Articles about Windows 7

Want a second opinion on how badly Windows 8.x is doing?

second opinion

This year’s Build developer conference is set to get underway shortly, and Microsoft will, among other things, be introducing a major update for Windows 8.1 designed to make it more appealing to keyboard and mouse users.

Yesterday I reported on NetMarketShare’s breakdown of desktop operating system market share in March, which showed XP losing some ground, Windows 7 growing nicely, and Windows 8.x creeping upwards still, but very slowly. Today StatCounter releases its figures, and while the percentages are different, the overall picture remains just as gloomy for Microsoft’s tiled operating system.

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Where are XP users moving to? Windows 7

Bucolic Green Hills

In a week Windows XP will reach its end of life. Microsoft has done its best to tell people they need to switch operating systems or face the consequences, but if the latest desktop OS share trend from NetMarketShare is anything to go by, Windows XP users really don’t seem too worried. In March, XP’s share dropped just 1.84 percent, from 29.53 percent to 27.69 percent. Hardly the signs of a mass exodus, although at least the share fell this month, unlike the previous two, when XP usage actually went up.

Microsoft has, naturally enough, pushed XP users towards upgrading to Windows 8.x, or "new Windows" as the tech giant likes to refer to it, but Windows 7, or "old Windows" proved yet again to be far the bigger draw.

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For the second month in a row, Windows XP shows stronger growth than Windows 8.x

New Windows shrug

It's a new month and so once again NetMarketShare reports desktop share for all of the major operating systems. What's interesting this month is all versions of Windows showed fairly minor changes. Whether dropping or gaining, the differences in share were minimal.

However, one inescapable truth is clear from the figures. While Windows 8.x might finally have shifted 200 million licenses, use of the OS has pretty much plateaued. In February, Windows 8's share declined from 6.62 percent to 6.38 percent, a drop of -0.24. Windows 8.1 increased shared from 3.94 percent to 4.30 percent, rising by 0.36. Combined, Windows 8.1 grew by just 0.12 percent.

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Windows 8.x STILL seriously underperforming compared to Windows 7

snail graph

Windows XP gained a little market share in January -- making for a nice, fun headline -- but the real point of that story is how poorly Windows 8.x appears to be doing. Despite being backed by an incredible advertising and marketing push its adoption rate really is pretty awful.

Two months ago Statista compared the global market share of both Windows 7 and Windows 8.x following their respective launches, plotting the results on a graph, and as I said at the time the difference was stark. Windows 7 showed a steep upwards trend, while Windows 8.x appeared to be heading for a plateau. Statista has since updated its chart, and the difference in fortunes between the two operating systems is now even more pronounced.

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Windows XP showing much stronger growth than Windows 8.x -- Yes XP!

windows_xp

I have to admit I look forward to seeing NetMarketShare’s monthly breakdown of desktop OS market share. The figures always provide a great talking point. You can pretty much guarantee that Windows 8’s share will decline, Windows 8.1’s share will increase, and combined the tiled OS’s growth will be outpaced by one of the older versions of Windows.

Usually it’s Windows 7 that’s showing the top growth. Sometimes besting Windows 8.x by a tiny amount, other times absolutely trouncing its newer sibling. But this time around, there’s a brand new leader in the growth stakes, and it’s a 13 year old OS that’s set to reach its end of life in April.

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Quiet Patch Tuesday for January with only four Important bulletins

windows update

January's Patch Tuesday has seen only four bulletins, with no Critical ones (hooray!) and no patches for Internet Explorer. However, the four bulletins are rated Important and users should apply the related patches as soon as possible.

According to security specialist Trustwave two of the vulnerabilities result in a privilege elevation and a third involves remote code execution utilizing an Office document.

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Windows 8.x claims 10% market share, but Windows 7’s massive gain is the real story

giant

Great news for fans of Windows 8 and 8.1, Microsoft’s divisive operating system has finally claimed 10 percent of the desktop market. According to NetMarketShare, which monitors such things, in December Windows 8 lost 0.01 percent share, but Windows 8.1 grew by 0.86 percent. Windows 8 now has 6.65 percent of the market and Windows 8.1 is sitting on 3.5 percent, bringing the OS’s combined share to 10.15 percent. Great job Windows 8.x.

However, as seems to regularly be the case, the new operating system’s gain was dwarfed by that of its elder sibling. Windows 7 put on a growth spurt that’s nothing short of stunning.

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The stats don't lie: Windows 8.1 seriously underperforming compared to Windows 7

snail graph

Following Windows market share on NetApplications, as I do every month, it’s clear to me that Windows 8.x isn’t the hit Microsoft hoped for. There are several reasons for this, all of which I’ve discussed previously -- dwindling PC sales, users dislike of touch and the Modern UI, and so on.

Last month Windows 7’s growth outpaced that of Windows 8.x by four fold, and it’s not the first time the older OS has proven the more popular choice either. It’s becoming something of a regular occurrence. Adoption of the tiled OS is slow, very slow. Especially compared with the strong pick up Windows 7 enjoyed from the start.

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Windows 7's growth dwarfs that of Windows 8 and 8.1 combined

big and small

November was not a good month for Microsoft’s tiled operating system. While Windows 8.1’s market share grew, Windows 8’s share dropped (to be expected as users upgrade). But the real kicker for Microsoft was Windows 7’s growth which saw the older OS easily besting Windows 8.x’s gains.

I really like Windows 8.1 and when people ask me if they should upgrade to the new operating system I say yes, and reel off a list of reasons. But I feel deep down like I’m championing a presidential candidate who no one is ever going to vote for.

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Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7, grab your copy now!

Internet Explorer 11 Pinning

Microsoft shows no signs of slowing down. After unveiling a major update to Office Web Apps, today the software giant releases the stable version of Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7. The latest iteration of the popular browser debuted alongside Windows 8.1 in mid-October and like its predecessor it forgoes supporting older versions of the operating system.

And because Windows 8.1 is being offered as a free upgrade to Windows 8 users, and Microsoft expects everyone to take this step, Internet Explorer 11 is not officially available for the latter OS either. It is a Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 affair only, which speaks volumes of Microsoft's ongoing efforts to drastically reduce Windows XP's market share and push the two Internet Explorer 11-supported operating systems to the forefront.

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Stop! Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 11 Blocker Toolkit

ie11

So… you don’t want Internet Explorer 11 in Windows 7, eh? What are you going to do? Block it! Ahead of the release of the completed version of IE11, Microsoft is giving Windows 7 users the chance to avoid automatically updating. The Internet Explorer 11 Blocker Toolkit can be used to prevent the web browser from being pushed as an "important" update when it is released.

IE11 comes as an integral part of Windows 8.1 (Windows 8 users can currently only get it by upgrading) and a Release Preview of the browser was made available for Windows 7 three weeks ago. There's no official word on when the finished version of IE11 for Windows 7 will see the light of day, but it's likely to be fairly soon.

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Windows 7’s growth currently outpacing that of Windows 8

Windows runners

There’s not long to go now until Microsoft unleashes Windows 8.1 upon the world. In my view the operating system refresh is Windows 8 done properly, but whether it does enough to win over the masses remains to be seen.

Certainly Microsoft will be hoping for a change in fortunes because the tiled operating system's market share is currently pretty poor -- at least when you factor in how much of a push the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant has put behind it.

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Internet Explorer 11 Release Preview now available for Windows 7

ie logo

Internet Explorer 11 is a big improvement over previous versions of Microsoft’s browser, but it’s only available on Windows 8.1. Or rather that was the case. Following on from the early Developer Preview put out in late July, Microsoft has announced a Release Preview of its new browser for Windows 7.

Building on IE10, Internet Explorer 11 is speedier -- Microsoft says the performance improvements make it 30 percent faster than other browsers -- and introduces support for the latest web standards, such as WebGL.

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Internet Explorer 11 Developer Preview now available for Windows 7

IE11 logo

Almost a month after launching Internet Explorer as a key part of the Windows 8.1 preview, Microsoft has today launched a stand-alone Internet Explorer 11 Developer Preview for Windows 7.

The new release places a major focus on performance. JPEG decoding, text rendering and WebGL support will make the most of GPU acceleration; HTML 5 prefetching and pre-rendering helps to get pages ready before you even click the link; and optimizations to Chakra, IE’s JavaScript engine, mean it’s even faster than before.

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Microsoft Windows sales are so good, they're scary

scar scaried spook afraid cat

The "Microsoft's dead" meme is one of the most popular among tech bloggers and arm-chair pundit commenters. Posts are everywhere the last 30 days or so, fed this month by reports of record-weak PC shipments. After market close yesterday, with fiscal Q3 results, Microsoft proved critics wrong and showed just how much strength remains in the Windows franchise. More significantly, a dramatic change is underway, regarding which buyers generate more revenues.

IDC says that PC shipments fell 13.9 percent during calendar first quarter (Microsoft's fiscal third), and there was reasonable expectation Windows license sales would see similar fall off. Instead, when removing a one-time $1.085 billion deferral, Windows & Windows Live division revenue was flat ($4.62 billion) year over year. Given the sorry state of the PC market, flat isn't just good but great.

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