People won't abandon Windows 7, OS still found on almost a quarter of all devices

midian182

Posts: 5,984   +49
Staff member
In a nutshell: Windows 7 reached its end of extended support period in January, so you might expect its user numbers to have dropped drastically over the last eight months—but you’d be wrong. The venerable OS’s market share has barely moved as it remains on almost a quarter of all device s.

Windows 7, first released in 2009, exited mainstream support and entered its extended support phase in January 2015. The five years of free critical security patches, bug fixes, and technical support ended on January 14, 2020, but few users have abandoned it.

According to NetMarketShare’s latest figures, Windows 7 is running on 23.34% of devices. That’s just over 2% lower than the 25.56% market share it had in January.

Windows 7’s persistent userbase doesn’t equal bad news for Windows 10, though. Microsoft finally reached its goal of one billion devices running the latest OS back in March, missing the original forecast by about 20 months. Windows 10 has been slowly increasing its market share since its release and now stands at 59.37%.

Elsewhere, Windows 8.1's decline continues, yet it’s still found on 2.87% of devices. Windows XP has a 0.82% market share, and, incredibly, a very small number of people still use Windows Vista, for some reason.

It’s also good news for Microsoft in general. Windows operating systems are now found on 87.03% of all devices. Mac OS is second with 8.95%, followed by Linux on 3.57%.

Why are so many people hanging onto Windows 7? While familiarity does play a part, Windows 10’s reputation for system-borking updates hasn’t improved—the May 2020 update caused plenty of issues, including a very annoying internet connectivity bug. The privacy concerns remain, too, though Microsoft has tried to address those.

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kimo1

Posts: 90   +146
My PC still has 7. Last fresh install 3.5 years ago. I disabled Microsoft updating service immediately. Not a problem to this day. No viruses, hackers, crashes. Good 'ol Comodo protecting with custom rules. What security issues? Only threat would be state sponsored APTs, partners of Five Eyes, they have keys for every door, anyway. But still, OH, I feel so vulnerable!
Software makers are migrating to 10's DRM. And some are just rude. I don't use any such software. I'm thinking of 10, but not in a hurry at all. In future only thing that would force me is hardware driver OS support.
Before 7, I was a long time user of XP. Had to join 7 gang due to update in an important software's system requirements.
 

3ogdy

Posts: 24   +15
"a very small number of people still use Windows Vista, for some reason."
Some people have laptops / desktops with Vista that don't have compatible drivers for 7.
Then there are those who have the hardware it takes to run Vista and love the graphical effects of the GUI. Those effects have been reduced to nearly nothing in newer OS versions.
"Why are so many people hanging onto Windows 7? "
Because Windows 8 wasn't popular and thus Windows 7 is the last Microsoft OS in which people have a say. A say about system settings, privacy, update policy, telemetry.
 

Teko03

Posts: 616   +327
My PC still has 7. Last fresh install 3.5 years ago. I disabled Microsoft updating service immediately. Not a problem to this day. No viruses, hackers, crashes. Good 'ol Comodo protecting with custom rules. What security issues? Only threat would be state sponsored APTs, partners of Five Eyes, they have keys for every door, anyway. But still, OH, I feel so vulnerable!
Software makers are migrating to 10's DRM. And some are just rude. I don't use any such software. I'm thinking of 10, but not in a hurry at all. In future only thing that would force me is hardware driver OS support.
Before 7, I was a long time user of XP. Had to join 7 gang due to update in an important software's system requirements.
You should consider the fact that viruses and hacks theses days aren't as obvious as they were like back during the Windows XP era.
 

arrowflash

Posts: 171   +148
Windows 8.1 is much better than 7 imo (as long as you use a third-party app to bring back the Start menu of course - and remove the telemetry which is much easier to do than in 10). Faster, more stable, more and improved power user/admin tools like improved dism.

The only problem is that in my experience, for some reason 8.1 install fails on many machines where both 7 and 10 install fine.
 
With Windows 7 and Vista and XP, you also had Windows Media Player, one thing that Microsoft got 100% spectacularly correct. I was able to get rid of the cable box, and just use a cable card for $2/month instead of $8 or so / month. So the operating system was actually a valuable benefit, not a sunk cost. But ... then the cable companies got upset when too many people were doing this:
https://gizmodo.com/microsoft-built-a-cable-box-killer-then-they-killed-it-1709322190

If I recall, there was also something about the digital license with XP, where it is still legal to install it in virtual machines. This is from long ago too, so I might not be remembering 100% correctly.
 
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lazer

Posts: 346   +96
When I bought my Toshiba laptop, it came with win8 on it. I have some purchased programs that I use but they would NOT work with win8, so I had win7 installed on the computer. EVERYTHING works great; I saw the mess that win8 was, and I have ZERO interest in win10.

I do NOT do updates and my 'puter runs great.

Basically I think MS is a sales force and not a tech group. It seems their updates have too many problems for being a tech wise company, but they do know how to sell.......
 

Mugsy

Posts: 662   +114
My PC of the last 6 years just died and I was forced to move to Windows 10 to support the new hardware.

I had been loath to upgrade my PC for years b/c I despise Win10, but when my motherboard died, I had to use a 12 year old backup PC that I put Win10 on it years ago just to spend some time with it.

So for the past month, I was using Win10 and found it almost tolerable. I took the drives out of my dead PC so I'd have access to my files, and was able to configure it to my liking. So I figured it was probably "safe" to make the move for good.

WRONG!

I downloaded the latest 64bit Win10 Pro iso from Microsoft and installed it.

The first sign I was in for trouble was when Windows would not install to my M.2 drive b/c it wasn't in "GCP" format. I had to search online to figure out how to convert the M.2 to the proper format from the CLI in the Win10 installer's "Troubleshooter".

Next, during setup, Windows now demanded I use a PIN for my login (or biometrics or a USB key.) You can't choose to use an alphanumeric password until AFTER Windows has finished setting up (and THAT requires changing a default setting.)

MS suddenly decided to strip out a lot of legacy support, so I could not reinstall "Windows Media Center" (which I still use) without a patch. But even with the patch, it still refuses to display LiveTV (despite going thru the full setup w/o error) and does not output audio.

EVERY old folder on my old drives (that contain an exe?) denies me access, so I must use a utility I found called "TakeOwnershipEx" every time it tells me I can't access my own folder (and even after doing so, you must STILL manually open the folder from Explorer to gain permission.) And YES, I did go though the Permissions options to give every user Full access to everything. Made no difference.

Window positions are not remembered and the Control Panel refuses to stay in "small icon" mode.

"Scheduled Tasks" can no longer display messages (new to Win10 but not this particular release). You must use the new "To Do" app to display scheduled messages (there is a "workaround" to display messages from the Task Scheduler using "msg /W * Your_message", but you can't use spaces and the alert auto-closes after 60 seconds.)

I don't know what MS's trained monkey's are doing over there, but they need to stop.
 
Last edited:

Uncle Al

Posts: 7,360   +5,767
I still occasionally drive my 1966 Impala .... no bugs, no viruses, no hackers ..... and the A/C still works like a champ! Who could ask for anything more!
 
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Neatfeatguy

Posts: 59   +59
My plex server runs Windows 10.

Some update, maybe 1803????, MS pushed out some crappy beta for Cortana's search box. So when you go to type something into the search bar instead of the small start menu window popping up, some giant search function box opens and takes up 1/2 of the screen (here's a link to an image of what I'm describing: https://filestore.community.support...9e4a1-51f2-4d81-a72c-7906f1f40b88?upload=true ).

Best I can find is that it was some beta test they randomly pushed out, but since it wasn't well liked it was supposed to have been removed in future updates. Well, I've done an update to 1909 (forced, forgot to configure ShutUp10 before Windows forced an update on me) and the stupid search box is still gaint. Thankfully I don't use the server computer much so it's not a nagging issue for me.

But after 2 completely failed Windows 10 updates on my Plex server that required formatting and doing full re-installs of Windows 10 and this stupid giant search box issue.....I won't put Windows 10 on my gaming machine until I absolutely have to. I don't want to be stuck with stupid headaches because MS sucks at updating their software and forcing the customer base to be their beta testers.
 

zamroni111

Posts: 85   +29
Windows 8.1 is much better than 7 imo (as long as you use a third-party app to bring back the Start menu of course - and remove the telemetry which is much easier to do than in 10). Faster, more stable, more and improved power user/admin tools like improved dism.

The only problem is that in my experience, for some reason 8.1 install fails on many machines where both 7 and 10 install fine.
Use rufus to create usb installer. It never failed me.
There are 3 bios uefi modes. The mode you select in rufus must match the computer bios mode. The best mode is uefi with no csm.
 

zamroni111

Posts: 85   +29
My PC of the last 6 years just died and I was forced to move to Windows 10 to support the new hardware.

I had been loath to upgrade my PC for years b/c I despise Win10, but when my motherboard died, I had to use a 12 year old backup PC that I put Win10 on it years ago just to spend some time with it.

So for the past month, I was using Win10 and found it almost tolerable. I took the drives out of my dead PC so I'd have access to my files, and was able to configure it to my liking. So I figured it was probably "safe" to make the move for good.

WRONG!

I downloaded the latest 64bit Win10 Pro iso from Microsoft and installed it.

The first sign I was in for trouble was when Windows would not install to my M.2 drive b/c it wasn't in "GCP" format. I had to search online to figure out how to convert the M.2 to the proper format from the CLI in the Win10 installer's "Troubleshooter".

Next, during setup, Windows now demanded I use a PIN for my login (or biometrics or a USB key.) You can't choose to use an alphanumeric password until AFTER Windows has finished setting up (and THAT requires changing a default setting.)

MS suddenly decided to strip out a lot of legacy support, so I could not reinstall "Windows Media Center" (which I still use) without a patch. But even with the patch, it still refuses to display LiveTV (despite going thru the full setup w/o error) and does not output audio.

EVERY old folder on my old drives (that contain an exe?) denies me access, so I must use a utility I found called "TakeOwnershipEx" every time it tells me I can't access my own folder (and even after doing so, you must STILL manually open the folder from Explorer to gain permission.) And YES, I did go though the Permissions options to give every user Full access to everything. Made no difference.

Window positions are not remembered and the Control Panel refuses to stay in "small icon" mode.

"Scheduled Tasks" can no longer display messages (new to Win10 but not this particular release). You must use the new "To Do" app to display scheduled messages (there is a "workaround" to display messages from the Task Scheduler using "msg /W * Your_message", but you can't use spaces and the alert auto-closes after 60 seconds.)

I don't know what MS's trained monkey's are doing over there, but they need to stop.
Never use new windows 10 version. Use the 1 year old one. So, it's version 1903 for now.
 

zamroni111

Posts: 85   +29
I have a brand new Windows 10 laptop that's been used less than 10 times in the past year. I despise it. Been using my 6 y.o. Windows 7 and will continue to use it until it dies.
Hackers love this. They might have started to track you from the id you use to post the comment.
 

GregonMaui

Posts: 213   +83
The statistics are very misleading. Every android and iOS device runs a Unix variant, making it far larger than windows
 

thelatestmodel

Posts: 179   +109
It's a concern and some of the comments here are equally concerning. Windows 7 is end of life. The longer you continue to use it, the more likely you are to be exploited via newly discovered, unpatched vulnerabilities. You will not be safe forever.

There are ways of making Windows 10 less intrusive and annoying. It's really not that bad. And obviously there are other desktop options that are also more secure than Windows 7.

Don't bury your head in the sand and ignore progress. Move on. Or airgap that Win 7 machine.
 

texasrattler

Posts: 959   +419
My PC of the last 6 years just died and I was forced to move to Windows 10 to support the new hardware.

I had been loath to upgrade my PC for years b/c I despise Win10, but when my motherboard died, I had to use a 12 year old backup PC that I put Win10 on it years ago just to spend some time with it.

So for the past month, I was using Win10 and found it almost tolerable. I took the drives out of my dead PC so I'd have access to my files, and was able to configure it to my liking. So I figured it was probably "safe" to make the move for good.

WRONG!

I downloaded the latest 64bit Win10 Pro iso from Microsoft and installed it.

The first sign I was in for trouble was when Windows would not install to my M.2 drive b/c it wasn't in "GCP" format. I had to search online to figure out how to convert the M.2 to the proper format from the CLI in the Win10 installer's "Troubleshooter".

Next, during setup, Windows now demanded I use a PIN for my login (or biometrics or a USB key.) You can't choose to use an alphanumeric password until AFTER Windows has finished setting up (and THAT requires changing a default setting.)

MS suddenly decided to strip out a lot of legacy support, so I could not reinstall "Windows Media Center" (which I still use) without a patch. But even with the patch, it still refuses to display LiveTV (despite going thru the full setup w/o error) and does not output audio.

EVERY old folder on my old drives (that contain an exe?) denies me access, so I must use a utility I found called "TakeOwnershipEx" every time it tells me I can't access my own folder (and even after doing so, you must STILL manually open the folder from Explorer to gain permission.) And YES, I did go though the Permissions options to give every user Full access to everything. Made no difference.

Window positions are not remembered and the Control Panel refuses to stay in "small icon" mode.

"Scheduled Tasks" can no longer display messages (new to Win10 but not this particular release). You must use the new "To Do" app to display scheduled messages (there is a "workaround" to display messages from the Task Scheduler using "msg /W * Your_message", but you can't use spaces and the alert auto-closes after 60 seconds.)

I don't know what MS's trained monkey's are doing over there, but they need to stop.
If MS has trained monkeys, what does that make you since you didnt bother to do any research? Next time do some research instead of just updating. To many ppl like you who leap but never look. Then think they have the right to complain, you dont.
 

Nick_Knac

Posts: 16   +5
I use Win 7. It looks good, works well, and does everything I need - why go to the sweat of upgrading (likely a misnomer). Bought a cheapo laptop with window 10 for travelling which was ok within its accepted limitations until windows did a big update which consumed more than the available memory and no undo facility which I can't get at anyway now because I can't stop it trying to update and crashing, or just not starting most of the time. What I've seen of Win 10 I don't like much either. If Microsoft had the courage of their convictions they'd keep both going but they know that for most people Win 7 works perfectly well and they'd be out of money
 
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Nick_Knac

Posts: 16   +5
"There are ways of making Windows 10 less intrusive and annoying. It's really not that bad. And obviously there are other desktop options that are also more secure than Windows 7."

Why make a product that is intrusive and annoying in the first place? And if you do, why be surprised if people don't like it?

 

arrowflash

Posts: 171   +148
Use rufus to create usb installer. It never failed me.
There are 3 bios uefi modes. The mode you select in rufus must match the computer bios mode. The best mode is uefi with no csm.
Thanks for the tip. On these machines I have tried messing with different BIOS mode settings (UEFI, CSM, UEFI+CSM, etc) to no results, and I also tried different editions of Windows 8.1 downloaded straight from Microsoft. But didn't occur to me to try Rufus, I'll do it next time.