Windows XP just won't die: Remains most used OS in April

Windows XP just won't die: Remains most used OS in April

Summary: Windows XP's market share is falling, while Windows 7 is slowly rising. But it may not be until 2013 where the latest operating system overtakes the decade-old software.

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Windows 7 is catching up, and Windows Vista is almost dead in the water, but Windows XP just seems to linger on.

Despite Microsoft setting a firm deadline for when it ceases to support for the aging operating system --- April 8, 2014 --- the majority of users refuse to upgrade the decade-old software, according to Net Applications.

The number of those using Windows XP is falling albeit slowly, while figures show an increasing number of Windows 7 users. But it may not be until late 2012 --- or more likely early 2013 --- until there is a crossover of the operating systems.

Analytics company StatCounter currently pegs Windows XP at 31.8 percent, and Windows 7 at 47.5 percent, but the two firms rely on different methods of totalling up their figures.

With Windows 8 set to divide the enterprise, and with patches, fixes, and updates for Windows XP set to expire in April 2014, it appears likely that businesses will eventually upgrade to Windows 7 rather than jumping straight in to Microsoft's upcoming release.

The latest Windows version is seen as the safe middle-ground between Windows Vista, which was heavily criticised for its poor performance and compatibility issues, and Windows 8, which its vast user interface differences may require extensive user retraining.

But for the developing regions, Microsoft could keep Windows XP in play for those running old PC technology. It remains a great operating system, and though the company moves to set it aside in favour of new revenue streams in future Windows upgrades, it could still offer a lease of life to those in the emerging markets.

Image, data credit: Net Applications.

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Topics: Operating Systems, Microsoft, Software, Windows

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101 comments
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  • Windows 8 Set to Divide the Enterprise

    That's a joke right? There will not be any noticeable enterprise adoption of Windows 8 for at least 18 months after release, and that's only if they don't just skip it altogether like most did with Vista.
    txscott
    • I'm amazed that more people dont see this...

      While am sure Microsoft would think its a wonderful thing if Windows 8 suddenly begins to take over the computing landscape, I have to believe they dont expect it???at least not exactly.

      I dont care how dumb you might THINK Microsoft is, they do have people working there who track Windows usage and are quite capable of disseminating the facts and statistics.

      The facts and statistics clearly tell them quite bluntly a couple of things that would be more than a clue to all, even the complete dumbest of corporate executives. That???s why I don???t care how dumb you may think MS is. What the statistics clearly say is that XP is still in broad use. That???s bluntly clear. What should also be bluntly clear is that its still in broad use because it still works pretty darn good and to replace it cost money.

      What should also be pretty clear is that Windows 7 has been pretty darn popular with the public and it works well, and just like XP, it would cost money to replace it. Logic should dictate to anyone that its not likely that Windows 8 will bump piles of Windows 7 operating systems off of too many computers for years to come, that???s what the facts about Windows XPs history shows us. If you think this has somehow escaped Microsofts attention, your going to have to explain how MS missed that important point but everyone else in the world suspects that will be the case.

      No way, no how, does Microsoft think that within a short period the world will start adopting Windows 8 in some broad way that will knock XP right out and start the beginning of the end for Windows 7. At least not on the desktop or laptop, non touch screen environment.

      Windows 8 was built primarily to start the world toward the more touch screen centric computing environment we seem to be moving to. For smartphones and tablets, its going to be the first real crack at a pretty much full function OS for portable touch screed devices, and for desktops and laptops its still going to be able to function just fine as well. Although Microsoft knows full well that it will not be called upon for that for quite a few years. Windows 7 has that covered for some time to come.

      Don???t care if you love or hate Microsoft, I think if you cannot at least concede that what they are doing here, or at least trying to do has more than a flash of forward thinking brilliance to it your not very IT analytical. What Microsoft is doing is simply creating he worlds first fully functional touch screen OS for the masses, ALL the masses, smartphone, tabs desktop, laptop, whatever. And they don???t care when you start using it. At least not a lot yet. Whenever your ready, they got you covered.
      Cayble
      • Agreed. Windows 8 is intended to be the start of where computing is heading

        Agreed. Windows 8 is intended to be the start of where computing is heading. Like Vista before it (there was absolutely no easy route to getting users off routinely using admin accounts by default), it'll be a rocky but necessary road.
        bradavon
      • Enterprise tablets/phones

        I doubt that MS has any chance on the consumer market for tablets and smartphones. Win MoBo was. essentialy, stillborn outside the cirtuit of IT company management despite the fact that it was there for half a decade before the iPhone. Now it can grab some of Rim's market share but that's it. They aim for enterprise mobile market (company tablet/smartphone).

        But they need to remember their own history. They overtook Unixes/Netware in the workplace exactly because theye were a sucess in consumer/SoHo computing market.
        bojan@...
  • It's too soon to determine Windows 8' impact on the enterprise

    Windows XP will continue to fall. Whether Windows 8 or Windows 7 will be the #1 Operating System in the world next year is too soon to tell.
    Your Non Advocate
    • Half a brain

      Anyone with half a brain will know that Window 7 will be the #1 operating system for several years forward. Even if Windows 8 is a much bigger success than is expected, there is too much money invested in the Windows 7 ecosystem. If it does not change at all the XP will continue to fall and Win 8 will have a gradual rise putting Win 7 in the lead.
      hayneiii@...
  • Windows XP just won't die: Remains most used OS in April

    Just shows how well Microsoft Windows really is. I know its hard to let go of a good OS but if these consumers and enterprises want to move into the future then they really should retire Window XP and start planning for a Windows 8 refresh.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • ...or not so different

      Just shows how well Microsoft is selling the same thing over and over again. People don't want to upgrade because they don't see the benefit, nor the ROI.
      Unfortunately in the proprietary world customers don't have a choice. Microsoft will eventually force them to buy again a new version.
      pweltz
      • How are they forcing people to upgrade?

        If that was their intent wouldn't Win7 be the top OS right now?

        Give it up already with the proprietary world garbage. People can download linux for free but they don't.
        otaddy
  • Device Drivers Are The Anchor For XP

    I can't count the number of printers, video cards, sound cards, mother boards and other pieces of hardware that have no device drivers for Windows 7.

    Linux == Yes
    Win XP == Yes
    Win 7 == NO!!

    It really pains me to have to replace perfectly good hardware because Microsoft changed the driver model. Add the cost of a Windows 7 license to the cost for new hardware and you've got a non-starter.

    I refuse to waste my money so foolishly.
    sismoc
    • I agree

      Linux has better driver support than windoze XP or 7.
      More reasons to switch!
      The Linux Geek
    • Whats a load of bull

      I have been installing Windows 7 on a variety systems since its release and its one of the major hallmarks of Windows since the introduction of Vista is the out of box class drivers. Windows 7 supports a variety of hardware, from sound cards, motherboards and other hardware, yes sometimes you need to update the generic drivers with better drivers, but saying there is no drivers is untrue. If you don't even have drivers for the device you are looking for, it is likely to be available through Windows Update.
      adacosta38
      • Yep, load of bull. Windows 7 in-built driver support is excellent.

        Yep, load of bull. Windows 7 in-built driver support is excellent.
        bradavon
    • blah, blah, blah, blah

      but yet nobody wants to download desktop linux...they just stay with XP.
      otaddy
    • What doesn't have drivers?

      What doesn't have drivers? I seem to be having no driver issues with any of my hardware.
      CobraA1
    • And who's responsible for that?

      "....because Microsoft changed the driver model."

      No, it's because the HW manufacturer refuses to continue support on their products. Five years is enough time to develop drivers.
      Lester Young
  • My users are mostly still on XP for one very good reason...

    ...MONEY...or the lack thereof.

    I am the Net Admin for a college in a large state university, and with the huge budget cuts we have endured in the past two years...there are no new computers coming our way anytime soon.
    IT_Fella
    • Very understandable

      However, just curious. What will your uni do when XP is EOL'd in 2014?
      Rabid Howler Monkey
      • " What will your uni do when XP is EOL'd in 2014?"

        Honestly...I have no idea. Just hoping that the budgets get somewhat restored, so new equipment can be purchased.

        But, if I can't get Win 7 boxes...and Win 8 for enterprise insists on using the Metro interface on the desktops...I'll probably kill myself!
        IT_Fella
      • why not try a free alternative?

        before killing yourself, perhaps try to boot a Ubuntu CD...
        pweltz