Ed Bott, writing at ZDNet: With a heartfelt nod to Monty Python, Windows 7 would like you all to know that it’s not dead yet. A year after Microsoft officially ended support for its long-running OS, a small but determined population of PC users would rather fight than switch. How many? No one knows for sure, but that number has shrunk substantially in the past year. On the eve of Microsoft’s Windows 7 end-of-support milestone, I consulted some analytics experts and calculated that the owners of roughly 200 million PCs worldwide would ignore that deadline and continue running their preferred OS. That was, admittedly, a rough estimate. During the holiday lull at the end of 2020, I decided to go back and run the latest version of those analytics reports. They tell a consistent story.

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Let’s start with the United States Government Digital Analytics Program, which reports a running, unfiltered total of visitors to U.S. websites over the previous 90 days. One of the datasets includes a report of visits from all PCs running any version of Windows, which makes it an ideal proxy for this question. At the end of December 2019, 75.8% of those PCs were running Windows 10, 18.9% were still on Windows 7, and a mere 4.6% were sticking with the unloved Windows 8.x. A year later, as December 2020 draws to a close, the proportion of PCs running Windows 10 has gone up 12%, to 87.8%; the Windows 7 count has dropped by more than 10 points, to 8.5%, and the population of Windows 8.x holdouts has shrunk even further, to a minuscule 3.4%. (The onetime champion of PC operating systems, Windows XP, is now nearly invisible, with its device count adding up to a fraction of a rounding error.)

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