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Windows 7: Windows 10 versus Windows 7: Whose numbers do you trust?

25 Jan 2017   #1

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
Windows 10 versus Windows 7: Whose numbers do you trust?

Are users really in love with Windows 7? Or are they clinging to old habits as Windows 10 rolls out? Three popular data sources offer very different answers. Regardless of which one you choose, take that data with a heaping helping of salt.

Long-term shifts in the installed base for Windows PCs are nothing new. For decades, businesses have been dealing with the logistics and the costs of migrating from one Windows version to another.
As my colleague Steve Ranger noted earlier this week, the shift to Windows 10 is following that familiar pattern, with the current corporate standard OS, Windows 7, hanging on tenaciously.

I've been following the same transition, and my view of how it's playing out differs a bit from Steve's. Part of the difference of opinion is just a matter of interpretation, of course, but a larger part comes from the data itself.
His analysis was based on numbers from Net Applications (aka NetMarketShare). I find that data source extremely problematic.

I first wrote about the problems with this data three years ago (see Net Market Share vs. StatCounter: Whose online measurements can you trust?). A fresh look at current data reveals that those problems still exist.

For this post, I've assembled the latest usage figures from NetMarketShare and from two other highly regarded sources that release similar data. The first is StatCounter Global Stats. The second is the US government's Digital Analytics program, which I've written about previously (November 2015, February 2016, and June 2016).

The following series of tables offer a summary of Windows usage worldwide over the second half of 2016. (Note that for the sake of apples-to-apples comparisons, I have normalized the StatCounter numbers so that they represent the same population of Windows PCs as the other two data sources.)

Three data sources, three very different views of the Windows installed base.

A few obvious conclusions leap off the chart.

First, Windows 7 and Windows 10 completely dominate PC usage, accounting collectively for 72.7 percent to 88.9 percent of visits from the installed base. That's a pretty wide range, though, which I'll get into in a moment.
Second, about half of the installed base continues to use Windows 7, with all three data sources pegging the number within a couple points of 50 percent.

Windows 8.x usage is steadily shrinking, and all three sources agree that only the most determined of dead-enders (roughly 1 percent) still use Windows Vista, whose end-of-support date is less than 90 days away.

Finally, Windows 10 usage has increased since the one-year free upgrade offer ended in July 2016. Converted to an annualized rate, Windows 10 usage grew by somewhere between 8 percent and 12.5 percent per year. Again, that's a pretty big spread.

Where the three sources diverge most dramatically is in their measurement of how many people are still using Windows XP, which has been unsupported for nearly three years. NetMarket Share says a staggering 9.1 percent of its visitors use XP, while DAP shows XP usage down near Vista levels, under 2 percent.

So, who do you believe? Start by looking carefully at where the data comes from...

Read more: Windows 10 versus Windows 7: Whose numbers do you trust? | ZDNet

My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2017   #2

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM18.3 MATE, W10 Home, #All 64 bit

Popularity "bottom line":
W7 > W10 > XP & W8 series > Others
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2017   #3
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64

I think a better way to measure things would be how many W-10 were sold.
The problem with that is only Microsoft could give that exact number and they would lie to make W-10 look better than it really is.

In the business world, one of the first measuring sticks is sales.
Another measuring stick would be the profits the sales made.
Again another measuring stick would be the loss of profit with all the give away products and or services.

Giving a lot of candy away does not indicate how good your candy is.
Sales of candy is a good indication of how the public likes or dislikes your candy.

To me the rest of the charts and graphs mean very little.

Why would a advertiser care what hardware, programs or operating system was used to visit their site?
All they care about is how many visited the site or advertisement got.
Why would a government agency care what was use to get to their site?

I think the last question would be why should one believe the charts and graphs gathered by those who could care less what operating system one uses to visit their site or advertisement.

Just my opinion.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 Jan 2017   #4

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit

I trust my numbers
3 win-7's another unused so far.
1-8.1 just installed to get rid of 10
1-10 used it last weekend for one day after letting it sit for 6 months unused where it will most like go again
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2017   #5

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

Most people buy OEM desktops or laptops/notepads for personal use. They come with Windows 10 whether you like it or not and so Windows 10 use will grow. The corporate market IMO are slower to change (for good reason) and will probably have more muscle to hang on to Windows 7 for longer even beyond its official EOL.

I know quite a number of us here build our own PCs but we are in the minority.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2017   #6

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate and numerous virtual machines

Trouble with Microsoft and their OS figures is if you buy a Pro Version you can downgrade to any supported OS. Companies are still rolling out machines with their corporate OS image of 7 on the machine even though the machine came and counts as a windows 10 sale. Windows 10 is not something I am prepared to use. Just installed a fresh copy of Ultimate 64 with all the patches downloaded in no time at all thanks to the end of the must install 10 at all costs deal. Hoping M$ will come up with something for users like us 7 diehards. Hell I would pay a subscription to keep my 7 on my machines. I have 13 of them and numerous VM so it would have to be cheap and per household. So why not develop Windows Classic based on 7 with a few updates and once it is end of life offer subs to those who want to keep the status quo. I have a feeling this will be a bigger mess than XP ending and so many do not want to go down the crazy 10 spyware route.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2017   #7

Windows 10 Pro x64

Have we taken into account the abysmal ignorance of the average computer user when it come to security?
Another issue appears to me as influencing user's decision: Not all have the financial means to upgrade their systems so as to support the latest Windows versions (my country of origin is Greece, so I know ...)

I work in an IT company, and yes, I perform a lot of W10 installations and upgrades, to systems that have not yet reached an end user, so OEMs push W10 and eventually their user base will grow one way or another.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2017   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit

I still use windows 7 and XP until they will start no more. I think the unending upgrade of windows products will really divide all the users. I think xp/7 is a rock solid operating system and windows 10 needs a bit of maturity to gain a large audience.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2017   #9
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit

Figures for Win 10 adoption are skewed somewhat because of the number of "upgrades" people were tricked into making. I know a lot of people who wound up getting Win 10 because they didn't know any better.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2017   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I've switched to Windows 10 for a while and so far so good. There's nothing to complain about. Compared to Windows 7, it has more useful and interesting features.

However, if your hardware is low, then probably shouldn't upgrade to Windows 10.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Windows 10 versus Windows 7: Whose numbers do you trust?

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