As we have written earlier, in April 2017, Microsoft ended its support for Vista, which means the decade-old OS will be cut off from the security updates. Microsoft obviously expects the consumers to get rid of their old devices, but with private users and even small businesses it can be the other way about. Old versions of Windows just stick around.
Old Versions of Windows Seems Tougher than We Think
Spiceworks community claims that 9% of businesses worldwide still run Vista on their systems, and 14% have Windows XP, while more than 50% run Windows 7. Windows 8 got shameful 5% and Windows 10 is a runner up to Vista. The home users weren’t counted, but we in iGotOffer expect these figures to be lower, because of gamers.
NetMarketShare gives Vista just around one percent and XP – about seven percent, calculating the devices accessing to Internet nowadays. Windows 10 – the Microsoft’s pet – got the quarter of the market while Windows 7 got the half of it.
Why people are so reluctant to part with Windows XP, for instance? There’s the unofficial community that has issued the unofficial Service Pack 4 to keep the OS updated.
And this is how we see it at iGotOffer. First, having followed the quite unstable Windows 2000, XP became the most reliable Microsoft OS for years before the Windows 7 arrival. Personally, we consider Windows 7 as the masterpiece. It’s nobody’s secret that they in Redmond follow their own tick-tock principle: tick stands for the loosing OS (service packs included) and tock stands for the great one. Windows XP SP 2 and Windows 7 are the ‘tocks’, we at iGoOffer think.
Second, and this is a very dubious argument, Windows XP was quite easy to hack. There may be millions of Windows XP hacked copies in China, India and Eastern Europe.
Third, and this goes for home users mostly, you can’t cross the habit factor off. For most users who learnt the PC around 2000x and were in their forties and fifties at the time Windows XP is still the most comfortable environment. While Windows 7 has the Start Menu slightly re-arranged and Windows 8 was scandalous for the ‘vanished’ Start button not every advanced user could find.
Fourth, the move to Windows 7, 8 and obviously to Windows 10 requires an expensive upgrade. Somewhere between XP and 10 a great departure in technologies took place. USB 3.0, USB 3.1 and USB-Type C arrived, the UEFI motherboard firmware was introduced, solid-state drives elbowed their way into the market. Little wonder that in March, 2017, the share of all the PC and laptops under Windows 10 in businesses worldwide was 9%. It’s a very demanding OS and the cost of upgrade is high, especially in developing countries.
Of course, workstations have been replaced and upgraded, but that’s not all the computers in the average office. PCs are used in all kinds of scenarios. Surveillance system logs and back up, card swipes monitoring system, mail servers in small companies, they all can run on Windows XP or 7. As you know, the good system administrator’s principle says: If the system runs OK, don’t meddle with it.
But is it wise to run the OS, vulnerable to modern threats? And while we leave it to home users to take all the risks, such a negligence can be critical for a business survival. Well, the most probable answer to it is to keep such systems away from Internet and even the local networks. Or create the isolated local network for old systems only. This is much easier done than read.
But most advanced users know that security patches and fixes are overrated. It doesn’t matter how updated your Windows OS is, you still need an antivirus. By the way, Kaspersky Security 2016 sits well with Windows XP SP3, provided, you’ve got enough RAM and disk space. And such a little hardware upgrade beats buying the whole new system if you can’t afford much.
With Windows 7 the need of upgrade to our humble opinion is even lower than with any other Microsoft OS. By far this is one of the most stable and reliable Windows OS and it will get support till 2022. Traditional interface combines with the support of the latest multimedia apps and input\output ports. The access to system controls, the command line and system logs is also more intuitive than in Windows 8 and 10. Windows 7 can be installed on old PCs which previously ran on Windows XP, even the 32-bit version, as Windows 7 supports the 32-bit CPU architecture. Of course, it requires more RAM, but as we have mentioned it before, the expenses are acceptable.
Of course, with tablets and hybrids the share of Windows 10 in the market will be growing from day to day, but older version of the most popular OS can survive till the end of the decade.
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