As Windows 7 approaches its end-of-support first year anniversary the aging OS still has over 100 million users worldwide. However, on a positive note, the latest figures mean that more than 100 million Windows 7 PCs have been retired, recycled, or upgraded in the last 12 months, according to various data sets pored over by ZDNet's Ed Bott.
HEXUS reported upon the official end-of-support for Windows 7 in January 2020. No more free updates would be coming, signalled Microsoft, but businesses that wanted to keep using the OS (Pro or Enterprise versions) could sign up and pay up for important updates for another three years. At the time Windows 7 went EOL the aging OS still accounted for approx a quarter of the desktop Windows market. In June we noted the market share dip below that significant portion of users, and as we approach a year of no updates provided to regular users, the market share appears to be approx a fifth (see StatCounter and NetMarketShare, Ed Bott also puts his weight behind the United States Government Digital Analytics Program stats which reports a similar proportion of Windows 7 users).
Windows 7 market share among Windows users:
- StatCounter: 17.68 per cent
- NetMarketShare: 21.67 per cent
- USGDAP: 18.9 per cent
Of course the lion's share of the rest of the Windows user base is now on one of the versions of Windows 10 available. The third placed OS in the three surveys was Windows 8.X with as much as 5 per cent of the user base, depending upon source. All sources seem to agree - Windows XP usage is below 1 per cent now.
At this stage of a review of the reporting sources it is always useful to remember they are all online counting methods. Thus if an organisation is running a number of Windows XP PCs, for example, that don't access sites monitored by the likes of StatCounter, for example, they won't be counted.
Putting a number to the percentages isn't easy, as it is hard to be sure how many Windows PCs are out there and actively used. An educated guess at the number, with the latest stats suggesting Windows 7 accounts for approx a fifth of active Windows installs, probably means there are still over 100 million Windows 7 PCs in active online use as 2020 ends.
Last but not least, those taking part in Microsoft's paid for extended support program will see the cost of support double from January.