back to article Windows 8.1 becomes world's fourth-most-popular desktop OS

Windows 8.1 adoption is speeding up, with the operating system now the planet's fourth-most-popular, according to Netmarketshare statistics. With January 2014 now behind us, the firm has totted up the results of its ongoing observations of just what browsers and operating systems hit the world's web servers. Those explorations …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the idiots in our uk infastructure and our new IT operations manager didn't know XP was going complete end of support -.-;; there's still 1000 desktops across the estate that are running it...

    Le sigh.

    1. Franklin

      What's even scarier is the number of cash registers I see running Windows XP. And last month I went to a movie theater and about midway through ending credits, the glorious 4K digital projection stopped suddenly, and was replaced with a Windows XP desktop showing a plain white background and the message "Active Desktop Recovery. Microsoft Windows has experienced an unexpected error. As a precaution, your Active Desktop has been turned off" with a "restore" button and a bunch of troubleshooting info.

      1. chekri

        Might be a good idea to go cash-only for a few months after the first unpatched vuln is released :)

        1. Lars Silver badge

          "Might be a good idea to go cash-only". I agree, been a good idea for more than ten years. Some problems finding the right icon here.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Cash registers etc.

        They will be using XP Embedded and are NOT affected by the desktop EoL:

        "Extended support for Windows XP Embedded ends on January 12, 2016." (Wiki)

        Officially it's:

        Windows XP Embedded Service Pack 3 11/14/2008

        Support ends 24 months after the next service pack releases or at the end of the product's support lifecycle, whichever comes first. For more information, please see the service pack policy here .

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Cash registers etc.

          "They will be using XP Embedded and are NOT affected by the desktop EoL"

          Not all, I'm afraid. There's plenty of EPOS systems running on desktop XP, particularly away from the big chains. And even if you're a big chain running XPE, how safe are you when the s0ddin' EPOS system is written in Java?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            brief the ops manager

            Not our line of report, not our division, not our responsibility, didn't know about the problem until someone jokingly mentioned they knew nothing about, we kind of assumed the infrastructure support team would know that XP was going end of life. We'd been talking about it for a couple of years on and off.

            And would, Fucking Idiot do?

      3. MatthewSt

        Cash machines are most likely going to be less of an issue as they run XP Embedded, which has an end of life a couple of years away from now: http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/search/default.aspx?sort=PN&alpha=Windows+XP+Embedded&Filter=FilterNO

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Franklin

        What's even scarier is the number of cash registers I see running Windows XP.

        I'm not scared at all.

        The junk food conglomerate I work for still has numerous Win9x/XP cash registers in hundreds of locations spread through several countries (and continents) - and they're as safe as ever.

        The core Windows OS hasn't been updated after the master image has been deemed fully working. Some models may have XP RTM, some came with SP1-3. All connections are thru VPN to HQ. Sales software works in user space and users access only the sales software. Naturally new tills are loaded with Win7 but that's not very important since the unified sales software targets the lowest common denominator - Win95.

        Sure, the developers would like to NOT code with Win95 backwards compatibility in mind but one cash register (including installation, some at very remote locations) cost easily several thousands of $currency.

        I'm much more scared with all the HQ computers and smartphones and internet facing systems no matter what the OS and how updated they are.

      5. Mike Flugennock
        Coat

        XP night at the movies

        "...last month I went to a movie theater and about midway through ending credits, the glorious 4K digital projection stopped suddenly, and was replaced with a Windows XP desktop showing a plain white background and the message "Active Desktop Recovery. Microsoft Windows has experienced an unexpected error. As a precaution, your Active Desktop has been turned off" with a "restore" button and a bunch of troubleshooting info..."

        Uh, I hate to tell you, but that was actually part of the movie.

    2. Gray Ham

      This is a little story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody's job. Everybody thought that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done

      Perhaps somebody should have briefed the operations manager (preferably without calling him an idiot).

      1. Hans 1

        @Gray Ham

        Completely agree, especially when it is THEIR JOB to follow this stuff up and plan, not yours. I get to do this quite often, wasting my own time making sure others get their act together before they reach a customer/the manager.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Actually if you do your homework correctly you will find XP will still get updates for years after general support ends, for a fee that is.

      You dont even have to do the hard work as here is the proof

      http://www.pcworld.com/article/2047768/microsoft-will-still-patch-windows-xp-for-a-select-group.html

      1. Simon Harris

        I was in my local Currys PC World a few weeks ago looking at freezers and noticed all their terminals were still running ordinary desktop Windows XP.

        Since the only Windows they'll sell is 8, is it a case of 'do as I say, not as I do?'

  2. chekri

    8.1 and 8 should be grouped together

    8.1 is a service pack of Windows 8 - why report it separately? Windows 8 market share is 10.58%

    If you are going to break out service packs for Windows 8 then you should do it for all other versions.

    1. Lars Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: 8.1 and 8 should be grouped together

      Enter the "Linux desktop" problem, and shut up.

      1. Robert Grant Silver badge

        Re: 8.1 and 8 should be grouped together

        8 and 8.1 share more than a kernel.

        But to be fair, it might be a good idea to just group all Linux desktops together in stats and see what the total is.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 8.1 and 8 should be grouped together

          "it might be a good idea to just group all Linux desktops together in stats and see what the total is."

          Still not even 2%.

    2. Uffish

      Re: 8.1 and 8 should be grouped together

      ... except that the very slow uptake of service pack 1 seems worth noting.

    3. Test Man

      Re: 8.1 and 8 should be grouped together

      8.1 is not a service pack for 8, it's a totally separate OS, evident by the fact that you install it like a new OS, you get upgrade screens like a new OS, etc.

      If it was a "service pack" for 8, then Windows 98SE would also be classed as one - it isn't so it's not.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 8.1 and 8 should be grouped together@ Test Man

        "8.1 is not a service pack for 8, it's a totally separate OS, evident by the fact that you install it like a new OS, you get upgrade screens like a new OS, etc."

        So in your world the definition of a unique operating system is the user experience of installing it?

        Microsoft certainly dressed up 8.1 as more than a service pack, but comparing before and after I see virtually no difference, other than a function and use-free start button. If that defines a discrete OS, then you are very easily pleased.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 8.1 and 8 should be grouped together

        "If it was a "service pack" for 8, then Windows 98SE would also be classed as one "

        Semantics. And I would say - in retrospect - that all 32-bit versions of 9x following the original 32-bit 95 were service packs.

        I'm really reluctant to call 7 a service pack for Vista, but hate Vista so much while to date 7 remains my operating system of choice so maybe I'm unable to be objective about it. But I have no doubt whatsoever that 8.1 is a service pack for 8.0 regardless of what the habitual bullshitters, Microsoft, call it or the minor alterations they made to the update procedure to back it up.

      3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: 8.1 and 8 should be grouped together

        "8.1 is not a service pack for 8, it's a totally separate OS, evident by the fact that you install it like a new OS, you get upgrade screens like a new OS, etc."

        If you look at the published support lifecycle, Microsoft are saying that because 8.1 is freely avaiable to 8.0 users, they will be withdrawing their support for 8.0 in two years time because that's how they treat service packs. (Their words, not mine.)

        http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/search/default.aspx?alpha=Windows+8

      4. Chika

        Re: 8.1 and 8 should be grouped together

        "If it was a "service pack" for 8, then Windows 98SE would also be classed as one - it isn't so it's not."

        Actually, 98SE had a lot of changes under the bonnet, so it was often classified as a separate OS, hence the use of the phrase "Second Edition", so yes, I'd agree with that.

        However Windows 8.1 is not really a new system as a lot of what is included are service and security patches along with a few bits and pieces to make it look different, mostly because Windows 8 was being shafted in the general marketplace. Regardless of how it installs, it all comes down to what is inside.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 8.1 and 8 should be grouped together

      More interesting ChromeOS isn't even listed, despite making up a very significant OS marketshare...

      I wonder why......

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 8.1 and 8 should be grouped together

        "More interesting ChromeOS isn't even listed, despite making up a very significant OS marketshare...

        I wonder why......"

        Err, because its not true? I've never met or heard of a single person using Chrome OS. And aside from that its not even a true user OS anyway - its a tarted up web terminal. Even google seem to have given up on it and refocused on Android.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 8.1 and 8 should be grouped together

          You know it's outselling Windows 8 laptops consistently right?

          ChromeOS has already got 20 odd percent of the market...

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: ChromeOS has already got 20 odd percent of the market...

            [citation needed]

            1. James O'Shea Silver badge

              Re: ChromeOS has already got 20 odd percent of the market...

              There are five computers in his house and Chrome is on one of them.

              This also proves that AT&T System V, VAX/VMS, Yellow Dog Linux, and AmigaDOS have 20% of the market.

          3. Goldmember

            Re: 8.1 and 8 should be grouped together

            "ChromeOS has already got 20 odd percent of the market..."

            Wrong. Chrome OS accounted for 20% of LAPTOP sales in the US ONLY, in 2013. The stats in the article are worldwide OS stats (just to be clear; there are other countries in the world), and also include tablets and enterprise. And they include other years.

            The laptop market is a very rapidly declining one, and although the desktop market is too, desktops are still used widely in industry. The increased Chrome sales in the US were to home users looking for a cheap Facebook status updater, who were unwilling to shell out for a tablet. In the grand scheme of things, 20% of shipped laptops running Chrome OS, in a single year, doesn't make a dent, and certainly doesn't equate to "20% market share." Chrome OS made up 0.2% of US laptop sales the year before.

          4. Adam D

            Re: 8.1 and 8 should be grouped together

            Although there were reports of Chrome books taking up to 20% of sales (I believe from Amazon) in the Xmas run up, this hasn't been reflected in any internet usage stats - infact none of them are even breaking ChromeOS out as it's own category - seemingly dumping it in to 'Linux' or 'Other' at less than 1% along with lots of other systems.

            I saw a definitive 0.07% from May 2013.

            So if the Xmas sales are true and 20% of notebooks sold were Chrome books, what are people doing with them?

            1. Philip Lewis
              Trollface

              Re: 8.1 and 8 should be grouped together

              "So if the Xmas sales are true and 20% of notebooks sold were Chrome books, what are people doing with them?"

              You really want me to answer that?

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: 8.1 and 8 should be grouped together

              Many of the Chrome book purchasers were buying them just to get a cheap laptop and then wiping the Google spyware and installing a proper OS...

          5. Pookietoo
            Facepalm

            Re: ChromeOS has already got 20 odd percent of the market

            You do realise that 20 percent of recent laptop sales is a lot fewer than 20 percent of PCs currently in use? No?

      2. fishman

        Re: 8.1 and 8 should be grouped together

        Neither was OSX.

    5. Jes.e

      Re: 8.1 and 8 should be grouped together

      " 8.1 and 8 should be grouped together

      8.1 is a service pack of Windows 8 - why report it separately? Windows 8 market share is 10.58%

      If you are going to break out service packs for Windows 8 then you should do it for all other versions."

      Well maybe then Windows 7 should be counted as a Windows Vista service pack.

      MS apparently admitted as much.

      1. Chika

        Re: 8.1 and 8 should be grouped together

        Yes, it is arguable that Windows 7 could possibly be accounted as a Windows Vista service pack, though there are some functional differences. But then if you really need to go down that route, you could say that Windows XP was a "service pack" for Windows 2000 Professional (If you have ever seen or played with a copy of Windows Neptune, you'd know why!)

  3. Shannon Jacobs
    Holmes

    Which is more secure? REALLY?

    Am I the only person wondering if Windows post-XP any-version is actually more secure? I admit that's not the only criterion to look at, but it has clearly become the blackjack Microsoft is using to effectively blackmail people into 'upgrading' from XP. My perverse theory is that if Microsoft wasn't waving the death-and-destruction flag, Windows XP would still be dominating the market. Because it works.

    What are the other criteria that might justify the upgrade? Faster booting? Slightly nice, but I bet XP would boot nearly as quickly on the faster machines, and even more to the point, Microsoft could fix that if they wanted to. Faster execution of software? Sorry, but the machines already run quite a bit faster than I need them to. Pretty rare that I'm waiting for any computation to complete in contrast to network or disk delays. More functionality? I actually know of one or two new features in Windows 7 that require non-Microsoft add-on software in Windows XP, but it turns out that I'm not actually using any of those features. Even worse, the fact that those features are now part of the OS means that they are bigger and more attractive targets for hackers, which to my way of thinking actually makes the OS less secure in exchange for no practical benefit. I may not use the new features, but the black hat hackers are quite eager to do so.

    Risky prediction time? I predict Microsoft is going to back down and offer a paid continuation option for people who would rather pay for XP than switch. Shades of the ancient cigarette commercial? However, it's an economic model that will work for profit, and Microsoft has always put profit ahead of superior software, even if I were willing to concede that post-XP Windows was superior (for my real world user-level needs--and I am not making that concession).

    1. chekri

      Re: Which is more secure? REALLY?

      "I predict Microsoft is going to back down and offer a paid continuation option for people who would rather pay for XP than switch."

      Already do mate - it called 'custom support' and will run you into the millions if you are talking a substantial fleet of devices.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Sannon

      An OS is as secure as its admin. 'Nough said.

      1. WatAWorld

        Re: @Sannon

        ComputerSecurityLevel = Min(OSSecurityLevel, AppSecurityLevel, AdminSecurityLevel, UserSecurityLevel);

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Which is more secure? REALLY?

      You obviously know nothing about the security differences between XP and 7.

    4. Grease Monkey Silver badge

      Re: Which is more secure? REALLY?

      And why shouldn't MS want people to uprade? They are in he business of selling new software. More to the point why should they continue providing free support for an OS that nobody has paid for in over five years? I'm no fan of MS, but I fail to see why they should have to continue spending money on XP just to satisfy a bunch of cheapskates who can't be arsed to upgrade.

      And as for putting profit first, that's what businesses do. Allegedly Honda will sell you any part for any vehicle they have ever made, however you have to be willing to wait for them to make it and pay whatever it costs. Tooling up to make some obscure one off part might cost quite a bit. If I were MS I'd do likewise. "You want a fix for XP? If you pay the salaries of every employee involved in developing and testing the fix you can have it. Still want it?" These cheapskates continue with XP because upgrading to Windows 7 costs money, support for XP doesn't. Make support cost and they'll probably upgrade.

      I'm really at a loss to see why so many people still have XP. Yup there are pre-2009 PC's out there that came with XP, but how can PC's over five years old account for such a large fraction of installed desktops? Partly I suspect that a lot of post-2009 PCs have XP on them because it's much easier to get an unlicensed copy of XP past WGA than is is with Windows 7.

      Of and to look at it from another point of view can you still get support for any other desktop OS that's thirteen years old? Course not.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Which is more secure? REALLY?

        Last time I had anything to do with Honda, if you wanted to buy half a dozen washers you had to buy multiple packs containing just one or two at a premium price, which is just taking the piss. So just because they do something doesn't make it defensible, and unrestricted capitalism certainly isn't.

        Meanwhile my experience (I've tested most of the cracks) is that it is much easier to get past WGA in Windows 7 than it is with XP. I'd tell you how except I'm not in the business of facilitating such. So far my impression is they've fixed it in 8. Figures, you're lucky if your printer works, but you'll definitely pay either way, for an OS few actually want.

      2. DMT

        Re: Which is more secure? REALLY?

        "I'm really at a loss to see why so many people still have XP. Yup there are pre-2009 PC's out there that came with XP, but how can PC's over five years old account for such a large fraction of installed desktops?"

        You're overlooking the fact that many enterprises continued to install XP on PCs purchased long after Vista and Windows were released. For my company, our Win 7 deployment only completed last year, and until mid-2012 we were still buying PCs and imaging them with XP.

      3. JP19

        Re: Which is more secure? REALLY?

        "why should they continue providing free support"

        Because 'support' is fixing the bugs they sold you in the first place.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Which is more secure? REALLY?

      "Am I the only person wondering if Windows post-XP any-version is actually more secure"

      Vulnerabilty counts versus time have declined with new releases of Microsoft OSs - Windows has also consistently outperformed competing OSs for the last decade in terms of number of known vulnerabilites versus time and days at risk (time to fix). So my suggestion would be yes.

  4. Daniel Voyce

    Gah :(

    I really wish XP would die already - although I really don't blame sys admins for keeping it around! it is fairly lightweight and when all of your users are basically just writing word documents and using outlook why would they spend a bucket load to upgrade the infrastructure to support windows 7 / 8?

    I guess IE7 will never die and us people involved in making T'interweb are forever going to be busting our ass with older technologies because our userbase requires it :(

    1. Jordan Davenport

      Re: Gah :(

      Sadly, IE7 won't die until Vista dies in 2017, and IE8 won't die until 7 dies in 2020...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Gah :(

        Sadly, IE7 won't die until Vista dies in 2017, and IE8 won't die until 7 dies in 2020...

        And when quality developers slammed IE8, every crap developer came out of the woodwork to adopted it. And now most organizations are stuck with apps that real devs wont touch, and the crap devs that made them have taken a more appropriate job at Walmart.

  5. Vociferous

    Wow, it's just skyrocketing!

    Windows 8 is increasing almost as fast as Windows 7!

    At this rate it'll bypass XP in just two years, and Windows 7 never! What a shining success!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wow, it's just skyrocketing!

      So XP is more than twice as popular as Vista, 8 and 8.1 put together, yet MS is dropping the popular option in favour of the stuff no-one wants?

      1. WatAWorld

        MS took that to heart and people still complain.

        I remember on here a few years ago people couldn't stop themselves from complaining about how bad XP was, how lousy its security was.

        I remember all those folks saying, "security had to be designed in, not added on in patches."

        Well MS took that to heart and people still complain.

        There is no winning.

        1. Vociferous

          Re: MS took that to heart and people still complain.

          > MS took that to heart and people still complain.

          No one is complaining about the security of Win8. What people complain about is the utterly broken interface.

          1. JEDIDIAH
            Devil

            Re: MS took that to heart and people still complain.

            >> MS took that to heart and people still complain.

            >

            > No one is complaining about the security of Win8. What people complain about is the utterly broken interface.

            I think that's only because people are distracted.

            It remains to be seen whether or not Win8 is a security disaster like the versions before it.

            1. Chika
              Devil

              Re: MS took that to heart and people still complain.

              > No one is complaining about the security of Win8. What people complain about is the utterly broken interface

              That is the security. If you can't get in, you will hardly be likely to store anything worth nicking!

        2. Jess

          Re: MS took that to heart and people still complain.

          "security had to be designed in, not added on in patches."

          But how is Windows 7 or 8.x any different from XP in that respect? it is the same core.

          They would need to do a redesign as big as between 9x and the NT families.

          1. big_D Silver badge

            @Jess

            Microsoft have built in a heck of a lot of new security features into Vista, more into 7 and even more into 8. Security is a moving goalpost.

            With XP, there wasn't really much thought about security, until MS was shown just what a steaming pile of poo they had delivered and went back to the drawing board to improve security, which they did with SP2 and SP3, to a certain extent. But these were "addons" to the core of the OS.

            Learning from those mistakes, they built in more security into Vista at the core. Learning about what went wrong there, they added more security into the design of 7 and learnt again and put in more security into 8.

            In 10 to 15 years, we will be saying similar things about Windows 7 and Windows 8. At the moment, you are just better off using a newer version of Windows, because it includes more inherrent security.

            The same goes, to a certain extent, for Linux and OS X as well, on the desktop. Rinse and repeat on mobile.

            1. Jess

              Re: @Jess

              But it is the *same* core. If it weren't, then security bugs would not affect XP and later versions.

              And that were that the case, dropping support would be far less of a problem, because if a patch came out for a bug in Windows Vista-8 the same vulnerability would not exist in XP and cyber criminals would not effectively be given information for breaking into XP.

          2. El Andy

            Re: MS took that to heart and people still complain.

            Because most of XPs problems stem from user mode and not the kernel (specifically the fact that, by default, users run with unrestricted Administrator tokens which bypass much of the OS security) and that's where many of the changes in Vista and beyond were.

            It gets worse post-EOL, because an unpatched OS is always vulnerable to whatever the patch was for, regardless of how "secure" it is otherwise.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: MS took that to heart and people still complain.

            ""security had to be designed in, not added on in patches.""

            That seems to work OK for Linux - SEL, Knox, etc.

            "But how is Windows 7 or 8.x any different from XP in that respect? it is the same core."

            Nope - new kernel.

            "They would need to do a redesign as big as between 9x and the NT families."

            No - the actual underlying design of windows is already potentially highly secure - for instance the hybrid microkernel architecture allows device drivers to be properly seperated from the kernel - and is more secure in this space than say Linux - and you have proper ACLs and auditing built in from the ground up, and have incremental access control features like constrained delegation whilst - to compare again - Linux still has to use legacy tools like SUDO - which always runs as root - to allow elevated access levels.

            It was more the previous approach of not disabling unecessary services, not running services with minimum rights, and users running with administrator access that caused so many issues with older versions of Windows rather than any architectural design flaws...

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: MS took that to heart and people still complain.

          Not certain what to make of it but I save all applicable x64 Windows patches for security and performance to disk and have:

          XP SP2 -165

          7 SP1 - 208

          8.0 - 133

          8.1 - 36

          Doesn't really look like they fixed anything.

        4. Tufty Squirrel

          Re: MS took that to heart and people still complain.

          > There is no winning.

          But there /is/ whining.

      2. John Tserkezis

        Re: Wow, it's just skyrocketing!

        "So XP is more than twice as popular as Vista, 8 and 8.1 put together, yet MS is dropping the popular option in favour of the stuff no-one wants?"

        Don't worry, Windows 8.3 will address the cheesy interface and make it as usable as earlier systems. It'll just cost you 6.4Gb of a Windows App Store download, with no chance of a separate downloadable service pack. It's almost worthwhile just buying the OS outright again and installing it as an upgrade.

        Ah, *that's* how they're going to make more money...

        1. Sandtitz Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: Wow, it's just skyrocketing! @John Tserkezis

          "Windows 8.3 will address the cheesy interface and make it as usable as earlier systems. It'll just cost you 6.4Gb of a Windows App Store download, with no chance of a separate downloadable service pack"

          I too detest that 8.1 isn't distributed through Windows Update. Windows 8 will be prevalent for a long time because many users don't use the App Store and thus they don't get updated. (and probably aren't even aware of 8.1 update)

          However, 8.1 can be downloaded from Microsoft and the upgrade assistant (or whatever it's named) offers creating a bootable USB stick or ISO burning.

      3. Vociferous

        Re: Wow, it's just skyrocketing!

        > MS is dropping the popular option in favour of the stuff no-one wants?

        Well how else would they get people to buy (and maybe even use) Win8?

      4. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Wow, it's just skyrocketing!

        The Mk1 Escort was brilliant, why can't I buy a new one at my Ford dealer?

        1. Steven Raith

          Re: Wow, it's just skyrocketing!

          It was the Mk2 that was the one to get.

          Never buy version one of anything, ever.

          Steven R

          1. big_D Silver badge

            Re: Wow, it's just skyrocketing!

            To be honest, I'm torn between the Mk1 Mexico and the Mk2 RS2000... On the other hand, Doyle used to drive an RS2000 in the Professionals...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Wow, it's just skyrocketing!

              Mk1 RS1600 BDA was actually the one to have. Rarer than a genuine satisfied Windows Phone owner.

              1. big_D Silver badge

                Re: Wow, it's just skyrocketing!

                Yes, and there was an RS2000 Mk1 as well. But the "Mexico" had the name, and I had it as a Scalexstric model.

                1. Steven Raith

                  Re: Wow, it's just skyrocketing!

                  I'd have a Mexico in Yellow with black decals - it'd go well with my current steed:

                  Copy/Pasta - direct image link from FaceyB

                  https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/t1/s720x720/940819_10200913247330462_1127636444_n.jpg

                  (for the devoid of copy/pasta, it's a Ford Puma Milllenium edition - retina-searing yellow with black highlights)

                  (and apols for the FB link, I know some work filters don't like it hence not actively linking it - sometimes I get lazy and FB makes a decent image dump for web stuff)

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Wow, it's just skyrocketing!

              "Doyle used to drive an RS2000 in the Professionals..."

              I thought they both drove 2 litre Capris? Now THERE was a car to dream about (best remembered on screen rather than for real I fear...)

              1. big_D Silver badge

                Re: Wow, it's just skyrocketing!

                @AC they had Capris in some series, in a couple Doyle also had the RS 2000.

            3. Chika

              Re: Wow, it's just skyrocketing!

              Both are fast, but the extended front end on the Mk.II RS2000 sold it for me. If only I had the money and somewhere to keep it (you'd be mad to park something like that on the roads near me!)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wow, it's just skyrocketing!

      Not very surprising since your average person buying a new computer can only get win 8 on it with no way of backleveling to win 7 - at least that is what I see here and I assume it is the same in other countries.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Windows

    Admit your defeart already

    "according to Netmarketshare statistics"

    Yeah right.

    No; not according to their statistics but most likely according to their conclusions. Don't deny it El Reg because if it weren't and the results turn out to be wrong the heat is on you.

    And pardon me for bringing this up again but weren't you also one of the flock who insisted that Explorer users were "dumb as a doorknob", merely because you got fed wrong information?

    My take? Let's not mention Win8 from here on ;)

  7. Shadow Systems

    There's a damn good reason XP is still in such wide use.

    After so many years of having the crap kicked out of it, beating down the bugs, karate chopping virus', duck & dodging script kiddies, and generally having the kinks ironed out with a bulldozer & an attitude, it's Stable, Gets The Job Done, and is Good Enough For Gramma.

    As the other poster pointed out, if installed on modern hardware with proper drivers, it's got plenty of programming chops to get Outlook, IE, YouTube, and Gramma's favorite game of (Solitaire, MineCraft, Quake, etc) running.

    Not merely "running acceptably" but "faster than makes no difference".

    Given XP's system requirements, putting it with a 4th generation I7, 16Gb RAM, a 2Gb Nvidia card, Gigabit LAN, and a 500Gb SSD would make it *so* fast that Gramma would probably never need another computer in her life...

    Right up until she decides to start running a massively multiplayer Quake server in her sewing room.

    *Cough*

    Anyway, properly secured, fully patched & updated, on even "lackluster" hardware, an XP machine is "Good Enough" for the nearly 30% of the population.

    That scares the crap out of Microsoft, because if those people are willing to hang on tooth & nail to such an "outdated" operating system as XP, MS had better make DAMN sure their (currently available version) Windows is up to snuff.

    If it's not, if Gramma has to choose between relearning everything she knows from XP to Win8/8.1, she may just decide to buy a Mac instead.

    It's already going to require a new machine, learning an entirely new mode of computing, and if that's the case, the switch will be just as easy to make from Win8 as it would be to a Mac or even Linux if her GrandSon TechGeek can make it look enough like XP to make the transition as painless as possible.

    Wanna guess which distro she'll be getting when XP is done?

    *Grins*

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: There's a damn good reason XP is still in such wide use.

      I have a job supporting 10s of thousands of users that says different and a migration path straight to... Win 7.

      1. MissingSecurity

        Re: There's a damn good reason XP is still in such wide use.

        I still trying to figure out why the IT world still thinks standalone desktops are going to be the norm for the next 10-15 years. It would be more likely that between the push to cloud (or what is essientally the re-invention of mainframe computing) and virtual infrastruction improvments even CADD Junkies, Renders, and source code cowboy's will be hard pressed to argue the power of computering on servers vs local high end systems.

        I know right now about about 60% of my office could be on tablets/laptops/etc and have no need for a standalone setup, and if we had the infrastrucutre the other 40% wouldn't need there high systems either.

        Hell, I only fire up my fat box when I need to check something in WIndows, but between my Tablet, Laptop, and phone I pretty much have my environment covered.

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: There's a damn good reason XP is still in such wide use.

          "I still trying to figure out why the IT world still thinks standalone desktops are going to be the norm for the next 10-15 years. [...] Hell, I only fire up my fat box when I need to check something in WIndows, but between my Tablet, Laptop, and phone I pretty much have my environment covered."

          Good for you, but perhaps the IT world still has a few outposts of reactionary "workers" who require a keyboard the same size as their hands, a screen bigger than their face, and since neither of those are terribly portable they aren't willing to pay a premium for the clever bit to be packed into a wafer-thin tablet format when they can make do with a beige box at less than half the price.

  8. Shadow Systems

    It's even worse than that......

    Taken a look at your bank's ATM lately?

    Want to guess what it runs on?

    I'd give you a hint, but I can already see the terror in your eyes.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'll start storing all my money in empty ammo tins beneath my bed.

    *Cough*

    =-)p

    1. Jordan Davenport

      Re: It's even worse than that......

      ATMs would generally run the embedded version of XP, which will still receive updates for a few more years. That said... do the ATMs ever actually receive the updates? THAT is the scary thought.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's even worse than that......

        Why do they need to receive updates?

        if it's on a Private network (many still use ISDN & dial up analogue lines) you have no need.

        I have a XP SP2 machine hooked up to ancient Nortel Meridian. No point patching it, it never touches the network, so it far more secure than ANY internet facing machine, be it Linux, Windows, OSX or Unix.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's even worse than that......

        Actually, ATMs in banks generally run XP pro, those ATMs that somehow seem to be crappy alternatives and are run by non-bank companies generally run XPe.

        I really don't think, however, that XP in ATMs is the issue here, they are running on totally isolated network segments, the communications are generally hardware encrypted, there is about as much chance as a hacker getting into an ATM in a major bank as there is getting into the mainframes they run. The problem are the non-bank ATMs, but even then, they are nothing to the POS machines in American (rather non-chip and pin) retailers.

        XP will be supported for anyone who wants to pay for quite some time yet, you can be assured that any bank operating an XP ATM will happily hand over the cash.

  9. dan1980

    And what have we learned Microsoft?

    What these numbers should show is that people just simply like the XP interface. Sure, some like 7 and even 8 better, but it's clear that for a great number of users, XP just works better.

    Yes, XP is outdated and yes, the more modern OSs have better security. Solution? How about MS learn from this and make their new OS (9?) look at function like XP at the front-end and like 8 on the back-end.

    1. WatAWorld

      Re: And what have we learned Microsoft?

      Now that is good thinking and MS should take this to heart.

      Keep the user interface, secure and improve the internals.

      Most people want what they're familiar with.

      To most users, familiarity is at least 50 out of 100 possible points for usability.

      A user interface change always has to be sufficiently better that it justifies the inconvenience of re-learning how to do something. In other words a user interface change has to be *much* better to be worth subjecting your users to it.

      MS forgets this with Windows and Office.

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: And what have we learned Microsoft?

      How about MS learn from this and make their new OS (9?) look at function like XP at the front-end and like 8 on the back-end."

      They did. It's called Win 7. The interface isn't just as "cartoony" as XP.

      1. dan1980
        Megaphone

        Re: And what have we learned Microsoft?

        There is enough that is different to warrant having a preference one way or the other. You evidently prefer 7 over XP, but it seems that PLENTY of people feel the opposite.

        The changes might not be monumental but there are enough of them and they add up.

        The taskbar for instance. Perhaps you and certainly others love the new style. I just plain don't. I much prefer the quicklaunch + taskbar of XP to the integrated version. I prefer the default combine behaviour of XP too - the way it creates multiple taskbar icons for multiple instances of a program and then combines them when the task bar is full. I also prefer that, once combined, the icons show numerical indicators for the number of open windows rather than just a graphical, stacked icon representation. I also think it's neater to be able to click the quick launch icon multiple times to spawn additional instances of a program, rather than right-clicking the tile in Windows 7 and then selecting the program.

        I prefer the XP 'All Programs' menu, which allows you to see, well, all your programs, rather than having to scroll up and down through a fixed-size list (with scroll bars that often cut off folder titles and looks a bit messy).

        I dislike Windows 7's search function and find XP's version FAR superior. Working with 2003 a 2008/R2 servers daily, it is demonstrably quicker to search and 2008R2 server REMOTELY from a 2003 server and the results easier to process.

        Libraries. I understand what they are trying to do but they fairly force you to use them - even if you don't want to. The familiar icon to open Windows Explorer now takes you directly to your 'Libraries' folder. To change that you have to make a custom shortcut that is FAR from intuitive to do. Likewise when you save a file, the default location is always the Libraries folder. A registry hack is required to disable that.

        And the control panel view. Ignoring the renaming and re-organising of some options (some do make a bit more sense[1]), why can we only view by 'Category', 'Large icons' or 'Small icons'? I, personally, can process the control panel icons better as an alphabetically-sorted vertical list but MS have decided that I should no longer have that option. Why remove the list & details view?

        And then there are the things they got rid of, such as the filmstrip view. Yes you can approximate this with the preview pane but it's not the same. At any rate, why couldn't they have both?

        And what about the shared folder icon? Gone. Previously you could just look at a folder/drive and instantly see which folders were shared. Yes, yes, there are other ways to do this but why change it in the first place? (And, changing it, why not give users the option to change back?)

        There are other changes that I still can't understand. These may be more noticeable on the server side but the kernel is the same so still relevant. For some reason, MMCs treat IP addresses as a text field. I have no idea why except laziness. To see this in action, open up DNS/DHCP management on a 2003 and 2008/R2 server and sort by IP address. Why MS? WHY!!!???

        Then there are the changes to menu items and wording that I still can't see the justification for. Take printers. For some reason, right-clicking a printer and selecting 'Properties' now shows a rather useless screen. To get the same screen as in XP/2003, you need to right click and select 'Printer Properties'. Why?

        Further, when you have multiple copies of the same printer - say one for B&W and another for colour (so you can set permissions accordingly) - though they show up as two separate icons, as you would expect, when you try to go to the properties, you then have to select the specific instance. Surely the fact that you clicked on the one you wanted to start with should be indication enough, right?

        I really could go on - window sizes aren't remembered, auto-arrange is now forced in folders, the network icon in the system tray doesn't show activity, forced 'navigation pane' in Explorer - but the point is that there are numerous changes and they all add up to quite a big difference.

        I appreciate the desire to streamline and improve the interface but the way that MS approach this is to make their decisions based on how they want you to use the software or think you will. If you fit with that then you may well benefit from the changes. If you don't then, well, you may find that the new interface is worst than the one it replaces.

        MS's response to any complaints or feedback is always the same, which is to say that users will like it once they get used to it. That response is arrogant and, frankly, insulting as it is essentialy saying "we're right and you're wrong". Given that people use their computers in different ways, that's quite presumptuous - to assert that they have created an interface so perfect that everyone, no matter their workload or personal preferences, will find the new interface across the board better than the old one.

        It is important to note that none of this is a matter of being stubborn or refusing to change; I am an IT worker and work on servers and PCs with different operating systems all day. I spend just as much time on Win7/2008R2 as I do on XP/2003 - probably more. In so doing, I find that some tasks are just quicker and more intuitive with XP/2003. Some changes in 7 were great - I like the window snap feature and I like the integrated search/run box but there isn't one improvement in 7 that couldn't have been added while still keeping the rest of XP[2].

        MS (and their apologists) have to understand that when a user (i.e. customer) says that they don't like some aspect of a new interface or prefer the old version, that opinion is valid.

        [1] - E.g. 'Programs and Features' for the old 'Add/Remove Programs'. Does what it says on the tin, but to me it makes more sense to list via the noun than the verb and the new 'features' that you can turn on and off justify the change anyway.

        [2] - Take the searching, for example. Sure that might be better for some but would it really have been that hard to just have a little 'advanced search' option that works like XP's?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: And what have we learned Microsoft? @dan1980

          "MS (and their apologists) have to understand that when a user (i.e. customer) says that they don't like some aspect of a new interface or prefer the old version, that opinion is valid."

          Of course it's valid. Shame you seem to count anyone who does like the new stuff as an apologist rather than practicing what you preach.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. dan1980

            Re: And what have we learned Microsoft?

            Thanks for all the responses folks.

            My list was kind of a just a spewing of things that I could think of at the time. The point was not that these were all changes for the worse, nor that there was no way to customise things, but that there were enough differences in the interface to justify a preference for XP/2003 on that basis alone and, therefore, to refute ecofeco's claim that Win7 was essentially WinXP with improved internals.

            The fact that some people prefer the Windows 7 interface to that of XP is proof that that they are not the same.

            Very few interface changes are objectively good or bad so anyone claiming that Windows 7 (or 8) has a 'better' interface than XP is welcome to that opinion but must accept that the opposing opinion is every bit as valid.

            1. MacGyver

              Re: And what have we learned Microsoft?

              Hell let me add a few things to it for posterity.

              Why remove "Status" from right clicking the network icon in the tray, for that matter, what was wrong with the original icon that was showing me traffic and direction (what the hell is the stupid trident for?)

              Why does the submenu "+" disappear when I move my mouse from the left explorer pane to the right, were they being changed by the pixel? Why take away information from the screen?

              Didn't XP used to give you a full month calendar when you hovered over the time?

              Why don't I get a choice on whether I want the whole filename or the filename minus the extension to auto highlight when I rename it?

              Right-click Search, what a concept.

        3. AndrueC Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: And what have we learned Microsoft?

          why MS? WHY!!!???

          You missed one - why is the Event Viewer so freakin' slow from Vista onward? On some machines I've resorted to copying the MMC from an XP installation. It's bad enough that something has happened that requires you to go to the event viewer but having to wait a dozen or more seconds before it shows anything is just rubbing salt into the wound.

          Oh and for the love of whatever. Please remember that I don't want the bloody action pane visible! Frankly I'd be happy for most MMC widgets if the default was not to show it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: And what have we learned Microsoft?

            And another one - why can I no longer force the task bar to NOT be always on top? I used to be able to maximise windows over the top and use the Windows key to pop it up when I needed it. Any solutions?

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: And what have we learned Microsoft?

          It's not about the start button, or the control panel, or the icons, or the right-click options from the desktop. It's about the fact that Chinese government is BEGGING MS not to EOL XP, cause they OWN IT.

          I left a company that had the Chinese all through their network, and they only attacked 2 OSs: XP and 2003. They did not touch 2008 or 7. Why should they bother. They'd found a home, steeped stagnation.

      2. Tony Paulazzo

        Re: And what have we learned Microsoft?

        I hate Office 2013 interface, it looks like shit - at least Win8.1 has the desktop and a start button (tho the shutdown options are still hidden away, you can at least start typing shutdown in the start screen and the option pops up), there's no prettying up the latest Office.

        Whoever designed it should be taken out and beaten up by all the other designers.

        Wanker! (missed my meds today:)

    3. CLD

      Re: And what have we learned Microsoft?

      I'm afraid the "people just simply like the XP interface" hence they don't upgrade is a bit of a fail... more real world, is that most people and businesses are trying hard not to spend money and have failed to budget for the replacements.

      The other reason it is a fail, is because lots of businesses and home users still run applications which work on Windows XP, but do not port nicely to Windows 7 or Windows 8. 16 bit apps working within XP is one example.

      I'm in the middle of a migration of a business at the moment and some applications we just can't port. The $$$ were not in the budget to buy new instances of the software that support a newer OS, so they will be staying for a little while yet. Hopefully we can slip the money into next years budget.

      Windows 7 is not going to cause any real anxiety due to the change in interface, but the code underneath is suitably different to mean some applications just don't port nicely and it may cost you $$$ to upgrade or migrate.

    4. Jess

      Re: people just simply like the XP interface.

      They do?

      I prefer the windows 2000 interface. (My favorite interface is the RISC OS one)

      Windows 8 with classic shell and everything that jumps to full screen removed, would seem to be a quite acceptable system. However, when Microsoft were offering it at a sensible price the horrid interface seemed intrinsic, so I didn't buy, and so I have prepared a Linux Mint Boot drive for my PC.

  10. Sanctimonious Prick

    Hackers...

    They found all the bugs in XP, which MS was obliged to "repair." Now the NSA cannot get into them (XP computers).

  11. WatAWorld

    Where's Linux and MacOS on the graphs?

    Where's Linux and MacOS on the graphs?

    1. Chad H.

      Re: Where's Linux and MacOS on the graphs?

      Yes, where is OS/2 on a WIndows Market Share graph?

    2. Hans 1

      Re: Where's Linux and MacOS on the graphs?

      Well as others said ... Microsoft market share.

      When you consider that the latest Linux release is still less bloated than XP SP0, as in, HD footprint, I have trouble with all these commentards crying over XP.

      @dan1980

      The thing that makes me go mad ... for some reason, starting with Vista, when in an overview you have to left-click before you right-click.

    3. CowardlyLion

      Re: Where's Linux and MacOS on the graphs?

      If you follow the link to netmarketshare you can see the data in a variety of ways.

      Desktop OS share gives Windows 90.72%, Mac OS 7.68%, Linux 1.6%, Other 0%

      So Linux at 1.6% has about 1/6th the market share of Windows 8 (inc. 8.1) at 10.58%.

      http://www.netmarketshare.com/operating-system-market-share.aspx?qprid=10&qpcustomd=0

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Where's Linux and MacOS on the graphs?

        "So Linux at 1.6% has about 1/6th the market share of Windows 8 "

        Difference is that the 1.6% got off their ars*s and installed Linux, built a new machine with Linux or found a supplier ( like I just did) that would provide a Windows-free laptop for a £60 discount.

    4. Jess

      Re: Where's Linux and MacOS on the graphs?

      OS X was released about the same time as XP, and it is on the 10th version. I know of users of 10.4, 10.5, 10.6 and 10.8. If all the users are as spread out amongst the versions as those I know, then it will be spread out to insignificance, when you are differentiating on point versions. (Linux has no chance at all with such measurements)

  12. hungee

    XP is dead, it's pining for the fjords.

    When will these same commentards realize that just because you don't need it that the rest of us shouldn't have to put up with bloody XP.

    I work on a help desk and when someone says "I'm not very good with computers" you can be your bottom dollar they are on XP. That is the company you are keeping.

    Windows 7 is more stable, it just is and all your wishing and hoping ain't gonna make it so. It boots faster. It is a better operating system and I for one are glad that Microsoft are not going to spend my money that I pay them in license fees supporting a dead operating system. Get over it.

    FFS.

    1. frank ly

      Re: XP is dead, it's pining for the fjords.

      "I work on a help desk ..."

      Have you tried turning it off and then on again?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: XP is dead, it's pining for the fjords.

      I work on a help desk

      Q: "Hello, I have a problem"

      A: "Your computer is too old, buy a better one"

      You call that "help"? I could get that sort of help from PC World, FFS.

  13. Chad H.

    Anyone remember that story about a month ago that said the small dip in XP proved it was on its way out....

    Wondering what the small increase in XP means... everyones coming back?

  14. ecofeco Silver badge

    A word on the decline of XP

    As I've said before, I work and have worked for some of the largest companies in the world and believe me when I tell you that this will be the year XP is retired en mass.

    ...and I will be the guy fixing the screwed up new images.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A word on the decline of XP @ecofeco

      "As I've said before, I work and have worked for some of the largest companies in the world and believe me when I tell you that this will be the year XP is retired en mass."

      Well, since this is the Internet I'll take your statement about your experience at face value! Though I do wonder whether that experience really validates the forecast ...

  15. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    I remember going into a Three store a year or two ago. I noticed their in-store desktops were still running Windows 2000. Support ended for that years ago.

    I suspect Windows XP will be around for an even longer time after official support ends...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I was recently asked by one of our clients, to implement an integration solution to send extracted data from one application, to a reporting solution on another application.

      As the data contained personal information, (names, addresses etc), it was classes as Confidential, so policy dictated that it must use a secure protocol.

      We had been told the reporting application was a Windows server box. So we chose FTPS as the protocol, as it's built into MS IIS.

      We were then told by the app support team that they couldn't do FTPS. We asked why?

      Response: "It's a Windows 2000 server, so doesn't support it".

      This being with a client that has a £50M + IT budget, and this server being used it turned out for business critical reports?! Still no idea why it wasn't tech refreshed years ago!

      AC as they read the Reg also.

  16. Matt 52

    Not to be picky, but...

    When I saw those stats I didn't believe them - less than 10% of "world market" for Android, iOS, etc? Couldn't be true. This is important, because if I don't believe one number then I have zero confidence in any of the other numbers.

    Checking the referenced, source these stats are only for *Desktop* browsers and not for *All* browsers.

    A small thing, but it makes a big difference when trying to evaluate whether or not I believe the article...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not to be picky, but... @Matt 52

      "Checking the referenced, source these stats are only for *Desktop* browsers and not for *All* browsers.

      A small thing, but it makes a big difference when trying to evaluate whether or not I believe the article..."

      Going by the article's title, it's talking about desktop OSs. As far as I'm aware that would exclude iOS and Android. I know it's become fashionable to slag off articles in here that don't pander to your own prejudices, but this is just weak.

      1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Re: Not to be picky, but... @Matt 52

        It could do, then, with statistics on the use of desktops vs. other systems. Otherwise it risks choosing the dataset to provide the answer it wants.

  17. Bert 1

    Charity PCs

    This is a tricky one.

    I just took delivery of 2 PCs to ship to Africa for a charity project (very little money well targeted.)

    These have OEM versions of XP re-installed on them (Data wiped, effectively a factory restore).

    I took the view that Linux would be counter productive given they'll have NO SUPPORT, and the whole world uses MS. We are not about to waste money on purchasing updated windows versions, which will very likely run slowly on hardware with a shipping date of 2003.

    I very much suspect I am not alone in shipping XP on old PCs to developing countries.

    Given the number of these (on slow connections and unpatched), THAT is the scary part of this.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Charity PCs

      Linux has no support? What?!?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Charity PCs

        For the most part, Linux has no support if there isn't a geek around who knows CL and/or whichever distro. For the most part the only support Windows needs can be delivered via the 'net. Put it another way the issue with Windows is security, while the issue with Linux is stability.

        Meanwhile, fanbois, you down-vote to your heart's content! Think of it as a survey concerning a different kind of stability.

        1. Chemist

          Re: Charity PCs

          "while the issue with Linux is stability."

          WHAT !

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Linux

          Re: Charity PCs

          > For the most part, Linux has no support if there isn't a geek around who knows CL and/or whichever distro. For the most part the only support Windows needs can be delivered via the 'net.

          Can't someone delivery Linux support over the 'net?

          I'm pretty sure that you can get network support on Linux, what with it running most of the worlds web servers.

          And just exactly what kind of support do you think they'll need in Africa?

          Stopped working? Just reinstall it from scratch and off you go.

          I run Linux Mint on my work laptop. From start to finish, complete reinstall in 15 mins and I'm working again.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Charity PCs

            Things like when the updater stops working. I've elicited that on about half a dozen distros/versions over the last three or four years. Had it on one where the updater was broken from the start and the first thing you had to do was update the updater, i.e. use the CL.

            I guess we can assume that PCs supplied with Linux will come with network adapter's that do work from the off, as opposed to; after lots of under-the-bonnet stuff by someone who knows what they're doing, or, simply; can't get it to work, ever.

            And, I'll tell you, most of the time you don't half have to do some searching to find the fix for these things. They're never addressed in the official documentation or the site of the distro; they are never addressed as bugs, only reported as such; the only way you find fixes are in forums; in forums you usually have to read page after page after page of postings in two, three, four forums until you find the fix that does work, and more often than not it's a link to the web-site of some guy who has done far more on this than anyone officially connected with the distro. At that point you quite possibly have to download a file or files from another site to perform the fix and you _definitely_ have to go CL from this point in. It sure helps if you've done it before! Like, say, been using Windows since MS-DOS was a familiar component of it. And this almost certainly won't involve _just_ using the CL, like updating via it; it will involve editing executable text files or similar.

            Lots and lots of occasions where stopping something mid-way - because it is going to take far longer than you've got - and stopping it breaks it. Things like you can't reboot, you have to reset and when the desktop comes back up the broken thing is still there, and you still can't shut it down. Re-installing as an update doesn't fix it, so re-installing from scratch requires - if the broken module/app/whatever happened after updating the system, on re-installation it has to be updated again and on broadband can take a couple of hours - while if the broken thing is the updater itself or something of similar criticality simply re-installing is no fix whatsoever.

            And when you get response after response after indignant, not to say offensive response to comments like this one from the 'bois, the one thing you can take from it is the knowledge they're talking out of their arses.

    2. Charles Manning

      Re: on slow connections and unpatched

      At least they are on slow connections, limiting their ability to be used as spambots.

      If they were unpatched and on high speed connections, then I'd be far more worried.

  18. Winkypop Silver badge
    Devil

    That basic table in the article

    Ick!

    What, no style sheet?

  19. slagmi

    So Windows is in a huge decline!

    According to these numbers, in 2013 Windows commanded about 90% market share (impossible) and in 2014 much less (trend at least appears realistic). Research to show us what we already knew....

  20. Squander Two

    Statistics

    Is it not a little inconsistent to count 8 and 8.1 separately but XP, XP SP1, XP SP2, and XP SP3 as just one thing?

    1. Charles Manning

      Re: Statistics

      The difference is that Microsoft themselves are pushing the distinction to try distance 8.1 from the marketing shitpile that is 8. MS are saying this is a new OS and should be considered differently.

      XP on the other hand was pitched as a linear evolution of a muture product.

  21. Mag07

    Lol - someone should send a dictionary to Microsoft headquarters - there is a difference between liked or admired by a number of people, or forced onto. It may be 4th most used, but I doubt it's 4th most popular ;)

    1. Squander Two

      Yes, but the same applies to all of them. Most of those XP users have to use it at work, and I know a lot of them hate it.

      Besides, Microsoft don't care why you buy their OS, as long as you buy their OS. "I'll buy it but I don't like it" makes exactly the same amount of money as "I love it so I'll buy it."

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ATMs

    I would hope that a day 1 design principle of any ATM is that the keypads output is never ever available to the OS in native form. In fact really, the keypad together with the card reader should simply be a "PIN verification" module to the OS. Has the user entered the PIN which matches the card inserted ? Yes/No. It's how I would have designed it. Why ? Because it was how I designed it 30 years ago, when I did it as a case study at Uni.

    If you can't get the PINs out of the ATM, am I alone in not really worrying ? Whats the worst that could happen. The ATM starts spitting out free money ? Well that's the banks worry.

  23. Bladeforce

    Yet windows users...

    Cry that Linux is fragmented yet here we sit looking at windows xp, vista, 7, 8, 8.1, ie 6, ie 7, ie 8, ie 9, ie 10, ie 11. Office 2003, 2010,2013.....its laughable how fragmented windows and its software is and how much it holds back technology

    They built their business model snd yheir business model is ironically biting them in the aris!

    1. Squander Two

      Re: Yet windows users...

      I'm a Windows user, and I have never once in my life complained that Linux is fragmented. The majority of Windows users aren't like me, though: they don't even know what Linux is.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yet windows users...

      So a list of historic releases of Windows and other software over the last twelve years is equivalent to a couple dozen current releases of Linux?

      That's a bit of a stretch.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yet windows users...

      "its laughable how fragmented windows and its software is and how much it holds back technology"

      But you can take software from ancient versions of Windows and it mostly still works on current versions - just trying doing that on Linux! You get dependency fails all over the show...

  24. Robert E A Harvey

    "fourth-most-popular"

    fourth-most-used, maybe. I see no evidence of popularity.

  25. S G

    Downgrade rights?

    Does this report take into account the users that are being forced to purchase Windows 8/8.1 with the intention of downgrading to Windows 7 and never ever ever actually using Windows 8?

    If not, these results are very very skewed.

    1. Squander Two

      Re: Downgrade rights?

      Lots of people bought Vista and downgraded to XP, so the skewing balances out a bit.

    2. Steve Renouf

      Re: Downgrade rights?

      ... with the intention of UPGRADING to Windows 7...

      There - fixed that for you. :-)

    3. Mike Dimmick

      Usage stats, not purchase

      The source for the data is the User-Agent string detected by the analytics scripts running in the web browser, for web sites using Net Applications for their analytics. It's only capable of detecting the currently-running operating system (assuming the browser isn't lying), it's not possible to tell that a given product key would be valid for a later version.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just last night I booted 8.1 - amusingly, solely to install Classic Shell 4.0.2 - and while in there thought I'd sort this Solitaire thing out finally (you know, having to get it from Windows Store? Apparently).

    Okay, so I've had a Hotmail account since forever, and used that to create an - I don't even remember what it used to be called - then a Live account. All this in order to download evaluation versions of this or that (although generally prefer TPB to get them). And since running 8.x I've refused to open a Microsoft Account. Last night, in order to get Solitaire from Windows Store, I set about enabling my Outlook (???) account to be switched to a Microsoft Account.

    Eventually we get to where they want to send a code - to the back-up account I gave them (a Gmail account) long before Windows 8.x was conceived of; and which I discontinued at least a year ago. So I go through the process of giving them a new back-up account 'because the old one no longer exists (or words to that effect)'.

    Finally done. I have to wait 30 days to access the account 'because security settings have been changed (or words to that effect)'.

    I do find this genuinely funny because, really, a Microsoft account is worthless. In fact, it's less than worthless, because you have to go through this shit to use it. I enjoyed telling them to close mine. The fucking morons.

    1. Squander Two

      I rather like Windows 8, but what you've described right there is a major fuck-up. I ran into exactly the same thing setting up my wife's PC: she'd provided a secondary email address many years ago for some reason, never needed it since, and now Microsoft insist on using it for verification even though it no longer exists. The really stupid thing is that they have her phone number -- she has a Windows phone -- but they won't use that for security verification. And she didn't have any of these problems attaching her account to her phone. I think it's a problem with Microsoft accounts in general rather than Windows 8 per se, but 8's reliance on an account to get the full experience means someone at MS really should have addressed this, especially since they apparently did fix it for Windows Phone.

      1. Boothy

        This is one of the reasons I didn't like Win 8+.

        Why would I want, or need, to log into a local PC on my Network, with an Internet email account that rarely gets used?

        Let me log in with a proper local account with a name of my choosing, then let me add my Live account once logged in, but this should be optional.

        Can't see me moving away from Win 7 anytime soon unless this policy changes.

        1. Squander Two

          > Why would I want, or need, to log into a local PC on my Network, with an Internet email account that rarely gets used?

          You don't have to. Microsoft do not force you to use a Microsoft email address; you can attach whatever address you like to your Live account. I believe I have a Hotmail account somewhere that I haven't touched in years, but my Windows account is under an address on my own personal domain. On top of that, you don't need to use a Live account to log into Windows 8 and you can indeed specify a local name of your choosing. The Live account is useful for certain functions -- the sort of thing you'd expect: tying it to other accounts, paying for things in the app store, syncing with your Windows Phone over the Net -- but not vital.

          The problem referred to above is to do with the way Microsoft can insist on verifying your account using an out-of-date email address, not that they tie you to using a particular email address for the account itself.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Let's skirt over the fact that apparently I did not delete that particular Gmail account. Just saw it still in my password manager so thought I'd try it. Guess I never got round to actually deleting it. Anyway so I just set it up again in Outlook (that is, the software installed on my computer, not a new name for 'Hotmail') and synced. So despite the fact I edited my details to change back-up email account - because (or so I thought) the one I originally gave them no longer existed - I find two messages from the Microsoft Accounts team to this previous address asking me to verify whether I initiated this process.

            If I don't reply, then I didn't initiate it, therefore it is an attempt to hijack my account.

            Let's see. It's one in the afternoon and I have had enough coffee: I fill out a form to get my back-up email account changed, because that account no longer exists. Microsoft email a non-existent account with a link to click which, if it isn't clicked, they won't believe the request is genuine and won't change the back-up email address.

            How appropriate when just yesterday in one of the comments sections we were alluding to 'Catch 22'.

            Guess I'll mosey on over and see if they closed my Hotmail account like I instructed. Of course, it could be that Google didn't delete that account despite my saying to. But they probably would have - they did all the others; but also, like with their search engine, unlike Microsoft theirs isn't a pile of wank.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              I was just emailing a friend about this experience when it occurred to me Microsoft could be sending to the 'deleted' account because a test email didn't bounce, in which case I guess they'd be covering all bases. So, undecided about that one. Which just leaves having to wait 30 days to play Solitaire.

        2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          "Why would I want, or need, to log into a local PC on my Network, with an Internet email account that rarely gets used?"

          Like the other guy said, you don't actually have to. Unfortunately, you do have to enter something, so you have to enter something that fails, let Windows get a bloody nose, try again, probably fail again, and *eventually* the stupid setup system will give up and offer you the choice of logging in with a local account.

          In short, you've got to go all the way to "Well, if you're going to insist on that internet account then the deal's off and I'm getting a Mac." before Windows will blink.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    XP and Exchange 2013 - already stuffed.

    XP support continues until April - but we just heard this morning from our Hosted Exchange service provider that Exchange 2013 doesn't work with XP, right now.

    We didn't ask to be migrated from our previous Exchange platform (2007) to 2013 - it was forced on us by the provider. But now we find that with no warning at all, we can't use our XP Outlook clients with the new Exchange service - our provider is telling us that if we want to use Outlook we have to upgrade all our XP machines NOW, because they don't work. (This applies even to XP machines running Outlook2010.)

    I'd be grateful if anyone else can share any inside knowledge of this - reading between the lines, I would guess that some incompatibility between XP and the latest update of Exchange Server 2013 has crept in, and rather than fixing it, Microsoft have decided not to bother. But it may be that the Hosted Exchange provider should have been aware of this in advance, and overlooked it.

    Any insiders out there who can clarify?

    1. Mike Dimmick

      Re: XP and Exchange 2013 - already stuffed.

      Exchange Server 2013 is supported with Outlook 2013, 2010 SP1 (with an update) and 2007 SP3 (with an update). I'm not aware of a dependency on the client OS version. Outlook 2013 does require Windows 7 at minimum.

      Source: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/845.outlook-versions-supported-by-exchange-200720102013online.aspx for Outlook versions supported.

      If you were hosting your own Exchange Server, you'd need a 64-bit install of Windows 7 SP1, at minimum, to run the 2013 Management Tools remotely.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: XP and Exchange 2013 - already stuffed.

      Your provider is slightly wrong.

      What they mean is Outlook in "Office XP" cannot connect to Exchange 2013+, something has been removed or changed but I cannot remember what. You need at leasts Office 2007 SP3 from memory to connect to Exchange 2013+ via MAPI

      The details are in google.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: XP and Exchange 2013 - already stuffed.

        > I'm not aware of a dependency on the client OS version.

        Neither, it appears, was my provider - until about two days ago. We were informed of other, well-documented dependencies a long time in advance of being migrated to Exchange 2013, but there was no mention made of XP - until a month after the migration, with no warning.

        >What they mean is Outlook in "Office XP"

        I quote from their email:

        "Customers using Windows XP will find some critical functions will not work with Exchange 2013, therefore customers must upgrade their operating system."

        The lack of any mention of this earlier makes me think that they didn't mean to make Exchange 2013 incompatible with Windows XP, but found that there were some issues with it when they released it into the wild, and they can't be bothered fixing these issues so they just tell their customers to spend their way out of a bind.

        But what I really want to know is whether the "they" in the sentence above is Microsoft, or the Hosted Exchange provider..?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is 'popular' the correct word?

    The Oxford Dictionary definition is "liked or admired by many people or by a particular person or group". I'm sure it's like and admired by some of its users but some of us users just have no choice in the matter. We have not chosen to use Windows 8.1, it's been foisted upon us by the hardware seller who will offer no alternative.

    1. pPPPP

      Re: Is 'popular' the correct word?

      I was going to say the same thing. This isn't the first article to say this. Windows 8 is not popular. It really isn't. It's increasing its market share because people are still buying laptops (even though they keep telling us nobody's buying anything but tablets any more) and Windows 8 comes pre-installed. The majority of people use whatever comes pre-installed on their laptop because they don't know how to do anything else.

      1. Chemist

        Re: Is 'popular' the correct word?

        "and Windows 8 comes pre-installed" - I take your point esp. if people buy from a big retailer but I'm writing this on a brand new laptop bought on-line from a UK company (quad -core i7, 8GB, 1080 matte screen) and I got it £65 cheaper by not having Windows installed. The case is a little naff but the screen ( ~15") and performance is gorgeous. OpenSUSE 13.installed in 8 minutes from a USB live distro and EVERYTHING works. Only Intel graphics but that is easily good enough to watch 1080p/50 video with cpus ticking over. Renders 1080p/50 video at ~1.7 mins per min of video (H264) with all 'eight' cores averaging about 80%

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No Linux on the desktop? no surprise there.

  30. GNoMe

    Full list of OS percentages

    For completeness here is the full list of OSs

    Windows XP 59.80%

    Windows 7 20.34%

    Windows Vista 13.04%

    Mac OS X 10.6 3.03%

    Mac OS X 10.5 1.60%

    Linux 0.96%

    Mac OS X 10.4 0.47%

    Windows 2000 0.36%

    Windows NT 0.21%

    Mac OS X (no version reported) 0.08%

    Windows 98 0.05%

    Windows ME 0.03%

    Mac OS X Mach-O 0.02%

    FreeBSD 0.01%

    SunOS 0.00%

    1. c:\boot.ini

      Re: Full list of OS percentages

      How old is that list ? Windows 8 is not even in it and the latest Mac OS X is 10.6 ...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Full list of OS percentages

        'How old is that list ? Windows 8 is not even in it and the latest Mac OS X is 10.6'

        Nope. 10.9

    2. Tom 13

      Re: Windows ME 0.03%

      Was this list ever real?

      As I recall people on 98-ME were happy to upgrade to Vista because of the improved usability.

  31. Tom 13

    Re: it may at least spare some blushes

    It shouldn't. When you latest two operating systems combined still don't exceed the market share of your 2-months-from-we're-going-to-kill-it-and-this-time-we-really-really-mean-it operating system, you have a colossal failure. Failure is NOT supposed to be an option.

  32. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    You'd think

    (I certainly did at - at least for a while)

    that OS distributors

    (Yes 'doze, *os and 'nix I mean you)

    would realise that the public would catch on to the fact that a new operating system or operating system update meant old hardware was made obsolete forcing one to purchase new hardware in order to keep continuity in working methods no?

    Operating system update = hardware system downgrade yes?

  33. EPurpl3

    Once I wanted to get money from an ATM and had a frozen Windows 95 login screen. Some are still using those on ATM's :d

  34. JustNiz

    Seems like this must be bullshit research (i.e. hopelessly biassed towards Microsoft).

    For one thing Android isn't even mentioned, unless you could seriously believe it is included in Linux's 1.5%.

    Their browser study shows ie overall market share is still over 50%, when everyone else is stating its less than 20% for example:

    http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp

    1. Boothy
      WTF?

      @ JustNiz

      I must have missed the memo, at what point did Android become a Desktop OS?

      Don't get me wrong, I like Android, I have 2 tablets and a Nexus 5 phone, but last time I checked, they were still classed as a Mobile, not a Desktop OS.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Correction

    4th most used; not 4th in popularity.

  36. Howard Hanek
    Coat

    All those unopened, shrink wrapped boxes gathering dust on Admin's storage closet shelves awaiting disposal years hence......

  37. Charles Manning

    Something to crow about...

    FOURTH, FOURTH,FOURTH, FOURTH,FOURTH, FOURTH,FOURTH, FOURTH,FOURTH, FOURTH,FOURTH, FOURTH,FOURTH, FOURTH,FOURTH, FOURTH,FOURTH, FOURTH,FOURTH, FOURTH,FOURTH, FOURTH,FOURTH, FOURTH,FOURTH, FOURTH,FOURTH, FOURTH,FOURTH, FOURTH,FOURTH, FOURTH,FOURTH.

    1. Bilby

      Re: Something to crow about...

      Nah, RPN is too much of a nuisance for FORTH to be worth crowing about. Frankly, I haven't used it at all myself since 1988.

  38. Al Black

    Windows XP

    There are at last count over 500,000 PC's worldwide still running XP. They will not all suddenly stop working when the OS goes out of support. For most people it will just mean that the Microsoft Support they have never used will no longer be available. As PC's are retired at end-of-life they will be replaced with Win 7 or 8 PC's: this is now cheaper than upgrading the OS on the old PC. So don't panic, just accept that this highly successful OS is on its way out.

    The differences between Win 8 and Win 8.1 are so trivial, they should be considered the same OS.

    The fact that over 10% of the world's PCs already use Win8x is a fairly good start, considering

    a) Corporates have just finished moving to Win 7 and have no driving need to upgrade, and

    b) Apple OS X is installed on 7.7% of desktops after a much longer release.

  39. GNoMe

    the better list

    I don;t why what happened when I copied the last list but this is the correct one

    Windows 7 47.49%

    Windows XP 29.23%

    Windows 8 6.63%

    Windows 8.1 3.95%

    Windows Vista 3.30%

    Mac OS X 10.9 3.20%

    Linux 1.60%

    Mac OS X 10.8 1.48%

    Mac OS X 10.6 1.44%

    Mac OS X 10.7 1.19%

    Mac OS X 10.5 0.29%

    Windows NT 0.07%

    Mac OS X 10.4 0.07%

    Windows 2000 0.03%

    Mac OS X (no version reported) 0.01%

    Windows 98 0.00%

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