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Windows 7 and 8.1 Are Gaining More New Users Than Windows 10 (digitaltrends.com) 333

New submitter TroII writes: After Microsoft ended its year-long "free" Windows 10 offer, new installations have slowed predictably. But in an unexpected turn, October saw more new installs of both Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 than of Windows 10. Compared to September's numbers, market share increased only 0.06% for Windows 10, while new installations of Windows 7 and 8.1 were an order of magnitude higher at 0.68%. According to tracking firm NetMarketShare, Windows 7 is still by far the most popular version of the OS, installed on more than twice as many computers as Microsoft's latest offering.
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Windows 7 and 8.1 Are Gaining More New Users Than Windows 10

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  • Not Surprising (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LeftCoastThinker ( 4697521 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @06:21AM (#53211327)

    It is not a big shock after the tactics that MS has used. They have burned a lot of bridges with win 10 and those of us stuck in the Windows ecosystem are snatching up the best, most stable version, Windows 7. Be prepared for lawsuits though, as it looks like MS is going to try and shove the crappiest parts of Windows 10 on us through bundled updates...

    • Re:Not Surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Arbitary5664 ( 1979712 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @06:26AM (#53211335)
      This, entirely. No longer want the "optional" 'telemetry update'? Well too bad it all comes in one file now -- and you do want your security updates, right? It's bullshit. Hey MS: Suprise. People don't want a Spyware OS. If you want to subsidize your OS with tracking, fine -- but at least let people have an option to get out of your data collection scheme. You do this for enterprise customers, so there's no reason you can't do it for non-enterprise customers. Asshats.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Who would have thought that Nadella would end up being even more despised than both Gates and Ballmer? I mean, they only shat all over their competitors, but Nadella is making a point to shit over the customers, too.

      • Re:Not Surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @06:41AM (#53211371)

        You know what's funny? That there will almost certainly be someone who is willing and able to develop a tool to get rid of it. Maybe for a price, but people are willing and able to pay that price for their privacy.

        MS could have had that money. And far more easily than whoever will develop that anti-spy tool.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I think I'm one of the very few people who likes Windows 10. Yes, the telemetry features are not a great move, but just disable all of that crap and you're all set.
      Windows 10 uses less resources and starts up faster than my previous Windows 7. But the real improvements where on my girl's older laptop, where the update from 7 to 10 worked wonders by greatly improving startup times and no longer locking up randomly when starting or using a browser. HD video on Netflix or Amazon Prime is greatly improved. She

      • Re:Not Surprising (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 04, 2016 @07:29AM (#53211531)

        Disable that crap? In Windows 10 Home (that about 80% to 90% of people have) I would love to see how you do that, and auto-update of course, because that "resets"anything to "Microsoft Standard".

        Disabling really all crap is only possible in the "enterprise" edition, that is not available for the normal user. Even Windows 10 Pro does not give you the same amount of control you had in Windows 7 or even Windows 8.1. So - no downgrade to Windows 10 for me!

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Windows 10 uses less resources and starts up faster than my previous Windows 7

        I've heard the same claim about every Windows version since Windows 95. Every version is faster than the previous version. Let me just dig out a 386 machine, and you can prove how lightning fast Windows 10 is...

        Meanwhile, the company I work at is buying everyone new PCs, because the old ones have become too slow since upgrading to Windows 10. Except mine, my PC is still running Windows 7, and is plenty fast for a Windows PC.

        • I've heard the same claim about every Windows version since Windows 95

          Considering that Windows 10 was designed as a "one size fits all" solution that is intended to run on machine with limited power, it's not surprising that in this case the performance is an improvement. Also they did away with the flashy Windows 7 UI and replaced it with rectangles - another performance improvement that I don't mind. I like minimal, simple things.

          • No improvement (Score:5, Informative)

            by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @08:33AM (#53211815)

            Considering that Windows 10 was designed as a "one size fits all" solution that is intended to run on machine with limited power, it's not surprising that in this case the performance is an improvement.

            I've run Windows10 and Windows7 on some machines I've upgraded for work. There was no user discernible difference in speed or performance. Maybe there was some minor benchmark difference but it certainly wasn't enough to matter. The boot up times are not meaningfully different, the interfaces didn't speed up, and none of the applications run any better. There might be some under the hood improvements but they certainly aren't obvious.

            Also they did away with the flashy Windows 7 UI and replaced it with rectangles - another performance improvement that I don't mind. I like minimal, simple things.

            Windows 10 is many things but "minimal" and "simple" are not among them. The rectangle thing isn't easier or simpler, particularly if you are talking about Windows 8... shudder.

            • by PRMan ( 959735 )
              Windows 10 is much faster. It uses 850 MB less in the working set. How can you not tell that you have nearly an extra Gig of RAM?
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by operagost ( 62405 )

            I installed Windows 10 on a Compaq laptop from 2006 that was running XP (and "designed for Vista"). By technical standards, this is an unwise move. But this is a platform that Microsoft claims will run as well on Windows 10, if not better.

            It has 2 GB RAM and passed the assessment. With Windows 10, every time I boot it grinds the hard disk for 15 minutes straight, updating Defender and basically using all the RAM on the system for its own purposes. It would also force updates and REBOOT WHILE I WAS USING I

            • Honestly, 4GB is the minimum that Windows 10 needs to run well. Given that factoid, I've long argued that Windows 10 should have dropped support for 32 bit altogether. As it is, 32 bit can't address even all 4GB that the address space allows, and the OS doesn't include PAE. So they should have aimed Windows 8 and 10 at 64-bit capable computers only, and sidestepped the issue of resource consumption.
            • by PRMan ( 959735 )
              I'm running Windows 10 on an Asus eeePC Netbook (901 HA). It's by far the fastest OS I've ever used on that 2 GB RAM machine. Of course, that may be because I replaced the hard drive with an SSD, since with Windows 10, SSDs are really not optional.
          • Also they did away with the flashy Windows 7 UI and replaced it with rectangles - another performance improvement that I don't mind. I like minimal, simple things.

            You really think that drawing rectangles is the reason it's faster?

            Do you even have any idea what a graphics card is?

            • How many computers come w/ graphics cards these days - that's so 90s. Then, there was a bonanza of graphics cards and chipset vendors - Diamond Multimedia, 3Dfx!, 3dlabs, Matrox, S3, Media Vision, et al. All that in addition to NVidia, ATI and Intel. Today, there is just the last 3, and the whole graphics card concept has been lost in the GPU discussions.
      • Re:Not Surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

        by StormReaver ( 59959 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @09:10AM (#53211989)

        Yes, the telemetry features are not a great move, but just disable all of that crap and you're all set.

        Just because you think you've disabled it does not mean you've actually disabled it. Microsoft has the sole discretion to completely ignore you, sneak its spyware in through other vectors, or automatically re-enable its spyware at any time it damn well pleases.

        • Re:Not Surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @09:38AM (#53212151)

          Just because you think you've disabled it does not mean you've actually disabled it. Microsoft has the sole discretion to completely ignore you, sneak its spyware in through other vectors, or automatically re-enable its spyware at any time it damn well pleases.

          I had several delayed updates on Windows 10 that re-enabled auto updates and re-enabled every one of their spyware settings. And broken things like webcams, audio devices, and ethernet devices. Computer works one day, then the next its pooched. I even got an infinite reboot feature one time.

          And a day with Wireshark will show us that W10 appears to ignore the telemetry settings.

          I have this weird requirement for my computers. Whatever else they do, they are required to work reliably. Windows 10 fails miserably in that regard. Windows 8 is administrative whack-a-mole. Windows 7? It works.

          I have one Windows 10 setup that works. It is a network that isn't connected to the internet - airgapped by maybe 5 miles. No updates.

          • A day with wire shark does that the OS talks to MS servers. Nothing more because it's encrypted. Now do you have sooner smoking gun no other experts have been able to produce that shows telemetry info being sent?

      • I think I'm one of the very few people who likes Windows 10. Yes, the telemetry features are not a great move, but just disable all of that crap and you're all set. Windows 10 uses less resources and starts up faster than my previous Windows 7. But the real improvements where on my girl's older laptop, where the update from 7 to 10 worked wonders by greatly improving startup times and no longer locking up randomly when starting or using a browser. HD video on Netflix or Amazon Prime is greatly improved. She was very sceptical about the update because she preferred the "nicer" look of 7 compared to 10's spartan look and feel, but has had zero regrets after the update.

        I have also had no incompatibility problems with applications and everything worked just as before, after updating. I was actually very surprised about how smooth the update was. I also like how 10 will explicitly ask me before performing updates and not simply decide to shut down and restart whenever it sees fit, like all previous versions of Windows seemed to do.

        I don't use Cortana and whatever other privacy invading crap there might be, and as standard Windows installation for gaming and media, I think Windows 10 is better than 7.

        I am one of those who voluntarily upgraded from Windows 8 to 10. In fact, in 2014, I got a laptop that had 8 on it, and hated it so much (10 was not out then) that I wiped it out w/ PC-BSD 10.0. I later had a job that required me to have my own laptop w/ Windows, so I got a cheap $250 laptop w/ Windows 8, but upgraded it to 10 at the first available opportunity.

        On the resource consumption question, Windows 8 would have indeed consumed less had they not mucked up the user interface. By tossing in that v

    • Re:Not Surprising (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @08:25AM (#53211757) Journal
      The weird thing is that Microsoft seems to have adopted suicide as a business model. Their main competitor is Android creeping up with the 'it's all free, in exchange for all of your personal data' business model. They had a perfect opportunity for differentiating all of their products: you pay for them, but Microsoft protects your privacy and if you don't want to use their cloud offerings then they'll happily sell you the software to run the server parts for your organisation. They even ran some adverts about Hotmail not scanning your mail for targeted ads. Instead, they decided to compete directly with Google in a field in which Google is far more experienced.
      • The weird thing is that Microsoft seems to have adopted suicide as a business model. Their main competitor is Android creeping up with the 'it's all free, in exchange for all of your personal data' business model.

        Really? Because nothing Google is doing with Android has replaced a single computer at my office or the office of anyone I know. Some of the kids at the local schools use Chromebooks but that's about it. Android (along with iOS) has the mobile market but there is no evidence that Windows based PCs are going to go away any time soon because of that. Heck the computer I'm typing this on has 6 applications that are critical for my day job which are in no way, shape, or form available on the Android platfor

        • they have a Scrooge McDuck pile of cash and a near impenetrable fortress in business PCs. I don't think they are going anywhere any time soon and certainly not about to keel over and die. I'm strongly in the camp that dislikes Microsoft but I'm under no illusion that they are in any real danger of dying.

          You need to read Ozymandias:

          I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed: And on the pedestal these words appear: ‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on

          • You need to read Ozymandias:

            Already read it and it doesn't apply here. Microsoft has enough cash that they could buy BOTH Ford and GM at the same time in cash with money left over if the mood moved them. Unless they are completely idiotic they could simply buy their way into a new industry in the (unlikely) event their current one stops being profitable for them. People have this naive idea that just because Microsoft has a cash cow with Windows/Office that they will never be anything else and that their fate is tied to those produ

      • Re:Not Surprising (Score:5, Interesting)

        by unixisc ( 2429386 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @09:29AM (#53212111)

        The weird thing is that Microsoft seems to have adopted suicide as a business model. Their main competitor is Android creeping up with the 'it's all free, in exchange for all of your personal data' business model. They had a perfect opportunity for differentiating all of their products: you pay for them, but Microsoft protects your privacy and if you don't want to use their cloud offerings then they'll happily sell you the software to run the server parts for your organisation. They even ran some adverts about Hotmail not scanning your mail for targeted ads. Instead, they decided to compete directly with Google in a field in which Google is far more experienced.

        The niche that you are talking about seems to have been partly taken by Apple. Only that their laptops are costlier. But Apple does protect your privacy, and it does provide quality software. Only thing - they don't seem to be interested in the Business sector, given the high maintenance that it is, so that is probably where Microsoft could have done what you suggest. Wonder how Satya managed to sell Bill that bill of goods about making things free and selling the data. In fact, Windows 10 is no longer free, so honestly, Microsoft has no valid reason to keep collecting our data, assuming it ever had one

        • "But Apple does protect your privacy"

          One of the first things OSX does after you install it is bitch at you about enabling location services and then forces you to create and link an apple ID to even get software updates for the OS. The level of cloud integration turned on by default on ipads is sickening as well.

          So claiming OSX/IOS is better than windows as far as privacy is concerned is laughable. Microsoft is obviously playing catchup to OSX here but apple did start this BS first. Its just apple users cra

      • but Microsoft protects your privacy

        And the coffee meets the keyboard, dammit. If you are going for comedy you should let us know.

    • Lawsuits? It's not your OS. You pay for a license to use it. As it stands, MS is stopping security updates soon enough - it'll be come a venerable wasteland of malware and spyware. Even worse is that, because you refuse to move to new OS or upgrade, your infected machine will begin to serve malware or act as a botnet node. How great. Upgrade or change OSes - your personal preference of privacy is irrelevant when (at the end of the day) you make it easy for malware authors to push their junk to the rest of u
    • They have burned a lot of bridges with win 10

      Speaking as someone who at one time had an MCSE, that's an understatement. I'd rather wrestle with any version of Linux now than put up with something that is literally spyware, and in some ways keeps trying to blackmail me.

  • Unsurprising (Score:4, Interesting)

    by some old guy ( 674482 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @06:34AM (#53211353)

    As a hard-core MMORPG'er, I got fed up with the wasted resources being hogged up by unwanted crap like Cortana and went back to Win 7, which amazingly enough still runs all of my work-related Rockwell and Siemens stuff just fine. Screw Windows 10.

  • VM's (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Mike Sheen ( 1155353 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @06:34AM (#53211355)
    About once a month I install Windows 7 on a VM to test out my application on that OS. I wonder if such activity taints the analysis. My application has "online help" which uses a web browser to deliver help when the user presses "F1" - stats from visitors to that webserver that shows unique Windows 7 declined from 31% in Oct 2015 to 10% in Oct 2016, compared to unique Windows 10 users growing from 38% to 53% in the same period.
    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      This might influence the numbers, but I doubt it has any influence on the percentages.

  • Could it be more people like Windows 7 and 8 better than Window's 10? In a free market economy the most popular option should win.

    • True "free market economy" do not exist.
      • True "free market economy" do not exist.

        Well, in this case, the same company makes both the 'competing' products in question, and one is in their plan to replace the others. So 'free market' ain't the issue here.

        The real issue for the companies is that they make a product that's good enough, which results in nobody being interested in a 'better' product if and when it comes along. Granted, this Windows 10 vs 7 argument may be subjective, but then, there's also the case of Intel, where CPUs that they sold 10 years ago are still batting strong,

  • by indytx ( 825419 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @07:17AM (#53211497)

    Why is it a surprise that an OS created for desktop and mobile doesn't run as well as one written exclusively for desktops? Why is it a surprise that small businesses prefer an OS that works better for them than the "upgrade" which removed Pro features? Apple and M$ are both dumbing down their professional offerings. I anticipate the day when I'll have to go full Linux just to have something professional grade, and I'll have a single box for QuickBooks. Alas.

    • Honestly, what Microsoft should have done was given the Windows 8 kernel to Windows 7, but otherwise kept the UI unchanged for the desktop version. For tablets, like the surface, they could have gone w/ Metro, but kept to that - don't have a desktop at all. Windows 10 in tablet display mode is what Windows 8 for tablets should have been. Either desktop or tablet mode would have been selected at time of installation, so that one wouldn't end up w/ the bloat.

      Only thing - I'd make Windows Defender on by d

  • by Gadget_Guy ( 627405 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @08:03AM (#53211647)

    You can find great discrepancies between the OS market share reported from different sources, which shows how inaccurate they are. Let's face it, all they can do is guess by the only external method they can find - web browser stats. Only Microsoft can tell you anything even close to accurate as far as usage goes, and even they are limited to computers that are connected to the Internet.

    The percentage changes listed in the TFA are going to be dwarfed by the error margin such that it is completely meaningless to try to make any proclamations that a significant number of people are downgrading Windows.

  • by MitchDev ( 2526834 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @08:04AM (#53211657)

    ... that's because WIn 10 is malware/spyware and is shit....

  • by jenningsthecat ( 1525947 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @08:04AM (#53211659)

    Clearly, Microsoft isn't really interested in satisfying their desktop users. Instead, they're desperately trying to get into the 'customer as a product' business model, because they sense, (probably correctly), that they're doomed if they don't. That's why they did what they did with Win10 - they want a captive user base whose data they can control and exploit. Bing has been pretty much a failure, and their foray into the mobile market has been a total disaster. They're losing a lot of server business to *nix. They see the likes of Google and Facebook dominating the Web. They see leveraging their desktop presence as the only possible path to the kind of success that others are enjoying, because they no longer posses the imagination to strike out in a truly new direction, and because they're iron-bound by the artery-hardened internal bureaucracy that all big corporations eventually succumb to. Windows 10 was the desperate plan of a dinosaur in its death throes.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Their primary product is Office. Desktop Windows is a major focus and driver for lock-in, but it sits at about 2/3rds the total revenue of Office, and for many people the face of Microsoft *is* Office. As standalone product lines, only their Server products (most of which host Office components like Exchange, Skype for Business or SharePoint) come close to the desktop Office product revenue.

      For a long time Microsoft was aggressive about complete lock in around the Office ecosystem. They've become a lot more

  • With residential PC purchases dropping as people use more mobile (Android/iOS) devices, this makes sense. I'd wager that most new Windows installations are in the corporate environment, where Win7 is still the standard image being installed.

  • by morethanapapercert ( 749527 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @09:16AM (#53212033)
    TFA links to NetMarketShare, but doesn't detail how NetMarketShare determines whether a given machine is an existing or new installation. Windows 7 only went up by 0.11%, while Windows 10 went down by a mere 0.06%. Trying to make any solid conclusions with such skimpy changes in the numbers strikes me as futile.

    One possibility occurs to me to explain the increase of Windows 7 installs. For a year, users of 7 and 8.x were allowed a free upgrade. (and let us not forget the shenanigans Microsoft pulled in "persuading" users to upgrade.) Thing is; none of those upgraded users received a physical copy of the Win10 installation media or a license key. So if a hard drive dies or the install gets corrupted badly enough, the user is going to have to reinstall whichever version they had been using previously. (I won't get into the stupidity of having ones physical copy of the OS actually be provided by a hidden restore partition on the root drive)

    As far as I know NetMarketShare is just counting installations based on what peoples user agent strings are reporting during normal web surfing. I don't know of any way to determine an OS date of install from a user agent string.

  • by ilsaloving ( 1534307 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @10:49AM (#53212583)

    I did a trial of some Lenovo laptops with Windows 10 enterprise at work. When the Anniversary update came out, they all got hosed. One was completely unrecoverable so I trashed the whole thing and put Windows 7 on it. The rest managed to back out, but still lost a day of productivity in the process.

    Microsoft has demonstrated quite clearly that they do not have the ability to successfully update their own OS without causing all hell to break loose.

    And to make matters worse, Home and Pro users cannot opt out of updates and telemetry. Microsoft even disabled the group policy elements for it.

    And meanwhile, Apple *could* be raking in marketshare from Microsoft's screwups, but unfortunately they appear to have their own collectives heads shoved up their asses as well.

    So now Linux is starting to gain popularity. Between Chromebooks and machines being pre-loaded with Ubuntu, I really hope Linux tightens the screws on all these old guard companies that have lost their way.

  • I'm guessing a chunk of these are people reverting back to their originally installed OS by performing a system recovery.

    Sure, the Windows 10 upgrade was free for a while, but if the computer was wiped or reset, all the user could do was install the original OS.

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