/ 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.