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Windows Web Traffic May 2015

Published on Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Windows Web Traffic May 2015

Desktop vs Mobile

With the recent announcement that Windows 10 will finally be available for public release on the 29th July 2015 we take a look at the breakdown of the current web traffic generated by all Windows operating systems during May 2015.


Windows Desktop vs Windows Mobile web traffic

As is evidenced heavily in the image above, Windows traffic is still predominantly generated by non mobile sources. In fact for every single user who accesses the web on a Windows mobile device there are approximately 99 other users accessing the web via non mobile means, such as a traditional desktop computer. If we first consider that Windows desktops are far more ubiquitous than Windows mobile devices, it's estimated that there are at best, 1300 million installations of Windows desktop worldwide. While in comparison at the end of 2013 it was estimated there was 50 million active Windows mobile users, if we take into account that there have been roughly 30 million new Windows phones sold over the last six quarters that gives us a ballpark figure of up to 80 million Windows mobile users. Using these figures we can estimate that Windows mobile devices have a 16.25% share of all Windows based devices but only generate 1.2% of the total web traffic. This indicates that the average Windows desktop accesses almost 20% more websites than the average Windows mobile device, if trends continue it's possible we may see parity by 2018.


Windows desktop and Windows mobile web traffic by Country

Looking at the breakdown of total Windows web traffic over different countries we can see that in China 99.68% of the Windows traffic is from desktops and just 0.32% comes via a mobile device, much lower than the global average. This indicates that Windows phone has a very low presence in Asia's biggest market. Other countries with a very low Windows mobile share include Germany with just 0.52% generated via mobile devices and Canada with a 0.61% share, which is almost half the global average. Conclusions drawn could include either an extraordinary use of Windows desktops in these countries, or more likely - simply a poor presence of Windows mobile devices. Only three of the surveyed countries reported higher than average shares, these being Russia, Italy and finally the United Kingdom, which sits almost at twice the global average on 2.29%. 

We can see that across countries the largest percentage of Windows mobile share is seven times that of the lowest percentage share. This definitely doesn't point to differences in country development as Germany and Canada both have a low mobile share and they are some of the most advanced countries in the world. There is also a significant difference just in Europe. The UK and Italy have relatively high Windows mobile traffic compared to Germany, Holland and France who have relatively low shares. The UK and Italy have over three to four more times the Windows mobile traffic of Germany and two to three more times the traffic of the Netherlands and France. This shows that Windows mobile usage varies widely from country to country and is generally not region specific. However, in all cases it is shown that Windows mobile is Microsoft's least popular platform by a large margin no matter where you are in the world.

Comparing the web traffic from Windows systems and traffic from all operating systems gives us a better look at the relative share of Windows mobile usage as a whole. This comparison confirms the very low usage of Windows mobile devices in China coming in at just a 0.82% relative share of all mobile traffic. Relative Windows mobile traffic in both Canada and the USA also fare poorly, despite both countries having respectable overall mobile traffic. This is evidence that Windows mobile is indeed struggling against Android and iOS even in Microsoft's homeland. It's worth noting that as theorised earlier Germany after all does have a decent Windows mobile traffic share and it's simply a predisposition towards desktops that gives them a very low share on the Windows desktop vs Windows mobile chart. The United Kingdom tops both the Windows traffic and all traffic charts and again scores the highest relative Windows mobile usage at 4.56% of all mobile traffic, more than twice that seen in the USA. Russia and France take the second and third places in relative Windows mobile usage, despite these countries also having the second and third lowest overall mobile traffic. Taking everything into consideration we can see that mobile traffic as a whole varies considerably between individual countries and is not indicative of their respective regions. However, it is very clear that Windows mobile use tends to be more region specific rather than country based, currently being far more prominent in Europe than the rest of the world.


% of Windows mobile web traffic as a share of all mobile web traffic in selected countries

  • 4.56% - United Kingdom
  • 3.72% - Russia
  • 3.36% - France
  • 2.73% - Germany
  • 2.50% - Australia
  • 2.40% - Netherlands
  • 2.13% - USA
  • 1.75% - Canada
  • 0.82% - China


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51Degrees help over 1.5 million global websites optimise for mobile. The usage information which is shared with us is used to create this analysis. You can perform you own analysis using our interactive tool, or contact us if you have questions about the data or for advice on optimising your web site for smartphones, tablets, desktops, wearable technology, smart TVs and more.

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