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Windows 10 snags 21% of the desktop market

Microsoft's latest operating system ends its last month as a free upgrade still way behind Windows 7.

Windows 10 still has a long way to go to be top dog.

A year after its official release, Windows 10 is on just one in five desktop computers, according to Web traffic stats from researcher NetMarketShare.

Windows 10 captured 21.1 percent of the desktop OS market for July, NetMarketShare reported, up from 19.1 percent in June and 17.4 percent in May. The growth remained slow and steady even with a looming July 29 deadline for a free upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 and 8.1.

Following the debacle of Windows 8, Microsoft wanted to prove with Windows 10 that it could still make a user-friendly and compelling operating system. Its enticements and its insistent reminders to upgrade, however, have fallen short, and last month Microsoft revealed that it wouldn't meet its goal of 1 billion Windows 10 devices by mid-2018.

The attraction for consumers with older Windows machines is likely to be duller still now that they''ll have to pay $119 for the Home edition and $199 for the Pro version.

But life with Windows 10 goes on. Microsoft will release an Anniversary Update on Tuesday. The freebie will include improvements to the Edge browser and the Cortana voice assistant, tweaks to the Start menu and taskbar, enhancements to the Hello login feature and the ability to play Xbox One games on your Win10 PC.

Windows 7 maintained its lead in July, though its share dropped to 47 percent from 49 percent. Windows XP took home third place with a 10.1 percent share, followed by Windows 8.1 at 7.8 percent. All told, Windows ended July with an 89.7 percent share, the same as the previous month.

Apple's Mac OS X dipped to 7.8 percent from 8.1 percent.