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More PCs are running Windows XP than Windows 11

More PCs are running Windows XP than Windows 11

Although Microsoft is heavily touting its latest platform for Windows 11, adoption of the operating system has largely come to a standstill. The latest market research indicates that Windows 11 runs on only 1.44% of all computers on the market today, putting the latest operating system behind older platforms like Windows XP and Windows 7.

For comparison, market data for asset management software provider Lansweeper revealed that legacy and legacy operating systems, such as Windows XP and Windows 7, capture a larger market share than Windows 11.

Windows 11 and Windows 10 logos are displayed on laptop screens.

Windows 7, for reference, is 4.7% and Windows XP’s market share is 1.71%. Windows 10 still leads the way, with an install base of 80.34%, likely due to the ease of upgrading at the launch of this operating system.

On the consumer side, the main reason behind slow Windows 11 usage is likely to be the difficulty of upgrading older systems with Windows 10 or earlier to the latest operating system. Early on, Microsoft imposed hardware restrictions on Windows 11, ensuring that only PCs purchased within the last few years were eligible to run the latest operating system. In fact, according to a Lansweeper report, more than half of today’s PCs can’t be upgraded to Windows 11.

“Lansweeper data based on an estimated 30 million Windows devices from 60,000 organizations reveals that, on average, only 44.4% of workstations are eligible to receive the automatic upgrade, while the rest will be ineligible,” the company wrote in its market research.

Microsoft has since softened its stance, though to get hardware deemed incompatible to be able to run Windows 11 requires a manual installation — rather than just running the Windows 11 upgrade tool — and a registry hack.

Both options increase the resistance to Windows 11 adoption, especially for those who may not feel comfortable performing more advanced repairs. And even if you can force your Windows 10 PC to update to Windows 11, Microsoft doesn’t guarantee that systems that upgrade manually through a registry hack will be eligible to receive software updates, which could put those PCs at risk. The security risks of upgrading could negate any perceived benefits of getting the new Windows UI on 11.

However, running expired operating systems that do not receive updates, security patches, or critical system fixes also poses cybersecurity risks.

The Start menu on the Surface Pro 8 has been pulled.

Companies may find little reason to upgrade to Windows 11 if existing software performs well on the current operating system. Historically, companies have also been slower to upgrade than consumers, choosing platform stability and consistency over whatever visual appeal a redesigned operating system might bring.

However, not all news is bad news. While Lansweeper’s numbers show a slow rise in adoption for Windows 11, AdDuplex data has swung significantly in favor of Microsoft’s latest operating system, according to a report on Computer World. AdDuplex reports that Windows 11 adoption is close to 9%, although it remains unclear how either company reached their own numbers and why there is such a large discrepancy between reports.

In addition to the slow upgrade cycle on the software side, Microsoft and its partners are also struggling with slowing PC sales. Recent data from Gartner and IDC indicates that first-quarter PC sales in 2022 were down for manufacturers like Lenovo, HP, Acer, and others compared to the same period the previous year.

“The PC market is emerging from two years of double-digit growth, so while the first-quarter downturn represents a change in that momentum, that doesn’t mean the industry is in a downward spiral,” IDC explained in its report.

“We’ve seen some slowdowns in both the education and consumer markets, but all indications are that demand for business computers remains very strong,” IDC added. “We also believe that the consumer market will bounce back in the near future.”

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