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Windows 10 makes gains on desktop computers, but just a little

The new operating system software inches up in October following its initial surge in August, according to Web tracker NetMarketShare.

Growth in Windows 10 adoption has slowed since August.

Microsoft's Windows 10 is gaining traction, but at a snail's pace.

The newest flavor of Windows captured a 7.94 percent share of all Web traffic generated by desktop operating systems in October, according to NetMarketShare. But growth has been decelerating since the opening 5.21 percent seen in August.

The slower uptake in Windows 10 adoption over the past two months comes as Microsoft needs to prove to consumers it can still make a compelling and user-friendly operating system after the flop of Windows 8. Many consumers hesitated upgrading to Windows 8, leading Microsoft to offer Windows 10 for free for Windows 7 and 8.1 users for the first year.

When the free offer expires, the software will carry a price tag of $119 for the Home edition and $199 for the Pro version.

How slow has the pace been since August? From its initial 5.21 percent cut of desktop OS Web traffic that month, Windows 10's share rose by 1.42 points to 6.63 percent in September and by 1.31 points to October's 7.94 percent.

Microsoft has been pushing the Windows 10 upgrade through frequent pop-up reminders for Windows 7 and 8.1 users. The company has classified Windows 10 as an "optional update" and early next year expects to change that to "recommended update," Windows and Devices Group executive vice president Terry Myerson said in a blog post published October 29. Those moves better ensure that Windows 7 and 8.1 users will upgrade to version 10, even inadvertently, though you can stop the upgrade from occurring and even roll back to your previous version if you're unhappy with Windows 10.

For the month of October, Windows 7 was still king with more than half of all desktop operating system Web traffic seen by NetMarketShare, followed by Windows XP with almost 12 percent and Windows 8.1 with almost 11 percent.

A Microsoft spokeswoman said the company doesn't comment on third-party data.

Updated at 12:27 p.m. PT with Microsoft declining comment.