In context: Windows 10 is a popular operating system, but it seems Windows 7 is still going strong, too. Although official support for the latter OS ended today, Windows 7 still has hundreds of millions of loyal users, and no amount of prodding, persuasion, or fearmongering from Microsoft has convinced them to upgrade.
And, if we had to guess, that probably won’t change anytime soon. There are countless reasons for Windows 7’s ongoing popularity, but to name a few, it’s more straightforward, it lacks many of the privacy-invading telemetry features of Windows 10, and — perhaps most importantly — people are used to it.
If you use your Windows 7 PC for basic tasks like work, browsing the web, or even a bit of light gaming (for older titles, anyway), there’s been very little incentive for you to swap to Windows 10 so far. Windows 7 is familiar, and it gets the job done, which is all some people look for in a desktop OS.
Upgrading would require those individuals to abandon everything they know and learn an entirely new OS, which is easier said than done for less tech-savvy users.
With all of that said, let’s get into some actual numbers. Multiple outlets have dug deeper into the Windows ecosystem this year to find out just how many people are still using Windows 7, and their results vary. Computer World estimates that 29.7 percent of Windows machines — 446 million, to be specific — will still be running 7 come January 31.
That’s a massive number, and you might understandably be a bit skeptical of it. If so, perhaps ZDNet’s estimate will be more to your liking: the outlet believes that there were “roughly” 200 million machines running Windows 7 as of last week, which is still quite significant.
We don’t know which number is closer to the truth, but neither one would be particularly surprising. For the reasons we stated previously and more, such as Windows 10’s spotty history with update stability, Windows 7 has plenty of stubborn holdouts.
We’ll be interested to see how many of those holdouts finally cave over the coming months, as their risk of being targeted by malicious actors rises (due to the lack of ongoing security updates). If you feel like becoming a Windows 10 convert, you can still do so for free.