At least 100 million Windows 7 PCs still online

Almost a year after Microsoft stopped providing free support, Windows 7 is still running on around 18 percent of all Windows computers.

On January 14, 2020, extended mainstream support for Windows 7 ended, more than ten years after the release of this operating system. This means that there are no longer any security or feature updates for private users. Nevertheless, almost a year later, it is still very popular, as a look at the Statcounter evaluation shows.

According to this, almost 76 percent of the Windows computers counted run Windows 10, but Windows 7 is in second place with around 18 percent. This is somewhat surprising, especially since Microsoft is still offering the upgrade to Windows 10 free of charge, although the company no longer advertises it publicly. On the other hand, the latest Windows edition has a bad reputation among some users, for example because it collects data in the background and strongly urges you to create a Microsoft account.

Windows 8 and 8.1 together come to around 5, according to Statcounter percent, while Windows XP only runs on 0.8 percent of the devices recorded. Windows Vista is even rarer with 0.4 percent.

The United States Government Digital Analytics Program, which evaluates visits to US websites, offers a different perspective on these figures. One of the possible filters is the Windows version used. According to this, 18.9 percent of surfers used Windows 7 and 75.8 percent Windows 10. Based on Microsoft’s statement that around 1.5 billion users use Windows, this means that at least 100 million of them still use Windows 7.

According to the evaluation of the Steam gaming platform, the distribution is a little different: While almost 96 percent of users play on Windows, Windows 10 comes to one User share of 88.6 percent. Windows 7 accounts for only 5.4 percent. This is probably due to the fact that Microsoft initially only released DirectX 12 for Windows 10. DirectX 12 for Windows 7 followed in March 2019.

According to Steam, the share of the other Windows versions together is not even 1.7 percent – more than Linux (0.9 percent), but only about half as much as macOS (3.37 percent).

Not dead in the company yet

While in the private sphere it mainly depends on personal preferences whether to switch to Windows 10, the situation is different in corporate use. Some companies, authorities or universities are forced to continue using an old Windows version due to compatibility requirements.

For these cases, Microsoft offers the so-called Extended Security Updates (ESU) for Windows 7 until 2023. This can get quite expensive, however, as ESUs are priced per Windows machine and prices are doubling every year. From January 2021, Microsoft will charge $50 for a system with Windows 7 Enterprise; Windows 7 Pro costs $100 per year support fee. The constantly rising costs are likely to ensure that more major customers say goodbye to Windows 7.

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