Report: Windows XP still most used PC OS in April 2012

Over 10 years after its launch, Windows XP continues to be the most used PC operating system worldwide. According to stats from Net Applications, Windows XP was used by 46.08 percent of all PC owners in April 2012, which is a slight dip compared to its 46.86 percent market share in March 2012. Windows 7 came in second in April with 38.67 percent of the PC OS market share, compared to 37.54 percent in March.

Microsoft has continued to send out warnings to Windows XP users, especially businesses, to upgrade their PCs to Windows 7 as soon as possible. This is due to the company's plans to end its official support for Windows XP in less than two years.

Net Applications' statistics also claim that Windows Vista came in third in the PC OS market share race for April 2012 with 7.32 percent, followed by Mac OS X 10.6 at 2.71 percent and Mac OS X 10.7 coming in also at 2.71 percent. Linux is well behind at 0.98 percent. Users of the pre-release version of Windows 8 accounted for .12 percent of the PC OS market share in April 2012, a slight rise from its .11 percent market share in March 2012.

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There is message there, that Microsoft doesn't want to acknowledge--most people use their PCs for productive purposes, for which keyboards and mice work just great. Some may move to Windows-7.

My last place of employment was still using OS/2 Warp for a major part of its business.....

They're not gonna upgrade anytime soon since the programs they use don't run on anything else and they have tons of hardware to run it on.

NinjaGinger said,
I know someone who still runs W98, and you think its sad running XP!

ayy man I know someone is BOSS with windows 98!!!!

DonC said,
The answer is very simple.

PCs should be designed to break down within three years of purchase.

datacenters hate you for that comment

The people who say why upgrade are the people who should be asked how did you GET to XP if you feel that way. You could do email and surf with Win 98 as well.

But, then I guess in the last decade+ most of the marketshare was built by people getting their first computer which came with XP on it. Because I would be surprised if business have more of the marketshare of XP then consumers do.

Best part is the XP marketshare has remained essentially the same since Nov. 2011 around the 45%-46% figure. Hell has literally "frozen over" for Microsoft. Maybe people realized MS were cheating users by removing features in an "upgrade" and "simplifying" so much that the software loses its configurability.

xpclient said,
Maybe people realized MS were cheating users by removing features in an "upgrade" and "simplifying" so much that the software loses its configurability.

I can understand some peoples desire to stay with the old stuff for whatever reason, whatever does it for you and all that, but losing configurability? How so? Plus why always bashing about old features (some of which were awful.. Explorer vomiting icons in a random mess for example) being removed and yet never mentioning all the good stuff that's been added since? Just my own opinion of course, but between the performance increases, much improved stability, higher productivity, new features, support, etc etc.. I'm willing to give up one or two things I may actually miss from the XP days, and that list of stuff that I miss is rather short, many of which can be added in one form or another anyway.

Max Norris said,

I can understand some peoples desire to stay with the old stuff for whatever reason, whatever does it for you and all that, but losing configurability? How so? Plus why always bashing about old features (some of which were awful.. Explorer vomiting icons in a random mess for example) being removed and yet never mentioning all the good stuff that's been added since? Just my own opinion of course, but between the performance increases, much improved stability, higher productivity, new features, support, etc etc.. I'm willing to give up one or two things I may actually miss from the XP days, and that list of stuff that I miss is rather short, many of which can be added in one form or another anyway.

You may not be missing any of those. For certain ppl, it's a blocking issue. They certainly won't pay up for losing functionality in an upgrade.

Microsoft should begin developing malware for Windows XP users after they end support. Maybe they can hire some organizations behind the scenes.

Sionic Ion said,
Microsoft should begin developing malware for Windows XP users after they end support. Maybe they can hire some organizations behind the scenes.

Yes, that's a great business plan. Ruin the company, get sued into oblivion and go to prison.

As s person who goes to their homes and works on these older pcs. Most of these people just use it for some web surfing and email. I get the " I barely use it now and only for that. Why should I spend $300-$500 on a new pc for email?"

xpclient said,
XP x64 because of shared code base with Server 2003 will get security updates even longer than April 2014. It's supported until July 2015: http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/?p1=3198 XP diehards will see after that what to do. By that time, malware writers may have shifted to targeting Windows 7.

Yeah, because ALL hardware has drivers for XP x64 /s

neo158 said,

Yeah, because ALL hardware has drivers for XP x64 /s

It doesn't have the same level of support as 32-bit XP, but the situation has improved drastically from when XP x64 was released. That driver support is non-existent is FUD. The ones that want to run it will always find a way.

I have clients who simply will not update to Windows 7 because all their internal applications were designed for Windows XP and the cost to upgrade them at this point is higher than any benefit to upgrading the OS.

For many private individuals, they only need Windows XP. It does everything they want or could need. One person put it to me this way "My truck outside is 12 yrs old, and it still does everything I need to do on a daily basis. I fix this or that when things go wrong, but I don't just swap out to a new vehicle just because Chevy says it's time to."

Somnus said,
I have clients who simply will not update to Windows 7 because all their internal applications were designed for Windows XP and the cost to upgrade them at this point is higher than any benefit to upgrading the OS.

For many private individuals, they only need Windows XP. It does everything they want or could need. One person put it to me this way "My truck outside is 12 yrs old, and it still does everything I need to do on a daily basis. I fix this or that when things go wrong, but I don't just swap out to a new vehicle just because Chevy says it's time to."

I have the same experience. Heck like I said in a post above, I have clients that still have PCs running Win2000, NT, and Win98 on old special PCs for one reason or another. Time clocks, phone systems, old security camera control systems, equipment/vehicle diagnostic software, special one-off software systems, etc that for one reason or another will not run on a newer system or would be to costly to get running on a newer system.

This is why I have a back room that some e-waste people (or perhaps the Smithsonian) would love to have a look-see at.

CJEric said,
XP is 'good enough' for a lot of people...

Exactly and in a way it works... Why would a company want to spend x amounts of money per copy of win7 and have to pay someone to install it on each machine when they can get away without having to do this. times are hard enough as it is.

CJEric said,
XP is 'good enough' for a lot of people...

Windows XP is NOT the OS I would want people to be caught with when support ends. Even to this day, it remains one of the most infected operating systems on the planet.

mbowman said,
Exactly and in a way it works... Why would a company want to spend x amounts of money per copy of win7 and have to pay someone to install it on each machine when they can get away without having to do this. times are hard enough as it is.
Because some companies are under State and Federal regulations that require them to be operating on a SECURE and SUPPORTED environment. Windows XP will lose support in 2014, failure to move away could result in massive fines for using an unsupported environment.

Dot Matrix said,

Windows XP is NOT the OS I would want people to be caught with when support ends. Even to this day, it remains one of the most infected operating systems on the planet.

Just because it's XP doesn't mean it gets more viruses. I would say I still get a study number of computers in my office that come infected. Some are XP, some are Windows 7 and some are Vista. I mean sure Vista and 7 have UAC but most people when ever it appears most people instinctively click yes. Plus a lot of people don't update flash, Java or adobe reader so there is something that will nuke almost any computer. Sure maybe you'll see a UAC box but the user will click continue.

warwagon said,
Just because it's XP doesn't mean it gets more viruses.

Yes, it does.
XP doesn't properly support DEP and has no ASLR implementation at all.
That makes it dangerous.

warwagon said,

Just because it's XP doesn't mean it gets more viruses.


It's a lot easier to exploit bugs that you may find. You mention that people don't update Flash and Java... if you exploit vulnerabilities in these, you'll have a hard time making a reliable exploit that runs in Windows 7, while it's quite easy in Windows XP because without ASLR, you know the exact address of instructions. So then you have to find something that wasn't compiled to support ASLR... all the while, you'll have trouble exploiting a buffer overflow with DEP enabled.

In short, Windows 7 makes a lot of vulnerabilities unexploitable, or the exploit very unreliable. For this reason, you see malware instead using social engineering to make people install the malware themselves. Exploit the user, not the software. Much easier.

rfirth said,

It's a lot easier to exploit bugs that you may find. You mention that people don't update Flash and Java... if you exploit vulnerabilities in these, you'll have a hard time making a reliable exploit that runs in Windows 7, while it's quite easy in Windows XP because without ASLR, you know the exact address of instructions. So then you have to find something that wasn't compiled to support ASLR... all the while, you'll have trouble exploiting a buffer overflow with DEP enabled.

In short, Windows 7 makes a lot of vulnerabilities unexploitable, or the exploit very unreliable. For this reason, you see malware instead using social engineering to make people install the malware themselves. Exploit the user, not the software. Much easier.

while I know what you mean, and how it technically should work. I still call it bull****, I see java nuke machines of all flavor of OS's. Gone are the days were malware tricks you to installing it saying "OMG you are infected install this". Now most of everything you see is from an exploit.

warwagon said,

Just because it's XP doesn't mean it gets more viruses.

Windows XP is like the Titanic. Once you strike that iceberg (and you WILL), you're sunk. There is no system protections built into XP, once malware finds its way past the firewall, and AV, you're done. It has free reign over the entire system.

Dot Matrix said,

Windows XP is like the Titanic. Once you strike that iceberg (and you WILL), you're sunk. There is no system protections built into XP, once malware finds its way past the firewall, and AV, you're done. It has free reign over the entire system.

.

I've seen plenty of rootkits that made their way to the driver folder and the MBR on both vista and windows 7.

Microsoft should send out a Windows Update to all XP machines to resurrect Clippy and put him everywhere. "Hi, it looks like you're using an obsolete OS. Would you like to upgrade?"

Dot Matrix said,
Are these people expecting Microsoft to extend support again, or....?

I think theres 2 MAIN groups here who still use XP: 1) The businesses who (still??) cannot upgrade due to soft/hard ware restrictions. I dont know what to say about this group. Shouldnt they be ready to move on by now? (I worked in an environment where this happened and their testing was S-L-O-W.)
2) Average consumer who just does not know better. eg; my uncle has a 9~ or so year old PC that he feels he should not need to upgrade. I told him I would upgrade him (or at least try) to Win 7, but his response was "I dont need that, why would I?" So I think this group cannot be bothered to upgrade until their XP stopped working altogether. lol

este said,

I think theres 2 MAIN groups here who still use XP: 1) The businesses who (still??) cannot upgrade due to soft/hard ware restrictions. I dont know what to say about this group. Shouldnt they be ready to move on by now? (I worked in an environment where this happened and their testing was S-L-O-W.)

It sounds easy, but it is incredibly difficult. You have to move a massive number of people in a short amount of time and some companies do not see this to be more important than their active initiatives that will make them money. Migrating to Windows 7 does not come with an easy to identify ROI. Sure it may be faster and more secure, but you can't quantify that in money earned to get the funding needed to do it properly.

If it isn't clear... XP is dying in business, it's just going to be a slow road while business removes that 7+ year blanket of complacency and comfort that Microsoft provided them with Windows XP. Remember, Microsoft was idle for a LONG time.

With the clients i support, its all to do with money.

They wont upgrade anything unless they really really have to, such as getting a new Network Printer which isn't compatible with XP.

zeke009 said,

It sounds easy, but it is incredibly difficult. You have to move a massive number of people in a short amount of time and some companies do not see this to be more important than their active initiatives that will make them money. Migrating to Windows 7 does not come with an easy to identify ROI. Sure it may be faster and more secure, but you can't quantify that in money earned to get the funding needed to do it properly.

If it isn't clear... XP is dying in business, it's just going to be a slow road while business removes that 7+ year blanket of complacency and comfort that Microsoft provided them with Windows XP. Remember, Microsoft was idle for a LONG time.

Dot Matrix said,
Are these people expecting Microsoft to extend support again, or....?

I know several instances where business sense wise, it makes no sense to upgrade especially with the economy being the way it is. ( I know... I know... the talking heads in DC and on the cable business channels say otherwise)

I have a client who has maybe 10-15 people who using an accounting/payroll app that does everything they need it to do.

Upgrading to Win7 would require over $100k in hardware (new servers & PCs), software, and more expensive licensing fees for the software.

Having me keep their XP machines running, and replacing them with XP machines costs fractions of that.

It's a very weird paradigm.

Microsoft wan't people and especially businesses to upgrade as fairly quickly as possible to their new OSes.

The developers who make business software will often price their products and design them in ways that make businesses not want to upgrade as often.

Then like I mentioned before, businesses end up in a situation where the are using PCs with old OSes on them will older software. As far as they are concerned everything is working perfectly fine, and doing the job exactly like they need it done. So why upgrade?

I have another client who has a several satellite offices around the area, and his PC needs it very simple. Log into a municipal website, print out some daily information, and that's it. Anything else that their users do is purely "personal". Additionally, the municipality has never upgraded their system, so you can only access it using IE6 or older or Firefox.

Since many of his locations are in buildings that would easily do as locations for any apocalyptic movie, he has no problems leaving WIN2000 and XP SP2 rigs in there. If I put a newer PC at a location, I have to install Firefox, make it the default browser, and have my people deal with the occasional call about the users not being able to print their daily sheets because the users either opted to or defaulted back to IE to access the website. All in all, it's just easier to keep antiquated PCs in the field for this client and do things like lock down the DNS to keep the users from surfing the web to infect the PCs.

DJGM said,
Awaiting the "Why the hell is XP not dead yet?!?" "Kill that ancient POS!" type comments . . .

Okay. You don't longer be impatient:

Why the hell is XP not dead yet?!? Kill that ancient POS!

XP doesn't waste huge swathes of RAM.

XP not only has a start menu, it has the CLASSIC start menu for minimal visual bloat.

XP's Windows Explorer toolbars are CUSTOMIZABLE!

XP's graphic user interface does not require excessive clicks to do basic tasks.

I do web development, gaming, surfing the web etc.

I have intentionally not "upgraded" to Vista, 7 or 8 because Microsoft has told me what I need isn't important.

In other words Microsoft doesn't think my opinion and thus money is not important.

Keep up with moving things around, forcing user-hostile crap like Metro, shut down options that take technical people 20 minutes to find and other absolutely genius "features" because of iPad envy down everyone's throats.

Only blind fan boys care about the "latest and greatest". Because something is old does not make it irrelevant. Ignoring what your customers want makes YOU irrelevant.

Give me XP's interface and Aero, kill metro with fire and I'll give Microsoft my money. Until then I'll keep sticking with XP regardless of blind fan boys who don't even interact with the OS by opening full screen games will say.

JAB Creations said,
XP doesn't waste huge swathes of RAM.

XP not only has a start menu, it has the CLASSIC start menu for minimal visual bloat.

XP's Windows Explorer toolbars are CUSTOMIZABLE!

XP's graphic user interface does not require excessive clicks to do basic tasks.

I do web development, gaming, surfing the web etc.

I have intentionally not "upgraded" to Vista, 7 or 8 because Microsoft has told me what I need isn't important.

In other words Microsoft doesn't think my opinion and thus money is not important.

Keep up with moving things around, forcing user-hostile crap like Metro, shut down options that take technical people 20 minutes to find and other absolutely genius "features" because of iPad envy down everyone's throats.

Only blind fan boys care about the "latest and greatest". Because something is old does not make it irrelevant. Ignoring what your customers want makes YOU irrelevant.

Give me XP's interface and Aero, kill metro with fire and I'll give Microsoft my money. Until then I'll keep sticking with XP regardless of blind fan boys who don't even interact with the OS by opening full screen games will say.


welcome to the internet my friend, how may i help you.
pretty much all your points are meaningless man.
ram? i dont think 600mb is much when the price is so low you can get 8gb for less then 20euros. (670mbish is default windows 7 64bit clean install).
Set the windows 7 theme to classic, and the visual bloat is just as minimal as XP's in the start menu.
Explorer toolbars are still customiseable, this hasnt changed. (its just done in a different way)
need more clicks to do basic tasks? wth man. press the windows key and type what you want to do, starting applications, starting control panel windows, executing cmd commands.. dont need a single mouseclick, the whole start menu should've been just that search/command bar get some used to it, run your resource hungry indexing service and start using it for once!
there is almost nothing in XP that can be done faster then in win7

and if you dont like Win8, they already cracked back the start menu and disabled metro screen