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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.