Windows 7 still appears to be running on at least 100 million machines, even though Microsoft ended support for the operating system a year ago. ZDNet has analyzed the proportion of PCs still running Windows 7 in various analytic reports. While each data source sets this Windows at a different percentage of the market share, most agree that the OS still controls about 20 percent of PCs.
Microsoft has said for years that there are 1.5 billion Windows users in various versions around the world. It’s hard to get an exact number of Windows 7 users due to the various methods used by analytics companies, but the number is at least 100 million. If you lower Microsoft’s estimate from 1.5 billion Windows users to just one billion (there are 1 billion Windows 10 active users), then Windows 7 is still on a huge number of PCs. In fact, it can still be used by more than 200 million devices worldwide.
Support for Windows 7 ends in January 2020, nearly 11 years after the OS was first launched. This is quickly becoming a very popular version of Windows, especially with businesses. It’s clear from looking at last year’s operating system market share that it will take a year or two to get Windows 7 under 10 percent of the market share.
It may take longer for Windows 7 to finally disappear, especially after a year when many people have turned to PCs for remote work and home school. Microsoft reports an increase in PC demand and usage due to the pandemic. It’s likely that some of that PC usage also comes from households cleaning old PCs and laptops they don’t use that often, and some of these devices may still be running Windows 7.
The pandemic has also affected the PC market over the past year. We are still waiting for the PC estimates from Gartner and IDC, but some analysts believe we could see nearly 300 million PCs shipped in 2020 alone. That would be a significant change for the PC market after PCs saw its first year of growth since 2011 during 2019. That growth was driven by the end of Windows 7 support, and most analysts don’t expect the market to grow even further throughout 2020.