Windows 10 wins big as looming support deadline sees Windows 7 users abandon ship

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Windows 10 made big gains while Windows 7 experienced a large drop in users last month, as it appears that folks are finally starting to take the impending end of support deadline for the latter OS seriously.

This is according to figures from Net Applications for July, which found Windows 10 increased its share by 3.1% to stand at 48.9% in the overall desktop market (meaning not just Windows installations, but macOS, Linux and Chrome OS too).

The analytics firm reported that Windows 7 dropped 3.6% – down to 31.8% – and it’s a fairly reasonable assumption to make that the majority of this shift consisted of folks upgrading to Windows 10.

Particularly when you consider that Windows 7’s lifespan is rapidly dwindling, with support for the OS officially ending on January 14, 2020 (only five months away).

Indeed, Microsoft has already started actively warning Windows 7 users that their time is running out, so it appears that people are finally listening, and making the move away from the venerable operating system.

Telling decline

What’s also very telling is that Windows 7’s decline of 3.6% in July is the second largest drop that Net Applications has ever observed, and equally, the boost for Windows 10 is the second largest increase – seemingly underlining the shift that is going on here.

All of which is good news for the overall security picture of Windows PCs, because as of mid-January 2020, Windows 7 will be open to all manner of exploits going forward, seeing as any vulnerabilities that pop up in the OS won’t be patched.

That didn’t stop folks sticking with Windows XP long past its sell-by-date, mind you, and we’re likely to witness the same scenario with a good number of hardcore holdouts staying on Windows 7 as we move further into 2020 and beyond.

What’ll be interesting to see is if Microsoft will step in to save Windows 7 users from a major malware attack post-support deadline, as it did with Windows XP and WannaCry (and indeed further spins on that particularly nasty ransomware). Or if this time around, the software giant will stick to its guns, and say that no patches really means no patches.

Via Computerworld

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).