Windows 7 still in use across hundreds of millions of PCs

Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member

And, if we had to guess, that probably won't change anytime soon. There are countless reasons for Windows 7's ongoing popularity, but to name a few, it's more straightforward, it lacks many of the privacy-invading telemetry features of Windows 10, and -- perhaps most importantly -- people are used to it.

If you use your Windows 7 PC for basic tasks like work, browsing the web, or even a bit of light gaming (for older titles, anyway), there's been very little incentive for you to swap to Windows 10 so far. Windows 7 is familiar, and it gets the job done, which is all some people look for in a desktop OS.

Upgrading would require those individuals to abandon everything they know and learn an entirely new OS, which is easier said than done for less tech-savvy users.

With all of that said, let's get into some actual numbers. Multiple outlets have dug deeper into the Windows ecosystem this year to find out just how many people are still using Windows 7, and their results vary. Computer World estimates that 29.7 percent of Windows machines -- 446 million, to be specific -- will still be running 7 come January 31.

That's a massive number, and you might understandably be a bit skeptical of it. If so, perhaps ZDNet's estimate will be more to your liking: the outlet believes that there were "roughly" 200 million machines running Windows 7 as of last week, which is still quite significant.

We don't know which number is closer to the truth, but neither one would be particularly surprising. For the reasons we stated previously and more, such as Windows 10's spotty history with update stability, Windows 7 has plenty of stubborn holdouts.

We'll be interested to see how many of those holdouts finally cave over the coming months, as their risk of being targeted by malicious actors rises (due to the lack of ongoing security updates). If you feel like becoming a Windows 10 convert, you can still do so for free.

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texasrattler

TS Evangelist
Corp have their own deal which is different than the end users. So anyone trying to compare them, cant. 7 is dead, either move on or get left behind.
 

texasrattler

TS Evangelist
All the scary lies Microsoft puts out and people think win 7 is just going to die. I refuse to install win 10 on anything! Biggest POS I ever seen.
win 10 works fine here. been using for like 5 yrs. Originally did a win 7 pro upgrade to 10 pro. Never had a issue with that. Built a new computer using win 10, working fine too. Nothing broken for how I use my computer which is mainly gaming.
 

psycros

TS Evangelist
"If you use your Windows 7 PC for basic tasks like work, browsing the web, or even a bit of light gaming (for older titles, anyway), there's been very little incentive for you to swap to Windows 10 so far."

So a writer on TECHSPOT doesn't realize that Windows 7 runs perfectly fine on a brand-new PC and in most cases has better performance than any of its successors.
 
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QuantumPhysics

TS Evangelist
I for one am happy to see Windows 7 eliminated. Windows eight and windows 8.1 can follow suit. I’ve been using windows since windows 95 and I’ve never been happier with my computer as I am with windows 10.

Perhaps that has more to do with the more powerful graphics card and more powerful CPU or the more powerful ram and the speed of having SSD storage but the bottom line is I’ve never been happier with my computer than I am now.

Fare Well Windows 7.

I will not miss you.
 

dualkelly

TS Booster
win 10 works fine here. been using for like 5 yrs. Originally did a win 7 pro upgrade to 10 pro. Never had a issue with that. Built a new computer using win 10, working fine too. Nothing broken for how I use my computer which is mainly gaming.
Sure. All your information is being collected by microsoft on the daily. and millions of win 10 users get their computers broken every time win 10 updates. lucky for you that it hasnt happened to you yet but it will.
 

Danny101

TS Evangelist
Windows 7 has telemetry too. So that really isn't a good reason to not upgrade. I get the familiarity. TBH, I never really used 7. I was on XP until I built a PC in 2009 and installed Vista. That was prior to Windows 7 being released. I was happy enough with Vista so I didn't upgrade to 7. As for the Vista debacle, the computer I using when it was released was built in 2002 so it didn't meet the upgrade requirements anyway. Most think Vista was dropped before the hardware was capable and 7 was just a rebrand facelift with a few added features. By that time hardware had caught up.

If you're going to stick with 7, I recommend limiting it's internet role as much as possible. Get another computer for that, with either W10, MAC, Chrome, or Linux (LTS version). I would go with Linux just so you can learn and familiarize yourself with it. You're only real cost is hardware. It can be a pain to install, especially on older hardware. Try to get something no more than a couple of years old. Research supported hardware before you buy from your favorite manufacturer, or you will be sorely disappointed and tempted to abort. I used Windows mostly and every time I've tried to put Linux on older hardware (about 5 different times), I've only been successful once and I went through a dozen distributions before I succeeded. It was also an older distribution, so it still wasn't ideal. One computer actually just died on me. Lol. I guess it just wanted me to leave it alone.

But seriously, be smart with 7 or please get off of it. Microsoft needs those developers still supporting it to move over to 10. 10 is a mess and it's an "all hands on deck" kind of situation.
 
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Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member
"If you use your Windows 7 PC for basic tasks like work, browsing the web, or even a bit of light gaming (for older titles, anyway), there's been very little incentive for you to swap to Windows 10 so far."

So a writer on TECHSPOT doesn't realize that Windows 7 runs perfectly fine on a brand-new PC and in most cases has better performance than any of its successors.
That's not what I said at all. I love Windows 7 and would still be using it now if some of the software I rely on didn't require 10.

My point was, if you have no need for Windows 10's more "modern" features or programs that require those features (or just the OS as a whole), you have zero incentive to switch. I'm not making any claims about performance, or how well or poorly Windows 10 or 7 run on modern PCs.
 

dualkelly

TS Booster
Windows 7 has telemetry too. So that really isn't a good reason to not upgrade. I get the familiarity. TBH, I never really used 7. I was on XP until I built a PC in 2009 and installed Vista. That was prior to Windows 7 being released. I was happy enough with Vista so I didn't upgrade to 7. As for the Vista debacle, the computer I using when it was released was built in 2002 so it didn't meet the upgrade requirements anyway. Most think Vista was dropped before the hardware was capable and 7 was just a rebrand facelift with a few added features.

If you're going to stick with 7, I recommend limiting it's internet role as much as possible. Get another computer for that, with either W10, MAC, Chrome, or Linux (LTS version). I would go with Linux just so you can learn and familiarize yourself with it. You're only real cost is hardware. It can be a pain to install, especially on older hardware. Try to get something no more than a couple of years old. Research supported hardware before you buy from your favorite manufacturer, or you will be sorely disappointed and tempted to abort. I used Windows mostly and every time I've tried to put Linux on older hardware (about 5 different times), I've only been successful once and I went through a dozen distributions before I succeeded. It was also an older distribution, so it still wasn't ideal. One computer actually just died on me. Lol. I guess it just wanted me to leave it alone.

But seriously, be smart with 7 or please get off of it. Microsoft needs those developers still supporting it to move over to 10. 10 is a mess and it's an "all hands on deck" kind of situation.
win 7 only has telemetry if your dumb enough to turn on windows update and let microsoft install anything they want. Unlike win 10 you can manually update with whatever patches you want or dont want. The way it should be. You go on and on about insecurty of win 7 but I beg to differ people still use win 98 bro without any ill effects. I work for one of the largest hospitals in the country most of our dedicated hardware still runs win 98 and xp. these are machines that store meds, supplies and do endless other things. I bet you any money that microsoft will move on from win 10 when they realize that they need a new operating system to charge money for. I also bet you any money most win 7 power users are not going to switch to win 10.
 
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Danny101

TS Evangelist
win 7 only has telemetry if your dumb enough to turn on windows update and let microsoft install anything they want. Unlike win 10 you can manually update with whatever patches you want or dont want. The way it should be. You go on and on about insecurty of win 7 but I beg to differ people still use win 98 bro without any ill effects. I work for one of the largest hospitals in the country most of our dedicated hardware still runs win 98 and xp. these are machines that store meds, supplies and do endless other things. I bet you any money that microsoft will move on from win 10 when they realize that they need a new operating system to charge money for. I also bet you any money most win 7 power users are not going to switch to win 10.
Not everybody is a power user and people who don't know much about computers shouldn't be on 7 and probably need those automatic updates. Updates for 10 can be stopped and power users know that. It's good you know your stuff, but the vast majority do not, nor care to. Some people just aren't teachable. As the designated family tech, I'm glad for 10. I get less phone calls. As for telemetry, that ship has sailed for many who use smartphones. You may be able to stop Microsoft, but good luck stopping Google or Apple.
 

redhat

TS Booster
Personally I have installed win 8.1 on my laptop after getting enough of win 10 intervention into my daily usage. on my gaming PC I have installed win 7 and going to use it until no game work on it.
Win 7.1 would have been much better
 
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Lionvibez

TS Evangelist
Lol millions of hacking targets nice!

I won't even let someone come to my play place and jump on my wifi with a win 7 machine. if I like the person I will open up a vpn tunnel and let them use that. If your a friend of a friend I send you to the library
 
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0dium

TS Rookie
Lol millions of hacking targets nice!

I won't even let someone come to my play place and jump on my wifi with a win 7 machine. if I like the person I will open up a vpn tunnel and let them use that. If your a friend of a friend I send you to the library
Lol. Wahe been using win7 for years without updates and antivirus and yet to have any problems. Seems like hacking targets should learn where to search for their pron.
 
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treetops

TS Evangelist
Businesses's only upgrade windows 7 every few years anyways? What's the corporate version called? Ah Windows 7 enterprise? 10 is a pain, the back button is real small. programs are called apps, the lock screen bleh
 

captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
Lol. Wahe been using win7 for years without updates and antivirus and yet to have any problems. Seems like hacking targets should learn where to search for their pron.
Oh hell, my lowly XP machine with AVG Free (!!) picks up infected image host sites in less than the blink of an eye...
 
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Oh hell, my lowly XP machine with AVG Free (!!) picks up infected image host sites in less than the blink of an eye...
And how is this Win7's fault, Captain Crank? Nobody asked you to use a weak browser with no security and some garbage AV package that's outright spyware on its own.

You don't have to be a power user to enjoy Win7's clean superiority. It takes just a few minutes after install to keep the bad-guys out, and Win7 is core-level just as fast as anything else, once you tweak your affinities. Which you have to do in EVERY OS to maximize the core/thread nonsense anyway.

And any OS is only as secure as the user's expertise can account for. If you don't run into issues it's because you don't do anything with your machine; how to solve those issues rapidly and without losing work makes you a power user, not the hardware/software you purchased.
 

Nobina

TS Evangelist
People who still stick to Windows 7 (I don't blame them) don't care about "muhh securityyy". If they did, they would switch already, they had how many years now? Getting hacked all the time because of not having the latest update is absolute fear-mongering bull ****. What the **** do you know about security and how secure your system is? All the modern software and every website tracks you regardless. I have been using Windows 10 pretty much since it came out, it had its ups and downs, I'm overall satisfied but I absolutely love the idea of people using Windows 7 just to **** with Microsoft. It was a the best OS they've made.
 
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captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
And how is this Win7's fault, Captain Crank? Nobody asked you to use a weak browser with no security and some garbage AV package that's outright spyware on its own.

You don't have to be a power user to enjoy Win7's clean superiority. It takes just a few minutes after install to keep the bad-guys out, and Win7 is core-level just as fast as anything else, once you tweak your affinities. Which you have to do in EVERY OS to maximize the core/thread nonsense anyway.

And any OS is only as secure as the user's expertise can account for. If you don't run into issues it's because you don't do anything with your machine; how to solve those issues rapidly and without losing work makes you a power user, not the hardware/software you purchased.
Dude, you completely misunderstood me. I tried to say, "I cruise image sites sometimes for hours on end, and DON'T get infections, using XP, FF, w/ AVG". AVG is actually top rated ATM.

It's still my bad though, for not using "geek-speak". I'll clarify:

It's the host sites that usually read dirty, AVG detects it immediately and blocks it.

I also know how type, "msconfig" into the funny little box marked "run".

I would also put an SSD into the old biddy, but it seems pointless when you're running your drives as "IDE". Besides, only the VPN is slow to launch.

We've never talked about this before, but is English your 2nd language? (Just asking, no offense intended).
 
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Zorak

TS Member
First time I've used Windows 10 in our office it bluescreened as soon as I've connected a portable HDD. Another machine would do the same randomly while working with some CAD packages. So yeah, you know, not the best experience. And that was like 2 years ago.

It's not that Win10 pisses me off, I'm just happy with what I've got on 7. And yeah, the fear of getting hacked and such are exaggerated to hell and back.
 

OcelotRex

TS Evangelist
First time I've used Windows 10 in our office it bluescreened as soon as I've connected a portable HDD. Another machine would do the same randomly while working with some CAD packages. So yeah, you know, not the best experience. And that was like 2 years ago.

It's not that Win10 pisses me off, I'm just happy with what I've got on 7. And yeah, the fear of getting hacked and such are exaggerated to hell and back.
Why would you assume it was the OS and not any number of hardware faults, software faults or driver issues? Did you find the source of the issue?

I agree though that most people want what they have unless there is a good reason to upgrade. For me it was the native support of the Xbox One Controller and its audio pass through feature on the wireless controller. A free upgrade saved me from having to spend $100+ on a headset for a few years while funds were low.

Since my primary use for my desktop is gaming windows 10 is almost a necessity now. Thus I have a strong incentive to adjust to the new OS. For those who don't I can understand them not wanting to switch.
 

Lionvibez

TS Evangelist
First time I've used Windows 10 in our office it bluescreened as soon as I've connected a portable HDD. Another machine would do the same randomly while working with some CAD packages. So yeah, you know, not the best experience. And that was like 2 years ago.

It's not that Win10 pisses me off, I'm just happy with what I've got on 7. And yeah, the fear of getting hacked and such are exaggerated to hell and back.
Unless you build that machine yourself and installed windows yourself.

Who knows what the IT department setup on it, what required the business has for the machine. There is many numerous reason's why that machine would blue screen so your example doesn't really mean much. Do you even know what build of windows 10 that was? And that was 2 years ago...
 

Ravalo

TS Addict
Dude, you completely misunderstood me. I tried to say, "I cruise image sites sometimes for hours on end, and DON'T get infections, using XP, FF, w/ AVG". AVG is actually top rated ATM.

It's still my bad though, for not using "geek-speak". I'll clarify:

It's the host sites that usually read dirty, AVG detects it immediately and blocks it.

I also know how type, "msconfig" into the funny little box marked "run".

I would also put an SSD into the old biddy, but it seems pointless when you're running your drives as "IDE". Besides, only the VPN is slow to launch.

We've never talked about this before, but is English your 2nd language? (Just asking, no offense intended).
Im actually starting to think that the lack of security updates arent the problem ngl

My grandma’s pc had windows 10 installed and she said that she was having problems with the pc and couldnt get to the start menu

Some weeks before I installed malwarebytes and did a quick scan, guess how many malware was detected...... Over 1k PuPs and other malware were detected

Now, once I turned on my old winXP pc to have a nostalgia trip, I had avast installed so I did a quick scan and.....

It only detected 1 virus in the first scan I made and it didnt detect anything after that

Yeah, so security won’t be a problem for win7 users