/ Technology

Is Windows 7 finally winning the hearts of PC users?

From the looks of our computer reliability survey, more people are using Windows 7 than the now decadal Windows XP. But are we actually going out of our way to buy this operating system?

So, 36% of those surveyed in our report use Windows 7, which for the first time ever is higher than users of Windows XP, at 30%. Sure, it’s close, but Vista didn’t get a look in.

There is one caveat to this survey, which might highlight why Windows 7 has finally overtaken XP – it only looked at computers no older than four years.

Is there genuine Windows 7 interest?

I can say that without a doubt, Windows 7 is the better looking operating system (OS), but I’m not convinced that it’s the best system altogether. I’m not alone in this opinion – many Conversation commenters have previously expressed their nostalgia for Windows XP. In fact, this popularity has made Microsoft extend XP support until 2020.

It’s quite a job for Microsoft to convince happy XP users to go out and buy Windows 7 – and they’ll soon have to do the same for Windows 8. Fortunately, there’s a huge amount of people upgrading their old PCs and this has been very beneficial for the growth of Windows 7. As soon as Windows 7 makes its way onto superior and affordable computers, consumers really have no choice other than to take it up.

So, could the increased popularity of Windows 7 simply be down to people upgrading their PCs, rather than buying the software to install on their old hardware? Commenter Eileen fits this mould:

‘I had to replace my computer in June, and bought another one which came with Windows 7 already installed. I was dubious at first, but once I was used to it, I liked it, and would now be hesitant to change back to XP.’

Is customization the key for Windows?

Some people are so attached to the look and feel of their old OS that they want to transform their new one to resemble it – 44% of respondents to our Windows XP poll said they’d ditch their current operating system in favour of a new XP 2012.

Perhaps Microsoft’s key for success is to let people decide what Windows will look like on their computer. This is an area where a system like Linux really shines, and hopefully Microsoft will follow by not forcing everyone to use Windows 8’s tablet-like interface when it comes out.

It’s good to see people moving towards newer technologies in order to keep up with this fast changing world of computers, but the question is whether they’re doing it for the latest operating system or just for a new piece of kit.


Lets face it the biggest mistake that MS made was NOT to have a direct upgrade from XP to 7.

If you really want people to upgrade then you need to allow them to do that. Even the corporate market will not try to update XP to 7 since the cost of moving to 7 means a lot of IT involvement of backups and restoration.

Then there is the ‘retraining’ issue as 7 is different to XP Pro.

Mark says:
10 October 2011

XP is good enough for most people, and most people are afraid of change. For some, those are good enough reasons not to upgrade. It doesn’t mean that XP is a better operating system than Windows 7.

For many people even PCs several years old will have enough computing power for their needs, so the percentage of people using Windows 7 if PCs of all ages are taken into account would probably be much much higher.

… lower?


I have a Ubuntu OS and it is every bit as good as if not much better than my old XP Pro…. but I still
keep an older computer running Windows that I might want to replace at some future date…. the OS,
that is.

Less susceptible to attacks by malware and it is, of course, free just like Linux.

I do use Windows 7 (64 bit) for the Adobe suite and other bits of software not available on Linux but use the latter mainly. I have OpenSuse on my main PC and PCLinuxOS LXDE on an old laptop for my children to use.

Like most users they want to browse the ‘net, send/read email and watch DVD’s and Linux does just fine. They have Open (Libre) Office if they want to write something, Tux Paint for simple pictures and GIMP for something more complex. The O/S and software are just there for them and it’s free.

I might move to W7 if it was cheaper.

However the pricing of Operating Systems has not moved in the same way as the pricing of hardware.
To pay £100 for an OS to run on a £1,000 system does not look too bad.

When you can build an entry level system for £200-£300 a £100 operating system looks very expensive and there are better ways to upgrade your system performace for that kind of money.

b33cux says:
19 October 2011

Windows 7 is a horribly flawed OS, and it was designed that way, on purpose, for no apparent reason. It’s gotta be arrogance or just random stupidity. You have to use half again as many clicks to navigate than with XP. WHY? They removed the TX/RX indications from the systray. WHY? Heaven forbid if your cursor strays down to the taskbar, because it activates AeroPuke – useless eye candy which does nothing but get in the way. Want to open another Explorer window or another instance of any program pinned to the Stupor Bar by simply clicking on the icon again? Nope. Can’t do it – gotta right-click and choose from the context menu. WHY? If you copy a directory from one disk to another, the progress window shows the WRONG PATH. WHY? I could go on, but why? 7 is pure and utter garbage. MS, you had something with XP, and you blew it. Big time.

dameyboy67 says:
9 March 2012

urr, WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

dameyboy67 says:
9 March 2012

xp has plenty of flaws.windows 7 is tops!

Mikhail says:
19 October 2011

I hate all Microsoft products.

Care to elaborate on why?

dameyboy67 says:
9 March 2012

i hate apple products

I have used xp vista and windows 7 on my currant machine and ive chosen to use xp over the other two.
Windows xp is the best microsoft operating systam hands down so ill stick with it

[Hello mkgurd2, we have edited your comment as it was in all capital letters. Please turn off your Caps lock key, as this is against our commenting guidelines. Thanks, mods.]

oh and i wont upgrade to windows 8 either when that gets here that looks like vista part 2

“Nostalgia”?? It has nothing to do with nostalgia. Seven SUCKS. It is buggy, bloated garbage. Tqakes longer to boot up, to shut down – oh, and what is that joke screen with the “Force Quit” or “Cancel” buttons? Cancel and close the program yourself?? AHAHAHAHAHA! SURE you can! Just try to get to the program to close it! Click “Cancel”, and the stupid screen just sits there. Garbage. But what’s REALLY annoying is the stuff in Explorer they broke on purpose: the file sorting, the refusal to return the left pane expando, the DISAPPEARING of the very folder you want to navigate TO in the left pane when you do open the parent folder in the left pane, the fact that the network icon in the tray no longer blinks to indicate throughput – now there’s a MAJOR improvement, right fellas? GREAT job on that! Or how about “A-hole peek”, that silly little jack-in-the-box booby trap that warns you that your cursor has momentarily strayed into the taskbar area by POPPING A WINDOW YOU DON’T WANT TO SEE? Oh, just shut it off, you say? AHAHAHA! You can try, they do have a disable setting, but… that’s riiight – it doesn’t work!
You madcap jokesters! You got me laughing all the way to Ubuntu! And one more clue for those overly fascinated with the useless fluff of this shiny object called Windows 7: would Microsoft REALLY extend XP support to TWENTY FREAKING YEARS if their subsequent garbage didn’t suck so profoundly? D. U. H.

I am using Windows 7 on one of my PCs (had 6 months so far), I don’t have time or space to describe how utterly horrible this operating system is.
I believe Microsoft trawled the US backwoods to find the people with the lowest IQ ,designed it for them and dumbed it down from there.
Comparing it to XP
Everything take twice as long to do; every action needing 1 click before, now needs 2 or 3; you are babied through everything the assumption is you a complete numbty and need to be Janet & Johnned through every single process, in addition you have to be asked again and again if you really want to do the simplest of actions.
Windows 7 might be OK for preschoolers learning how to use a PC, but it has no place in the adult world !!!!!!!

I remember similar comments when Windows was taking over from DOS.

You may find yourself defending Windows 7 when later versions appear. 🙂

Windows took over from DOS??????
Remember that Windows 7 is the latest version of the original Windows, they keep bolting stuff onto the original OS, when they needed to design a new one, this is why there are so many issues & vulnerabilities.

Using windows is like flying an old fashioned biplane with jet engines etc.. strapped on, no matter how much you add on problems will arise.

Pedr says:
6 March 2014

Using XP. Does support end this year ? Have been offered pc running on Windows 7. Should I accept or can I use XP with Windows 7 ?