The inevitable transition to Windows 8 continues unabated. Microsoft published an update on its support site on Tuesday with a list of products reaching the end of their Mainstream Support life cycles in the coming months, including Windows Server 2008, Exchange Server 2010 and most notably, Windows 7 Home, Professional, Starter, Enterprise and Ultimate. More →
With support for Windows XP due to end next week, XP’s market share has predictably started to decline… but it’s not benefiting Windows 8 nearly as much as it’s benefiting Windows 7. The Next Web points out that NetMarketShare’s latest numbers show a predictable decline of nearly two percentage points for Windows XP over the last month along with a rise of a combined 0.62 percentage points for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 and a rise of 1.46 percentage points for Windows 7. This means that between the end of February and the end of March, Windows 7 adoption grew more than twice as fast as Windows 8 adoption. More →
It looks like Apple might have taken Microsoft’s recent video to heart after all. MacRumors reports that Apple’s support page for Boot Camp has been updated to reflect the fact that the latest Mac Pro will no longer support Windows 7 or any older versions of the operating system. Although all the previous models appear to have retained Windows 7 and Vista support, MacRumors notes that this could be the first sign of future Mac computers shedding support for the aging software altogether. Mac users who depend on Boot Camp might start paying closer attention to those Windows 8 updates from now on.
If you want a new PC but would prefer to get one with Windows 7 instead of Windows 8, then you’d better realize that your window is slowly closing. Paul Thurrott writes that Microsoft has officially set a deadline of October 31st, 2014 as the last day it will allow manufacturing partners to preload the assort Home editions of Windows 7 onto new machines. After that point, every new consumer-targeted PC they make will need to have some variation of Windows 8. The good news for Windows 7 fans, however, is that they still might be able to get new Windows 7 PCs through their work even after the last new Windows 7 consumer PC has been sold because Microsoft has extended the deadline for OEMs to preinstall Windows 7 Pro onto business PCs. More →
Although Windows 8 license sales appeared to be keeping pace with Windows 7 within the same time frame for the first several months, updates from Microsoft became less frequent as time passed. As Windows 8 approaches a year and a half on the market, The Verge reports that Microsoft has taken the stage at a Goldman Sachs technology conference to announce that sales have finally reached 200 million. To put that number into perspective, Windows 7 had reached 240 million license sales in a single year, and that number has been climbing by the hundreds of millions every year since. From what we’ve seen of Windows 8.1 Update 1, Microsoft is moving in the right direction, but tweaks and bug fixes won’t be able to right this train alone.
If you’re still scratching your head over why HP is pushing Windows 7 over Windows 8, this might give you a clue. Shawn Allaway, the CEO of Windows migration assistance firm ConverterTechnology, tells Network World that the impending death of Windows XP has led many of his customers to ask about upgrading their systems… but not to Windows 8. In fact, Allaway says that none of his customers have chosen Windows 8 so far and most of them will likely upgrade to Windows 7 instead. More →
Public opinion on Windows 8 seems to be in an unending state of flux, but at least one PC manufacturer has decided to take a stand on the matter. HP has announced via the front page of its website that Windows 7 computers are “back by popular demand,” signaling yet another delay to what Microsoft must have assumed would be an inevitable shift to the latest operating system. More →
Calm down, Windows 8 haters: You may not have to rush out to scoop up Windows 7 after all. Microsoft caused a stir last week when it announced that it had already stopped selling box copies of Windows 7 and that it had instructed its manufacturing partners to stop using Windows 7 on new PCs by October 30th, 2014. Now Network World has noticed that Microsoft has backtracked on its Windows life cycle page and now says that sales of both Windows 7 and new Windows 7 PCs will only end at a date “to be determined.” Windows 7 extended support is still scheduled to last through January 14th, 2020. More →
If you’re looking to buy a new PC and you hate the idea of looking at Live Tiles, then you’d better get a new PC within the next year or so. As ZDNet points out, Microsoft has told its manufacturing partners that they can keep selling new Windows 7-based PCs through October 30th, 2014, which means that by this time next year every new PC that OEMs release will come preloaded with Windows 8. Microsoft has also announced that it’s officially stopped selling Windows 7 box copies at retail. More →
There’s no question that the adoption rate for Windows 8 is much slower than Microsoft had expected. Some manufacturers are even sticking with Windows 7 as their primary operating system for new machines. In an interview with ZDNet, Toshiba’s business-to-business product marketing manager Cindy Zwerling said that “Windows 7 is clearly the enterprise operating system at this time.” Although some businesses that have transitioned to Windows 8 tablets, Windows 7 machines still make up 99% of Toshiba’s business sales. Zwerling pointed out that migrating an entire business to a new operating system is a “huge undertaking,” and most organizations feel like they just made the switch to Windows 7. Toshiba will continue to sell the most up-to-date PCs for regular consumers, but the electronics conglomerate does not see any corporate demand for Windows 8 so far.
Although Windows 8 has been steadily increasing its share of the market over the past few months, a recent surge by Windows 7 has put the old OS back on top, at least temporarily. The most recent data from Net Applications shows that Windows 8 is up 0.61% from last month, which means Microsoft’s new operating system is on 8.02% of machines hitting the company’s network, but the Windows 7 adoption rate increased at a rate of 0.80%, bringing it up to 46.43% of the market. Windows XP continues to fall off the charts, dropping from 33.66% to 31.41%, though it is worth noting this is a slightly less precipitous drop than last month’s. Perhaps the release of Windows 8.1 and the retooled Start button will bring users around to the new OS as the year ends.
The European Commission on Wednesday fined Microsoft (MSFT) €561 million, equal to roughly $731 million, for failing to properly inform users of alternative Web browser options. The company was required to offer users a browser choice screen in Windows 7 that would allow them to easily choose their preferred Web browser, however it failed to do so from May 2011 through July 2012. The Commission found that more than 15 million Windows users in Europe did not see this screen over the course of a year. Microsoft acknowledged its mistake, noting that it takes “full responsibility for the technical error that caused this problem and have apologized for it.” The company does not plan to appeal the fine. The European Commission’s press release follows below. More →
Despite Microsoft’s (MSFT) claims that sales of Windows 8 were outpacing its predecessor, global web traffic results paint a much different picture. According to data compiled by StatCounter, the total Internet usage of computers running Windows 8 over a four-week period ending on November 26th equaled a mere 1.31%, compared to the 4.93% Windows 7 achieved one month after its launch in 2009. Usage of Windows 7 on November 26th totaled 49.48% of the market in the United States, while Windows XP and Mac OS X made up 16.07% and 15.48%, respectively. More →