Windows didn't die yet (Jan. 2021)

win7 [German]On January 14, 2020, one year ago, support with security updates for Windows 7 expired for most users. But millions of systems continue to run this operating system version and are connected to the Internet. Microsoft provides security updates till January 2023 for some users. Here's a quick look at that issue.


Windows version share on the desktop

If you look at the version shar of Windows on the desktop, Windows 7 is still doing well. The page provides the following figures for December 2020:

Windows version share desktop 12.2020
Windows version share desktop 12.2020, Source:

The StatCounter analysis from the screenshot above shows that 18.03% of Windows desktop systems worldwide that are connected to the Internet are still running Windows 7. That means that just under one in five desktops is running this version of Windows. Broken down to Europe, however, the proportion of Windows 7 systems drops to 12.5%. Writing colleagues wrote during the last days, that some private users are 'refuse to a more advanced Windows 10'. But in companies, this old Windows 7 operating system would still be used for compatibility reasons.

At netmarketshare, a 19.71% share is given for Windows 7, whereby the provider points out that the data can only be recorded inaccurately due to browser changes. 

100 or 300 million Windows 7 systems?

For me, the value of 18.03% Windows 7 systems is an exciting number. If you take Microsoft's figure of 1.5 billion Windows systems as a basis, you get 300 million Windows 7 systems. In the last few days, some articles popped up that 100 million Windows 7 systems are still active. The information is based on an article by Ed Bott at ZDNet. There it is argued that the 1.5 billion Windows systems are a pious wish of Microsoft. The number of Windows systems is significantly lower. It is stated there that one can assume at least 100 million Windows 7 systems. .

Users that refuses Windows 10 …

In various articles of the last few days, people complain that private users with Windows 7 are simply 'Windows 10 refusers', who would reject the free, 'modern' Windows 10. Only some companies would still use Windows 7 for compatibility reasons. Stupid journalist bullshit bingo!


The fact is: Windows 10 in its form is simply a disaster, a playground of Microsoft developers and MS marketing, which can only be used halfway and GDPR-compliant with enormous effort (Enterprise Edition, management of updates, configuration of telemetry via complex group policies). While systems with Windows 7 simply do what many users need, the question for me is: 'What has Microsoft now provided after 5 1/2 years of fiddling with the permanent construction site Windows 10 that I can't get past this operating system?'

So far, I haven't come up with an answer. On the other end, I still remember that in 2014 it was said 'Windows 10 runs on all Windows 7 systems'. I have some computers here that run quite passably with Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 – but Windows 10 is a disaster on that maschines, both in terms of functionality (90% of the clutter I don't need) and performance. But such things have not been questioned by the journalists for years. Rather, the writers guild uncritically jumps over every little stick that Microsoft marketing holds out in the manner of 'we are now making a Windows Lite as ChromeOS competition'.

The most strange thing I've heard in the last 4 weeks was a Facebook reaction to my German article about Google acquires Neverware, whose CloudReady allows Chrome OS to be installed on old Windows PCs. A guy told me, that the old boxes (e.g. in schools) could also be upgraded to Windows 10. He was serious and work for a 3rd party vendor as a Microsoft consultant.

From this point of view, I continue to run my production systems with Windows 7 and an ESU license or 0patch-Pro, so they are secure. I don't say 'I never won't use Windows 10', because I'm probably forced to use that OS for some Tax software etc., that can't run on Linux. But one thing is also crystal clear: In the many years since Windows has been around, I have never used a Windows version productively just because it was 'modern and the latest'. Rather, the only criterion was: Windows version xyz has convinced me – and does what I need. That was last the case with Windows 7. Or to put it another way: after Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, Microsoft has once again pretty much screwed up with Windows 10, not just for me, but for a lot of other people.

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