Microsoft has done an incredible job in terms of promoting Windows 10, its latest and most advanced operating system. The Seattle tech giant has very good reasons for making sure that Windows 10 is able to secure a large market share, but this does not make it a better operating system.
For most Canadian users of desktop computers powered by Windows 7, which Microsoft engineers nicknamed “Vienna,” taking advantage of the free upgrade to Windows 10 did not make sense. There are many reasons for this, and one of them can be found in the history of Windows XP, which is arguably one of the most important products ever released by Microsoft. First of all, let’s look at the current share of the operating systems market:
As of May 2016, Vienna could be found in 40.7 per cent of devices connecting to the Internet, which makes it the most widely used desktop operating system in the world. Aside from Windows 10, which held nearly 18 per cent of market share, no other operating system was so dominant in terms of desktop use.
Operating System Stability
In mid-2015, Windows XP suffered a massive drop of market share, which is hardly surprising when considering that Microsoft had already stopped support for its legacy operating system. Desktop users were not upgrading from XP to Windows 8 or 8.1 even if they could; instead, they opted for the stability of Vienna.
It is estimated that almost 10 per cent of desktop users around the world are still using Windows XP; in many cases, these are industrial users sitting at offline terminals. Some of these users entered extended support agreements with Microsoft. As these systems are taken offline, they will likely be replaced with new hardware powered by Windows 10; however, some will choose to upgrade to Vienna instead.
The reason Windows 7 is currently the best operating system for desktop computers is the same reason why so many users stuck to Windows XP with Service Pack 3: stability and abundance of third-party software and drivers.
The Lasting Appeal of the Classic Windows Interface
The numerous advanced features of Windows 10 are not necessarily appealing to desktop users. The new Start Menu, which is wonderful for tablets and for the Xbox One, is not adequate for the desktop. When Windows 8 introduced the new interface, many users immediately sought to download and install fixes such as Start 8 and Classic Shell.
Many desktop users are not quite ready for the app paradigm of the Windows Store, which is still not as populated as many would like. For the time being, Windows 7 users are happy with the cornucopia of third-party software that can be downloaded and installed for their desktop machines.
In the end, Windows 10 has a long way to go before it can catch up to the old “Vienna.