Official support for Windows XP ends next week, but plenty of machines are still using the OS. The latest market share numbers from Net Applications suggest that over 27% of machines are running XP—almost three times the number equipped with Windows 8 and 8.1 combined. Yikes.
XP's slice of the pie is shrinking slowly, of course, and Win8/8.1's share is rising. However, as The Next Web points out, Windows 7 actually gained the most market share in March. A lot of people upgrading old XP machines appear to be switching to Win7 rather than Microsoft's latest and greatest.
On the one hand, I don't blame them. Windows 8 has gotten a lot of flak, most of which is well-deserved. But the OS also seems to run better on low-end hardware than Windows 7. Once you get past all the Modern UI junk, Win8 might actually deliver a better experience on older machines XP machines.
Mainstream support for Windows 7 ends in less than a year, on January 14, 2015, but the extended support period doesn't expire until 2020. Given the slow rate at which people seem to be transitioning from Windows XP, it seems likely that Win7 will continue to be the dominant PC operating system for quite some time.
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