Windows XP adoption outpaces Windows 7 growth

Microsoft’s expired operating system is more popular than Windows 8 and 8.1

Adoption of Microsoft's out of support Windows XP is growing at a faster rate than Windows 7, figures reveal.

Despite XP hitting end of life in April 2014, the number of people using the expired operating system actually grew by 0.22 per cent from January to February this year, according to Netmarketshare.

That put the total percentage of desktops running XP at 19.15 per cent as of last month.

In contrast, Windows 7 adoption grew by just 0.07 per cent over the same period, giving it a 55.99 per cent stake in the desktop operating system market.

Redmond is keen for users to upgrade from Windows XP, but with adoption of Windows 7 slowing down it appears users may be waiting for the forthcoming Windows 10, rather than jumping to Windows 8 or 8.1.

In fact, XP's market share is greater than the combined stake of both Windows 8 operating systems, which totals 14.04 per cent.

The latest figures come after Microsoft stopped releasing software improvements for Windows 7 in January, though bug fixes and patches will continue to be released until 2020.

However, IT managers are looking at Windows 10 as a route away from Windows 7 without having to adopt the much-maligned Windows 8, which caused controversy with its lack of a start menu.

Shropshire Council ICT manager Barry Wilkinson is considering such a move for his staff, he told IT Pro last week.

"For me Windows 10 brings some of the funky bits of Windows 8 to a recognisable Windows 7," he said.

"We might not need to go to Windows 8.1. Windows 8 is different, it's the whole tiles and desktop, whereas Windows 10 is tiles if you want them, start menu if you'd rather. For me that's an easier step."

Windows 10 is currently on a preview release, ahead of a general launch in late 2015.

The preview has made 10 the 14th most popular operating system, according to Netmarketshare, which allocated it an 0.08 per cent stake in the desktop market.

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