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.