Almost a year after Microsoft stopped supporting Windows 7, it is time to take stock. If the operating system has experienced a significant drop in the number of users, it is clear that Windows 7 is still very present on our machines. Around 100 million PCs would still be equipped with it worldwide.
Almost a year ago, Microsoft said goodbye to Windows 7. Since January 14, 2020, the operating system is no longer maintained by the Redmond giant. No more updates are officially carried out by Microsoft, except for companies that have subscribed to a maintenance program.
But Windows 7 continues to be used by a very large number of users. The ZDNet site did the math: based on figures from last year, which stated that Windows 7 was installed on 200 million worldwide, and based on the current percentage, we total around 100 million PCs with the old OS.
Windows 7 is used more than Windows 8 and 8.1
In December 2019, 75.8% of PCs running Windows were already running Windows 10. But they were still 18.9% to use Windows 7, and 4.6% to Windows 8 / 8.1. A year later, Windows 7 is still well established. Even if it has lost a significant number of users, they are still 8.5% to trust him in December 2020, compared to 3.4% for Windows 8 / 8.1. Windows 10 for its part has gained in followers, since they are now 87.8% using it on a daily basis.
It remains to be seen from now on the percentage of machines in companies and administrations, which “theoretically” benefit from support from Microsoft, compared to that of private PCs. But companies communicate with difficulty on the subject, judging that the use of Windows 7 returns an obsolete image of their computer park. In addition, although individuals cannot officially access the extended support, there are fixes that are sometimes released illegally, sometimes officially. This was particularly the case for a 0day flaw, for which the fix was released by the 0patch team before Microsoft released its own solution.
But why is Windows 7 still so present on our PCs? There can be many reasons for this. By lack of support from their manufacturer, some Windows 7 PCs are no longer compatible with the new versions of the OS (obsolete graphics card drivers may be the cause, for example). A lack of power may also be the cause of this retention of Windows 7. Another reason: force of habit and the rejection of Windows 10. Finally, some very specific applications in the business world can be a source of incompatibility with new versions of Windows. And in this case, there is little choice: either redevelop the applications concerned, then deploy them across the entire computer park. Which represents a certain cost. Either pay Microsoft support to continue to enjoy Windows 7, which is not given either, but can be justified depending on the number of machines involved.