Windows by the numbers: Windows 7's recalculated share shows faster-than-thought decline

Windows by the numbers: Windows 7's recalculated share shows faster-than-thought decline


Windows 7 dropped below the 50% user share mark last month, finally ceding the operating system majority on Windows PCs.

Ironically, the decline of Windows 7 was good news for Microsoft, which wants customers to move to the newer Windows 10 as soon as possible.

According to analytics vendor Net Applications, Windows 7’s November global user share fell 3.5 percentage points, ending the month at 43.1%. November’s plunge was the largest ever for the OS that debuted in 2009.

When only Windows personal computers were included in the calculation, Windows 7 ran 48.8% of all Windows machines, a month-over-month drop of 2.6 points. (The Windows-only percentage is larger because Windows powers 88.4% of the world’s systems, not 100%; the remainder run macOS or a version of Linux.)

In Net Applications’ tracking, November was the first month since Windows 7’s mid-2015 peak during that it failed to account for more than half of all Windows editions.

While Windows 7’s November tumble was dramatic, it was as much a push of a big red reset button by Net Applications as proof of massive numbers suddenly fleeing the veteran OS.

As it has periodically in the past, Net Applications reworked how it tracks operating systems, browsers and other metrics of interest to businesses. In a message appended to a refreshed website, the company explained that it had rewritten its “entire collection and aggregation infrastructure to address” misleading data.

The culprits, said Net Applications, were bots, the software-based automatons that mimic humans on the Web and are typically deployed by criminals to boost site traffic so they can cash in on various click fraud scams.