, with their similar UIs? Or, back-in-the-day, between 95/98/98SE/Me/NT4.0/2000? And, as per my previous examples, how is this any-different than say macOS, Android or various Linux distros, where the UI doesn't change wildly thesedays?


              I think ultimately you're just being too "glass-half-empty": I look at Paul's stats there and think "so, if you count all the obviously-supported versions of Windows (i.e. for Home, Pro, Enterprise and Education) then that's 20H2, 2004 and 1909. And the Insiders are clearly all on a supported version. Add those all up and you get 88.9%. So, in other-words, nearly 9-out-of-every-10 Windows devices are running a supported version, which gets monthly security updates. That seems good to me. (And not-forgetting: 1803 and 1809 are both still in-support for the Enterprise and Education editions: include those, and it rises to 92%).


              I mean, when XP ended support, around 20% of devices were still running it; and 25% still running Windows 7 even after end-of-life.

      • dftf

        In reply to codymesh:

        Well, yes-and-no: for macOS, Apple unofficially only support the current version and the previous two; iOS and iPad OS are likely similar. But for Ubuntu, the current LTS version, 20.04, and the previous one, 18.04, both have ten-years worth of security-patch support: before that, LTS releases offered 8 years.


        With some Android phones, you may never see any updates at-all, especially major new OS versions. And many "Smart TVs" rarely see any updates.


        It varies quite a bit...

    • dftf

      In reply to crp0908:

      Microsoft have been wanting "Windows as a Service" for a long time... Windows XP was originally supposed to be that, hence why they referred to it originally as "Windows eXPerience", but soon dropped that style of marketing. And then in Vista, the "Vista Ultimate Extras" was supposed to also do that, and never did.


      With Windows 10, arguably they finally are doing so, just like how Office365 regularly gets new features (well, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote do... less-so the other family members!)

  3. fbman

    I must still upgrade to 20H02. I just don’t feel like the update breaking something


    to be honest, the updates just don’t excite me anymore and I have not really used any of the new features in a long time

    • dftf

      In reply to fbman:

      If your device is currently running 2004, it's unlikely to, as it's only a minor update.


      If the device is on 1909 or older, then it might, but I think you can still rollback an update, providing you had enough free disk-space before the update for it to backup various system files to a "Windows.old" folder.


      Before doing the update, it may help to ensure your current version is healthy. Open an admin Command Prompt window and run both of these;

      DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

      SFC /scannow

  4. dftf

    So, taking into account all the supported versions of Windows (20H2, 2004, 1909, and then for Enterprise and Education editions only, 1809 and 1803, plus whatever the Insiders are on) that means 92% of Windows users are running a supported version of Windows 10 which get monthly security-patches.


    I'd say that's a lot-better than the sort of fragmentation we see on the Android side -- where new, budget phones can launch not-only with an older version of Android, but never receive a single major-update in their lifetime.


    And for some of the really old versions there (FCU and older) I wonder how-many of them might be devices that are running the 2015 or 2016 LTSC versions -- which are supported until 2025 and 2026, respectively -- but aren't reported as-such?


    Coupled with the fact the install-images are regularly-updated, so Windows 10 is far-easier to install than past versions where 100s of updates would be required post-install, such as for 7, Vista and XP, and I'd say this seems like a bit of a win.

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