February Check-in: What Does a Bump in Windows XP Usage Mean?

February Check-in: What Does a Bump in Windows XP Usage Mean?

During our last check-in at the beginning of January 2014, Windows XP usage had dwindled a bit. October 2013 to January 2014 saw a decrease from 31% to 29%. Though that's not a significant, the numbers were headed in the right direction.

Since support for Windows XP ends on April 8, 2014, one would hope that the numbers this month would show an even steadier decline. However, when you look at the numbers, it seems to indicate a slight increase. This could, potentially, be attributed to the number of Windows XP computers being booted for the first time in a long time, just so users can get an idea of what it might take to upgrade to Windows 7 or Windows 8. But, I hope it's not because Windows XP is being installed anew. Let's hope, and is probably the case, that those computers are online just long enough to upgrade.

Whatever the case, it's not good. On April 8, 2014, Microsoft ends support for the 13 year old operating system. Running Windows XP now is like driving a car from the Flintstones in the age of the Jetsons. Sure, it can be done, but why would anyone really want to do it? There are a myriad of reasons, excuses actually, that are causing people to hold on tightly to the decrepit OS. The majority of excuses like app compatibility, reluctance to use a new OS, and others, can all be solved. We've covered many of those options here on Windows IT Pro.

Still, the numbers don't lie. An almost 1-point surge is nothing to ignore. 

For the first time, though, Windows 8.1 has overtaken Windows Vista. Windows 8 usage has dropped seemingly due to an increase in users finally updating to Windows 8.1, and this is possibly due to those lazy users who waited until the Windows 8 preview started barking warnings about not working before updating. Many have surmised, recently, that Windows 8 is the new Windows Vista. Microsoft's Windows Vista was the last OS that realized a loss of Windows market share, sporting hardware and driver compatibility issues and new, obtrusive security features. It seems Microsoft gets things right every other release. Customer acceptance skips a generation. So, those that say Windows 8 is Vista may be right – at least according to the numbers.

Another alarming piece of the picture is that Windows 7 adoption actually stalled. Those that know, realize that most companies migrating away from Windows XP are moving to Windows 7 instead of Windows 8. So, if Windows 7 adoption is stalled and Windows XP adoption rose a bit, does that mean customers are choosing something else?

Stats Source: NetMarketShare

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