As reported by several outlets over the last couple of days, Net Marketshare is now showing that as of December 2018 that Windows 10 has surpassed the market share held by Windows 7.
Microsoft’s very popular operating system was released on October 22nd, 2009 and over the last 3 1/2 years since the release of its successor Windows 10 in July 2015, it has consistently held onto its lead over Windows 10.
Over these last couple of years, Microsoft has struggled with update issues and other challenges with Windows 10 including a serious data deletion bug in the October 2018 Update which resulted in it being pulled back from its initial release. The other feature update for 2018, the April 2018 Update, had its share of release related delays earlier in the year. These issues have had an obvious impact on the adoption rate for Windows 10 because many users, both corporate and consumer, are struggling with the Windows as a Service (WaaS) approach to monthly and semi-annual updates as well.
After a shuffle in leadership last year due to the departure of Terry Myerson, the Windows team continues to work on the next iteration of Windows 10 which is expected in the March/April 2019 time frame. They are also attempting a new approach of improved quality, transparency and better communications to help customers understand what is happening with Windows 10 in real time.
The inevitable is that Windows 7 will reach its end of lifecycle support on January 14th, 2020. While some corporate customers have expensive paid contract options to continue receiving support after that date arrives, consumers have no choice except to make the move to Windows 10 or an alternative OS. Failure to make that change prior to the final security updates for Windows 7 in January 2020 will result in your system being vulnerable to security threats which take advantage of the lack of security patches and less modern OS.
Some will point back to Windows XP’s popularity when it was preparing to reach its end of lifecycle support date back in April 2012 and its subsequent two year support extension due to those user numbers as evidence Microsoft will also extend Windows 7’s support. However, the writing is on the wall with Microsoft’s push to the more modern OS and all the benefits it delivers to end users when it comes to security of hardware devices and user data.
No doubt, it is also suffering from update issues and fatigue for many users as mentioned above. We are watching to see if the new Windows leadership makes a move here to change how often they release feature updates moving forward but as of today there is no new updates in that area.
With just a year left in support for Windows 7, now is the time to plan that upgrade to Windows 10 and what it might mean for you as an end user. Waiting until the last minute is not in your best interest when you may have to consider hardware and software updates to be fully compatible with what will pretty much be the only consumer OS option from Microsoft.
Just like the passage of time, it is inevitable that Windows 7 is going to become an un-supported OS for consumers in about 376 days.
What is your next move?