Windows by the numbers: It’s a topsy-turvy world, with Windows 10 down, 7 up

Migration watch: At a time when Windows 7's user share should be falling, and Windows 10 on the rise, Net Applications' data for April shows the opposite.

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Windows by the numbers: July 2017

"Stubborn" must be Windows 7's middle name.

The enterprise-standard operating system held onto its majority market share in July, according to analytics vendor Net Applications, again signaling that it will not go gentle into that good night of the retirement that looms in less than two and a half years.

Last month's Windows 7 user share -- an estimate of the percentage of the world's personal computers it powers -- was 48.9%, said Net Applications, but the operating system ran 53.5% of all Windows machines. (The second number is larger because Windows is on 91.5% of the world's PCs, not 100%.)

Windows 7's share has barely stirred in the last 15 months, even as other editions have shifted. Windows 8 and 8.1, for example, jettisoned 10 percentage points in the past year, ending July with a user share of 7.9%. Windows 10 gained more than 12 points in the same stretch, almost a full point in July, reaching a 27.6% share of all personal computers -- and a 30.2% share of Windows PCs.

As Windows 7 continued to hang onto more than half the world's Windows-equipped personal computers, it also continued to lag behind the pace of decline of Windows XP at the same mark before its April 2014 retirement. With 29 months left to go, XP accounted for 53% of all Windows PCs, or a slightly lower percentage than Windows 7 in July.

While analysts have argued that businesses will migrate from Windows 7 to Windows 10 more expeditiously than they did from Windows XP to Windows 7 three to six years ago, there's no hint of that in Net Applications' data.

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Other sources put Windows 7 in the same predicament. Irish metrics company StatCounter said that Windows 7 powered 45.7% of all Windows personal computers last month; Windows XP had accounted for 41.9% of all Windows at the same point in its pre-retirement timeline.

Meanwhile, Microsoft's replacement, Windows 10, added eight-tenths of a percentage point to its share in July, running 27.6% of all PCs, and 30.2% of all Windows desktops and laptops. By Computerworld's calculation -- using the 12-month trends as shown by Net Applications -- Windows 10 will be on a third of all Windows PCs by January.

Net Applications and StatCounter estimate share by sniffing the browser agent strings of those who visit its clients' websites, then tallying the various operating systems listed in those strings.

stubbon windows 7 IDG/Data: Net Applications

Windows 7 has just 29 more months of remaining support, but it still commands a majority of the Windows installed base.

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