Why Users Aren’t Migrating From Windows 7

Windows 7 Persist Featured

We’ve discussed in the past about how important it is to upgrade to Windows 10. Microsoft has stopped supporting Windows 7, meaning it’s dangerous to continue using the operating system.

Despite this, people are still using Windows 7. While it’s nowhere as high as it was in its prime, and people are adopting Windows 10 more than 7, a considerable chunk of users are still holding on. So, even though the operating system is passed its use-by-date, why are people still using it?

How Many People Still Use Windows 7?

Fortunately, there is a way to see how many people use Windows 7 without having to ask everyone. Net Market Share gathers information from website data collection and compiles them into an easy-to-read chart.

If we take a peek at Net Market Share’s Operating System Usage Chart, you can see that Windows 10 has a dominant grip on Microsoft’s offerings. At the time of writing, it commands a 57.08% usage rate.

Windows 7 Persist Chart

Windows 7 is down, but not out. Even now, it has a 25.56% usage rate, which is a surprising statistic given that Windows 7 will celebrate its 11th birthday this year. The operating system meant to precede it, Windows 8.1, only has 3.38%.

Is it a problem with Windows 10’s price? Probably not — after all, Microsoft is still giving users ways to upgrade to 10 for free. So, if the price isn’t the main sticking point for Windows 7 users, what is?

Companies Need Time to Migrate

Windows 7 was a solid operating system — perhaps too solid for its own good. Back when Windows 7 was still the hot new operating system, businesses jumped at the chance to use it to power their systems. Windows 8 came along, but it didn’t wow over businesses enough. As such, they continued to build upon Windows 7’s foundation for their systems.

Now that Windows 7 isn’t being supported anymore, businesses need to jump to Windows 10. This isn’t as simple as going around to every PC and installing Windows 10. Instead, it’s sort of like taking apart a building brick by brick, then moving them all to a different location.

The British healthcare service, the NHS, uses Windows 7 on one-third of their computers. They have an extended support plan for their computers which lasts them until January 2021, but their migration to Windows 10 has been lagging behind their set goals.

Windows 10 Is Too Much For Some

Windows 7 Persist Users

There are also personal reasons why people haven’t made the jump. These are usually tied to ways that Windows 10 acts or presents itself, which differs negatively from Windows 7.

You can see a few good reasons on this Reddit thread asking for reasons why people stick to Windows 7. Windows 10’s aggressive update pushing is a major turn-off for some people, who prefer to install updates at their own pace. Given Windows 10’s track record of poor, buggy updates for Windows 10, who can blame them?

As such, Microsoft has their work set out for them if they want to win over these entrenched Windows 7 users. If not, these users may become more inclined to use Mac or Linux instead!

Keeping the Windows Open

Even though Windows 7 is coming up to its 11th birthday, people are still holding onto it. Regardless of if it’s due to business logistics or personal preference, there’s a lot keeping people from migrating to Windows 10.

Do you think sticking to Windows 7 is a bad idea? Or can it be pulled off safely if done properly? Let us know below.

Image Credit: The rig is complete and Windows 7 is being installed

Simon Batt Simon Batt

Simon Batt is a Computer Science graduate with a passion for cybersecurity.


  1. The other main reason *I* am not downgrading to Windows 10 is that you have absolutely NO privacy whatsoever. Telemetry is done via hardened IP addresses which operate at a sub-kernel level. You can’t even use a packet sniffer and see the communication that’s going on, much less see the processes responsible for sending out all your info to M$ servers. In fact, the whole way that it operates is almost exactly like rootkit activity. You may be lulled into thinking that some of the freeware programs out there that block telemetry that you can see have dealt with Microsoft’s spying on you, but they can’t touch this sub-kernel activity. I would not touch Windows 10 with a barge pole. Microsoft need to fire Satya Nadella and get somebody who respects their customers.

    1. “Microsoft need to fire Satya Nadella and get somebody who respects their customers”

      The problem with that suggestion is that it’s the company itself that doesn’t respect their customers, not any one person working there.

  2. “Why Users Aren’t Migrating From Windows 7”
    For the same reason many people are still driving 10. 20 year old cars – they still work and the absence of a lot of new-fangled, integrated features makes them much easier to work on and fix by the owner.

    By now, Win 7 owners have bullet-proofed their systems. With Win 10 they are back to square one, trying to find all the vulnerabilities and plug the holes. Whether accidentally or by design, Microsoft has moved the holes around so that the users have to start looking for them and plugging them up from scratch.

  3. I see no point in moving from a stable system that gives me total control of almost every function to the most buggy unfriendly over aggressive privacy breaking waste of time since win 98. If microsoft ever actually cared about its users they would not continuosly produce operating systems with built in flaws. If it works by all means break it. This in my opinion is Microsoft’s business model and allways has been. I personally am now looking towards the Linux systems. Its a shame that after 30+ years Microsoft has accomplished the most abusive operating system so far. They seem more interested in spying on their users than repairing their system. I have one machine running 10 and their is nothing to like. It eats resources like monkeys eat cocaine. It just won’t stop till it drops dead. Again their is just nothing to like. Sorry microsoft, your 8 series systems were a monitary nightmare, basicly money for nothing and 10 was not an improvement, but proved to be more backing for yet another buggy OS. Thanks for caring Microsoft, about nothing but your bottom line. To bad the bottom is all you care about. Just my opinion about we never fix anything Microsoft.

  4. “Microsoft has stopped supporting Windows 7, meaning it’s dangerous to continue using the operating system”

    Oh, for the love of … I wish people would stop repeating this lie. It is *NOT* “dangerous” to continue using Windows (XP/7/whatever) beyond the support cut-off date. As long as one has a good anti-virus (which everyone running Windows must have), has a good firewall between their computer and the Internet (which pretty much anyone using broadband does, as most routers have a firewall built-in) and doesn’t do stupid things like blindly opening attachments in an e-mail, then there is no problem with continuing to use Windows XP/7/whatever even though Microsoft has stopped providing upgrades/patches for it. And if one *doesn’t* have an anti-virus or *does* blindly open attachments in an e-mail, then it doesn’t matter *what* version of Windows they’re running, even Windows 10…because *no* existing version of Windows (and probably no version ever to come) will protect a person’s computer from the person using it.

    The only reason this statement (and the XP version of it) exist is because Microsoft is trying to bully people into “upgrading” to the newest version of Windows by spreading FUD, and publications like MTE (and many, many others) are buying into it. Please stop.

    “So, even though the operating system is passed its use-by-date, why are people still using it?”

    There are undoubtedly many reasons why people haven’t “upgraded” to Windows 10, but here are just a few possibilities:

    1. Businesses (in particular) and individuals have hardware they need to use but that isn’t supported in Windows 10. This is why many businesses continued using Windows XP for years after Microsoft terminated support for it…the businesses depended on using specific, irreplaceable hardware that Windows Vista no longer supported and that Microsoft was unwilling to spend time/money on creating drivers for, so the businesses *had* to continue using Windows XP.

    2. People don’t like spyware/malware on their computer…especially when it’s the OS that’s the spyware/malware.

    3. Most broadband providers (certainly Verizon and Comcast [xfinity??] in the US, and Telus, Shaw and Rogers [and presumably Bell, although I couldn’t find anything about it in their Terms Of Service] in Canada) prohibit the use of servers on their residential Internet services, with violation resulting in cancellation of *all* services subscribed to with the provider (and in one case, a permanent ban from ever again getting services from the provider). And since part of the malware in Windows 10 is the running of a torrent-like server to provide already-installed upgrades to other Windows 10 users, simply connecting a computer running Windows 10 to the Internet is a violation of those providers TOS’s…and people are unwilling to risk losing their TV/Internet/Phone services.

    4. A lot of ISP’s put data caps on their Internet service (Telus and Shaw do; I don’t know about any of the others listed in point 3), and providing Windows 10 upgrades to the world at large sucks up a lot of the cap, potentially leaving insufficient data to stream “Our Cartoon President” :-(

    “… Windows 7 will celebrate its 11th birthday this year. The operating system meant to precede it, Windows 8.1 …”

    ‘Precede’ means ‘come before’. I believe what you wanted is the word for ‘come after’, which is ‘succeed’ (in this case, with heavy emphasis on the ‘suc’).

    “If we take a peek at Net Market Share’s Operating System Usage Chart, you can see that Windows 10 has a dominant grip on Microsoft’s offerings. At the time of writing, it commands a 57.08% usage rate”

    Interesting. When I looked at the chart at 02:11 MST on 02/13/2020, things had changed somewhat…Windows 10 was still in the lead, but was now at only 48.29%, with Windows 7 still in second place but at 32.77% rather than the 25.56% when you looked. That puts Windows 10 ahead now by only 15.52%, rather than by the 31.52% when you looked…I wonder what caused such drastic changes. The shares for Windows 8.1 and XP were also both up, at 3.98% and 2.03% respectfully, versus 3.38% and 1.34% respectfully when you looked. Interestingly, macOS 10.14 has a higher share than Windows 8.1, at 4.83%, albeit a difference of only 0.85%. And poor Linux only has a 1.39% share, coming immediately after macOS 10.13 at 1.86% and immediately before macOS 10.15 (the current release) at 0.87% (all coming immediately after XP).

    “Windows 8 came along, but it didn’t wow over businesses enough”

    Heh…no kidding! It didn’t “wow over” *anybody* enough…since it was designed to be a tablet OS, it sucked when used on desktops and laptops, which is why most people avoided it.

  5. Scare tactics are not just confined to the USA. Here in the UK a major British (and International) bank insists that a Windows 7 ‘pop-up’ has to be read before proceeding to their banking web site. Basically it suggests that you are dicing with danger if you don’t move to Win 10. Here’s part of their ‘ persuasive text’ –

    ‘Whilst Windows 7 will still work on your devices, we strongly advise you not to use them for online banking or other sites that use sensitive information. This is because they’ll be more at risk to cyber criminals. ‘

  6. By the time Microsoft moved away from XP, the government Agency I work for was still using NT4.0 with modifications allowing for USB. As of this time, they are migrating to Windoz 7. I was already using Linux as my personal OS. I still use Fedora, but I still struggle with printer compatibility. I can usually connect one of the Shipboard HP Laser printers, and it will print OK, but my own ink jet printers don’t have the right drivers. Now I still have one Laptop with Windoz 7 and I have a newer Desktop with Windoz 10, but no wifi connector so I can’t complete the activation. I use the Windoz 7 laptop for printing at home. I bought a new virus checker, just so I could “safely” get on line? Supposedly, the Windoz 10 OS doesn’t need any virus checker?

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