News Windows 11’s Potential Subscription-Based Cloud Future Revealed by FTC

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Feb 25, 2006
Could be, if that chart is accurate and the trend continues.

Surprised to see Apple up so sharply in the last year, near 19%.

Wonder what that "unknown" 12% is?

It's a little mind blowing to me, too. I grew up thinking Mac was 5% and Windows was 95%. But even non-tech outlets have noted it.

2010 (annual avg)
Windows: 93%
MacOS: 6%
All others: ~1%

2023 (annual avg)
Windows: 67%
Mac: 18%
All others: ~15%

The methodology is web analytics, so perhaps that 13% have some broken / non-typical user agent? Ideally, they could be distributed proportionally to the others, so Windows @ 61% → Windows @ ~70%.


Statista does count it predominantly as Windows. Images, in case people get paywalled:

Jan 2013
Windows: 90.90%
Mac: 7.95%
Linux: 0.88%
Unknown: 0.19%
Chrome: 0.01%

Jan 2023
Windows: 74.14% (down 18%, relative)
Mac: 15.33% (up 93%, relative)
Linux: 2.91% (up 238%, relative)
Unknown: 5.28%
Chrome: 2.35%


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Jul 13, 2020
I think many are not reflecting on this correctly.

Microsoft Office 365 is a cloud based subscription service, but to call it cloud based is a bit of an over-statement. The Office suite is still installed locally together with the applications and can be used locally, including Outlook mail client. They just have a cloud based storage attached to the account to save your documents should you wish to use it and cloud based activation of the suite, linked to your Microsoft account.

Windows 11/12 cloud based will be a similar subscription service, but they will store the activation portion of Windows in their cloud. The groundwork is already done for this, with Windows login and activation linked digitally to your Microsoft account.

In the end, that is what it's all about. Prevent activation of windows unless you subscribe to it.
But Windows 11 is essentially free even from Windows 8. Microsoft decided to turn Windows into a LTS operating system much like Linux. So MS deciding to do an about face is a bit puzzling and will only annoy users.


Apr 15, 2020
If MS does this I would drop them in a NY minute. MS messes up usually every other release. Can you imagine being locked into Windows BOB, Me or 8. Anyone forcing a subscription for software gets dropped. Dropped Quicken, which I had used for 20+ years, when they pulled that stunt.
I'm still using a 16 year old version of Quicken for this very reason. They lost their opportunity for me to upgrade 2 or 3 times. When it quits working I will pick something else.
Does anyone of you pay for a one drive subscription to get more storage than the default?!
Because that's what this sounds like, only now instead of just files you could upload your whole user directory so you can have your personal windows install on any device all over the world if and when you need it without having to install windows on it first.