back to article PEAK WINDOWS 7 may well be behind us

Windows 7's market share appears to have peaked, according to two sources we use to assess what's running on the world's desktop computers. Those sources are Netmarketshare and, two outfits that make their assessments of operating system prevalence based on traffic hitting web servers. That's an imperfect …

  1. Morrie Wyatt

    Or perhaps

    It could also be because microsoft are making it harder to purchase Windows 7.

    1. fishman

      Re: Or perhaps

      I bought a refurbished HP business laptop a few months ago in part due to its running Windows 7 instead of Windows 8.

      1. Mister_C

        Re: Or perhaps

        Similarly to Fishman, I bought a refurb SFF desktop box last week for less than half the price of an upgrade license. One piece of kit saved from landfill, another piece soon to be a doorstop.

  2. Scoular

    Win 7 still miles ahead

    Considering the length of time what Windows 8/8.1 has been available the fact that Windows 7 still has such dominance tells us how successful Windows 8 has really been.,

    Of course total sales of Windows 8.1 go on rising because most buyers of a new computer get no choice.

    It will be interesting to see the stats a few months after Windows 10 gets released. Most did not want Win8 at any price if they had a choice but many might take up the 'free' Win 10 offer if it looks good.

  3. Mark 85 Silver badge

    XP share rises?

    Possibly a simple explanation here... possibly not.

    First, the data is taken from web servers. Are these unique hits or aggregate hits.

    The other possibility or not is that Joe buys a new computer with Win 8. Says screw it after seeing what it does and dog's breakfast waiting for him on the screen. Take Win 8 PC back to store and puts his XP box back on his desk.

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: XP share rises?

      Judging from the results of Sept 2014 to Jan 2015 on that second chart, it looks like 8.1 convinced a lot of people (businesses?) to go back to XP or switch to 7.

      1. P. Lee

        Re: XP share rises?

        Or W7/8.x users had, umm, a significant holiday in that time period?

        Perhaps users of pirated XP just kept on working.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: XP share rises?

          >Perhaps users of XP just kept on working.

          Santa uses XP ?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: XP share rises?

        You can consider other theory. Assume that the winXP users are represented mostly by more senior 'workforce', or the ones who use mainly company comps with outofdate OS. Thanks to seniority they can start the Christmas vacation sooner, and if some of those needs to browse internet, they will use latest-shiny toy (with up to date OS) available within their reach.

        Once Christmas vacation is over, they start hitting their company PCs again, abandoning the shiny latest gadgets.

  4. Colin Miller

    amongst Windows?

    Is this only amongst the different versions of MS-Windows, rather than all possible desktop OSes?

  5. jjcoolaus

    Linux and Chrome OS could explain some of the difference...

    If Windows 7 share is dropping off a bit, those people could be moving to Linux, if they are individuals or businesses without specialist applications.

    Windows 8.1 buyers, who find the system difficult to use, may be getting advice from tech savvy relatives or friends to install linux in the form of ubuntu or mint. Those without help installing it, might have taken the PC back to the store and bought a chromebook.

    Chromebooks are great for individuals and they are great travel PCs too. They are cheap, light weight, have a long battery life and if you spend all your time online in the browser, they are a great alternative to Windows.

    I would like to see the same 2 agencies release numbers for Linux and Chrome OS on the same chart.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Linux and Chrome OS could explain some of the difference...

      It's the grey line at the bottom of the graph

      1. Avatar of They

        Re: Linux and Chrome OS could explain some of the difference...

        Really? No one uses Android?

    2. Medixstiff

      Re: Linux and Chrome OS could explain some of the difference...

      On the Netmarketshare site, there's no Linux grouping, only "other".

      Besides the various Windows versions, they list the rest as Other 3.61%, Mac OS X 10.9 1.82% and Mac OS X 10.10 3.45%, so I expect Linux is grouped under other along with ChromeOS.

    3. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Linux and Chrome OS could explain some of the difference...

      Any device that can do very little on its own and needs to be almost always tethered to its mothership is the *least* useful device while travelling. Unless travelling for you means "stay within a free wifi area (and don't care about uncrypted connections) or any area without mobile roaming charges".

      But today any smartphone while travelling will do what a Chromebook does in a much more compact form factor.

      Of course they could show Linux and Chrome OS on the same chart, they just need a logarithmic scaleto show those tiny data too....

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "If Windows 7 share is dropping off a bit, those people could be moving to Linux, if they are individuals or businesses without specialist applications."

    If a legacy Windows application doesn't need internet access to run then it won't show on these reports. Users will keep a legacy application PC (eg XP) off the internet as much as possible. It is then a moot point whether they will move their W7 browsing type activities to Linux until nearer the 2020 deadline.

    No doubt many of us are looking at redeveloping home-brew Windows applications for Linux. It will offer a major advantage by giving us a chance to fix application problems - whose causes are currently Microsoft bugs that can't be circumvented.

    An elderly acquaintance didn't want to give up his XP database, He was delighted to find he could preset the lan connection to "disabled" on that boot - while using only the W7 boot for internet activity.

    1. Jess

      XP offline W7 internet.

      That seems an odd choice. (Unless it was a Windows 7 pro machine with downgrade rights).

      XP offline and Mint for internet would seem a more logical arrangement.

    2. danny_0x98

      Increased XP usage, in number of users, does not make sense. Though, these are not counts of users, but a percentage of the users the surveyors saw in a month.

      But then, usage share reports that put the blinders on with regards to mobile operating systems are now missing at least half the picture and have a distorted representation of 100%.

      So there we go, it's not that there are more XP users, it's that they will be the last to have 100% of their activity be on the desktop. And, so what?

      I restate my question, what is the value of the picture? Microsoft with its product activation and telemetry has a much better view of its users' breakdown. Even they are in mid-transformation as to what their os business is about. The resistance to Win8 will be an irrelevant issue by late autumn.

      1. lorisarvendu

        XP still out there

        I went to Boots the Optician last week and they are still using XP. "Yes, it has Internet access" the assistant told me.

  7. Keef

    Still migrating to Win 7 at work.

    A few XP machines left to go, but Win 8 is banned for now.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hands up all thse here

    who have sites like Statcounter blocked?

    I know of some companies that block it at their firewalls.

    In that case, how accurate are these figures? Not very IMHO for the IT Geeks amongst us but then they'll all be using Linux won't they? :) :)

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      If they have it blocked now, it's likely that they had it blocked years ago as well.

      Therefor, the figures are still valid for trend analysis purposes.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Based on this data

    Considering the large jumps/drops in Windows 8.1 and XP, I don't think you can conclude that much smaller moves in Windows 7 mean that it has peaked. All I can conclude is that the data is not particularly reliable on a month to month basis.

  10. saif

    Could virtual PCs be a reason?

    As Windows XP is possibly a lightweight(ish) modern Windows that can be virtualised easily and runs most modern Windows Macs go on the rise, the only access to Windows applications will be through virtual Windows, and they will probably use XP rather than Win 7+. Having said that, if the stats are generally derived from web usage I guess few people will run a browser on a virtualised PC.

    1. jbuk1

      Re: Could virtual PCs be a reason?

      What's your logic behind that?

      People will choose to use an insecure and unsupported OS because it's being virtualized? What?

  11. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Netmarketshare also has Windows XP at 13.57 per cent, then 18.26 percent before a rise to 18.93 per cent, a step up for which your correspondent can't make a convincing argument.

    Well, the easiest answer is probably correct: it's shit data. A slightly more nuanced data would be that some of the sites where Netmarketshare is used are seeing visitors move from desktop to mobile. This will lead to a shift in market share in the desktop that cannot be explained by looking at those numbers alone. Incomplete data is, of course, shit data.

    As El Reg never controls the reports with its own data these articles only benefit is letting us commentards point out the elementary errors in them.

  12. qtcoder

    "The Year Of Modern Windows Desktop" is the new "The Year Of Linux Desktop".

  13. chivo243 Silver badge

    From my XPerience

    At home the XP box is blocked from the interwibbles. It is occasionally allowed to access the web for this and that, but is then off the web again.

    We have an xp box here on the worksite, and it only gets fired up when a report needs to be generated and sent using software that doesn't like Win7 or above.

    I'm sure the missus fired up her xp box to move some photos to another device, and stopped to surf the web for a moment.

  14. Spoonsinger

    Re: -PEAK WINDOWS 7 may well be behind us

    Umm maybe. Well until it's found out what the actual Windows X+ licensing will be when it's released. (i.e. it's all a bit foggy at the moment for the up and coming release in that respect)

  15. All names Taken

    Hmmm interesting!

    ... there was a Windows tablet in Sainsbury's and it was not too expensive, not too small and quite a bit quicker in screen moves, transitioning between apps and so forth (or is it exe's in WindowsLand?) than h'Android at similar prices, spec and so forth.

    Add a dash of HoloLens (is that what its called?) and MS seems to be (shaking the dead donkey back into life?) and looking almost interesting?

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