100M Users Still Using Windows 7

John Lister's picture

As many as 100 million PCs could still be running Windows 7 according to a newly-published estimate. That's despite Microsoft withdrawing support for the 11-year old system last year.

The estimate comes from Ed Bott of ZDNet and is based on data published at analytics.usa.gov. That brings together site visitor data from most US government agencies. It means the figures will primarily represent visitors from the United States. (Source: zdnet.com)

Bott notes that across the agencies, 8.5 per cent of visitors in the past 90 days were running Windows 7 and 3.4 percent running Windows 8 or 8.1. That compares with 18.9 percent and 4.6 percent respectively for the same period last year.

Worldwide Share Higher

While there's no way to be certain how many Windows PCs exist in the world, Bott estimates that these percentages worldwide would likely mean the number of machines on Windows 7 has dropped from around 200 million last year to 100 million now.

It's possible for the raw number of Windows 7 machines to stay the same while the market share drops, simply because virtually every new Windows PC bought this year will be on Windows 10.

Other estimates from analytics firms show a drop during 2020, but not as big. NetMarketShare puts Windows 7 as falling from 31.2 percent to 21.7 percent this year, while StatCounter has the drop as being from around 27 percent to 17.7 percent.

The difference may well be that these companies sample websites from around the world. It could be that in developing markets in particular, people may have been less likely to upgrade or buy a new computer compared with US users.

Security Concerns

It's not just a case of the figures suggesting Microsoft could be doing a better job of promoting Windows 10 upgrades (or the system's ongoing update glitches putting people off). With Windows 7 Extended Support now over, it also means a significant target for malware creators to discover and exploit bugs in Windows 7. (Source: express.co.uk)

Related: Windows 7 No Longer Safe to Use in 2020 - Here's Why

It could also mean that any particularly serious vulnerability discovered in Windows 7 puts Microsoft in the awkward position of choosing between undermining its support deadline by issuing an emergency patch or sticking to its guns and risking tens of millions of machines being infected.

What's Your Opinion?

Are you still using Windows 7? What can Microsoft do to get the remaining users to upgrade? Should it stick to support deadlines or maintain security updates for as long as a certain number of people still run a system?

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Comments

Navy vet's picture

In the current oppressive climate, it would not surprise me if MS sent an "upgrade" to Windows 7 machines that completely disables the OS.

amjad.kayyal's picture

I just upgraded a friend of mine's computer yesterday from Win7 to 10. Although the free upgrade period is long over in theory, in practice it's still available for free, at least for now.

oadbyPC's picture

I have self-published a book for techies which may be useful to those orgs which still have Win7 PCs. I've priced it as cheap as Amazon would allow so it's "disposable" if you don't like it i.e. it's cheaper than, some, newspapers. If this isn't allowed, please delete my post:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08PX7K1VP?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860 and
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08PX7K1VP?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860

buzzallnight's picture

Are you still using Windows 7? Yes 5 computers.

What can Microsoft do to get the remaining users to upgrade? NOTHING!

M$% is no longer trustworthy after deliberately blocking IE 11 on their websites
and I would not take any more patches from them.

M$ needs to start working on Win 12
or disappear from the market place completely.

Draq's picture

IE isn't even being developed anymore, so I'm not sure why they would be expected to support it on their sites. That said, I kind of wish they would have just continued developing it instead of scrapping it for that horrible legacy Edge, then moving to Chromium. I like Chrome, but it just feels like Microsoft abandoned any sense of creating their own code for their browser.

Pattyducker's picture

Win 10 just isn't usable for me. Drops things I use, adds things I don't. Assumes I have high speed internet when my laptop is usually air gapped and most often tethered to my phone. 3 gig updates without my permission, and half of them brick the machine if news is to be believed. Tried it in a virtual machine,haven't seen such a garish UI since the dialup era. Bottom line, they'll have to pry Windows 7 from my cold dead fingers until the hardware dies, at which point I will see if WINE can run the programs I need.

buzzallnight's picture

We don't want them to support IE 11
it already works
we just don't want them to deliberately block it
which is what they did.

IE 11 has a better user interface than Chrome!!!!!!!!!
Chrome has dumb fly out menus which block the screen....
sometimes several layers of dumb fly out menus that block each other
who designed this trash??????????

I agree that M$ should have just continued developing IE
instead of scrapping it for that horrible legacy Edge,
then moving to Chromium which SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!

But then they scrapped DOS for linix which is their competitor
so M$ seems to be suicidal....
linix is better than win 10
so why would you bother with M$'s stick?

But hey let's just redesign everything
so everybody has to learn a new user interface
on some crappy software that has more bugs in it
than all previous versions of windows combined....

and then lets send out a bunch of crappy patches
trying to fix our crappy software for 5 years so far
and
IT STILL DOESN'T RUN AS WELL AS WIN 7!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Draq's picture

Yeah. I have to agree about the interface. I was resisting moving away from IE for a long time because it just worked. Then more and more sites started to not work as well with it. In the end I chose Chrome, but I still use iE for RSS feeds. Why these so-called "modern" browsers don't have native RSS feed support I have no idea.