Here’s why we believe Windows 7 is the new Windows XP

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Former Managing Editor
18 Comments
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User complaints about Microsoft’s unfair upgrade strategies are nothing new. Judging by the type of complaints and their frequency, it seems that Microsoft is choosing to deploy even fiercer methods in response. As a quick reminder, the latest upgrade campaign Microsoft launched was in December 2019.

Well, this upgrade campaign is much milder compared to the previous ones. Missing X button on the update window, anyone? Windows 10 installing the latest updates despite users having blocked the feature? Does that sound familiar?

Windows 10 forced upgrade history

Back in 2016, many users accused Microsoft of cutting off the possibility of choice with an upgrade window that only displayed two options: “Upgrade now” and “Download now, upgrade later”.

Others claimed the tech giant changed the behavior of the X button on the upgrade pop-up, preventing them from cancelling the update. If they did click the X button, Windows would display a message informing them about the day the upgrade is scheduled for. In extreme cases, hitting the X button immediately started the upgrading process.

The third type of complaint suggested that Microsoft avoided informing users of the upgrade at all, with some users simply noticing a new OS when they turn on their computer again.

Husband turns on the computer this morning and it has automatically installed Windows 10. This has happened to all of our office computers. At the office we were able to stop the upgrade and uninstall the update and block further updates.

But what if Microsoft’s scariest nightmare comes true? What if Windows 7 becomes the next Windows XP? What if most users refuse to upgrade and continue to use Windows 7 beyond 2020 when support officially ends?

We believe this is a very probable scenario for the following reasons.

Why Windows 7 could become the new Windows XP

1. Users are frustrated and feel Microsoft betrayed them

When you buy a computer, that device becomes your property, not Microsoft’s. But the tech giant seemed to have forgotten this when it decided to automatically install the latest updates on users’ computers. Choosing the Windows platform proves that users trust Microsoft and the company should appreciate this. It should also not forget there are other operating systems out there and users may soon choose to switch sides as a response.

I am really annoyed. I left my computer for an short time. […] When I came back to it, it was mid Windows 10 upgrade!!!!! I hadn’t chosen this, and didn’t want it. […] What right has Windows got to upgrade my laptop when I did not want it! […] This is a total breach of my privacy.

2. Lots of Windows 10 bugs!

Microsoft’s latest OS brings too many bugs: font bugs, camera bugsdriver issues due to incompatibility problems between hardware components and Windows 10, Wi-Fi issues, and many others.

If you installed the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, you must clearly remember the OS was plagued with bugs. Windows updates often delete user data. Moreover, according to a survey, Windows updates trigger bugs for 50% of users.

Is there any guarantee your upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 will a bug-free process? Not really.

3.  Windows 10 collects very private information about its users — more than Windows 7 does

A service like Cortana constantly gathers information about you, but the good news is that you can edit permissions. Even your Windows 10 computer camera may be spying on you without you even being aware, and those recently introduced Skype bots are digging through your Skype conversations.

Not to mention the latest privacy scandal Microsoft was involved in, as it was proved that Visual Studio 2015 C++ compiler’s hidden codes make calls to Microsoft’s telemetry services — something Microsoft didn’t mention anything about in its documentation.

If you are worried about your privacy not being respected, you can use one of these privacy tools to limit Windows 10’s access to your private date.

4. Windows 7 still runs fine

windows 7 next windows xp

You know what they say: if ain’t broken, don’t fix it. We have a computer running Windows 7 Professional, and we’re pretty satisfied with it. Windows 7 can run many of the programs you find on the Windows 10 version, except for a few apps such as Cortana or Edge.

If Windows 7 meets your computing needs, you don’t have to hurry up and accept the upgrade just so that you can get it for free: Windows 10 might be more trouble than it’s worth.

If you’re worried about security issues, don’t forget that Microsoft will continue to roll out critical security patches even after 2020. It did that with Windows XP. Why would the company not do the same with Windows 7?

5. Old peripherals might not work on Windows 10

Windows 10 is not compatible with the drivers of old devices, as such an operation would require too many development resources considering most users upgrade their equipment anyway. If you’re using very old peripherals because you simply cannot throw them away, you should keep Windows 7.

Windows 7 is stable and easy to use and as any good OS, it won’t go down easily. Windows 7 still has an impressive 30% market share or 250M users, despite Microsoft’s desperate efforts to trick users into upgrading.

We will definitely see a visible decrease in Windows 7‘s market share after January 14, 2020. However, we expect Windows 7 to retain a 20% market share at the end of 2020 or 15% in the worst case scenario. Then we expect Windows 7‘s market share to plateau somewhere around 10% over the next 5 to 10 years.

If you’re choosing to run an old version of Windows instead of upgrading to Windows 10, please share the reasons that contributed to this decision in the comment section below.

Editor’s Note: This article was last updated on January 6, 2020.

  • why I choose to stay with Windows 7 until I die?
    1) win7 is a complete OS & well polished job
    2) win7 doesn’t destroy important computing resources to gathering data from your pc
    3) win7 overall gaming performance are superior than windows 10
    4) win7 is my favorite OS and if microsoft want me to upgrade
    then they better come out with something better of windows 10
    and since that is never going to happen because microsoft doesn’t care
    then I stay with Windows 7 Forever …!!
    My Computer My Choice

  • Windows 10 forced itself on my perfectly working 7 machine. It now spends most of its time downloading t.his and other tat, it forced me to uninsaTall the reinstall my paid for security suite. It now constantly asks me to update my perfectly working office 2010 to the latest, why would anyone want to pay twice for windows office to upgrade. I use office 2000 on an old XP 64bit pro pc and it and xp works fine, maybe not secure on its own when on the internet but behind a hardware firewall probably good enough for private use.

    Win 10 is even more annoying than Android ( which I quite like apart from the nag messages) it asks you to do this and do you want to pay for this. Could not MS sell us an OS then leave us alone with it doing just os upgrades in the background , as per 7 and XP.
    It usually was the rule that MS alternated between one good OS and one bad. They seem to have managed two bad ones in a row with 8 and 10. Hope they bring out 11 with nice clean Aero desktop without horrid square boxes flashing weather forecasts and other messages all the time. That stuff might be Ok on a phone or tablet but personally I need a nice stable motionless desktp and programms that dont have moving images or ads unless I ask for one….
    Windows 10 is just adware and spam all in one…

  • The GUI is just butt-ugly and there are ZERO feature improvements, IMHO. I played with it for a year-and-a-half on and off. As a developer of desktop and web applications it’s a zero-sum-game to upgrade. I’ll drive the “wheels” off Win7 Pro.

  • i used windows 10 for 1 year and when the anniversary update came, i switched back to windows 7

    windows 10 sucks:
    – the ui is very ugly – its just some flat color ad rectangles and squares.. its not minimalist, its not fashionable, it’s not aesthetically pleasing, it doesnt look good
    – if you turn off the aero, its still working, you just dont see it, i found this out when i closed some demanding game and my windows 10 UI hat to redraw itself and when it was doing this, for a split second i saw the aero and then it disappeared
    – there is no classic theme.. well, there is, but you can’t enable it, because it breaks everything else
    – there is this metro/modern language all over the UI and its so easy to break, and when it does, the whole UI breaks, especially the taskbar and the start menu stop working completely
    – there is this lock sceen that looks like a window shade and you have to click on it, press enter or something to remove it every f-ing time, even if you don’t have a password it still shows and you have to press enter once to remove it and once again to log into your account; before the anniversary update, you could use the group policy editor to turn it off, now you cant.. apparently someone found a way to disable it by creating an event that stops it every time windows boots… how pathetic is this – having to go to such lengths just to turn off a f-ing lock screen that has no purpose or place on a device with mouse and keyboard
    – all tracking with windows 10 – i dont mind the tracking as much as all the data constantly being transferred and all the resources being used – imagine how much faster would windows 10 be without all this crap.. and there are tools that can turn the tracking off like O&O shut up 10 but you can never know whats actually being turned off or it just says its off
    – the ui inconsistency and the settings app and the control panel, the ugly calculator and the photo viewer thats so slow to load that you need to remove it and install a 3rd party alternative, like nomacs, irfanview or whatever
    – windows 10 never completely shuts down, but hibernates instead in order to mimic that its booting faster, but those lazy idiots at microsoft never really bothered to at least change the light blue image that says “resuming from hibernation”

    windows 10 is a joke, a garbage and even 1 year after its released its still in early alpha stage of development and they take people for idiots to test it for them, in fact they now even charge money so people can test the garbage they made and provide feedback … people are basically paying micro$oft to do their job

  • The service and the modern apps that are bloatware.

    Windows 7 has a clean interface and unlike Windows 10, Microsoft doesn’t force upgrades upon the user.

  • I’ve been testing Windows 10 as my daily driver for about two weeks. Had to clean reinstall it three times on the first week. Once I found that delicate driver and application balance it seems to be running stable. The update mechanism is a concern. Also I had to tweak it a “little bit” to make it usable. After turning off all of the official switches, I installed OOSU10 and Spybot antibeacon. The new Start menu kinda works but still had to install Classic Shell. The App ecosystem is reminiscent of what you find on a tablet or a smartphone (including having to log in to your Microsoft account to download free software), it is just useless to me. Better stick to regular software or what Microsoft calls “desktop apps”.

  • The other problem with Windows 10 is that it’s ugly. Those stupid tiles look absolutely junky on a big screen. The plain user interface and simplistic icons also look terrible.
    Having used Windows 10 for a while on a tablet, I see no reason to switch my Windows 7 systems to Windows 10. I really don’t think going to W10 is an upgrade.
    Windows 7 runs flawlessly on my systems. I have enough hardware that conserving resources is not even a concern.
    I think Windows 7 will be my OS for the foreseeable future… Maybe even past it’s intended shelf life… If security on it becomes an issue years down the road, I’ll just unplug them from the ‘net… get a cheap Linux or something for going online….

    • 7 is plain ,simple and Aero itself makes it look good. 10 is bright, colourful and cheerful with a little Aero and you can even install software to make it look exactly like 7 and that’s easier than formatting and installing another os.

      • how is windows 10 bright colorful and cheerful? the default theme is black white and blue… it reminds me of the horrors of working in an office

        besides who would want to install software to make it look like something else? id rather install the real thing

  • I am still using Windows 7. It works as well as it ever did for my needs and I don’t have or want to spend the time to learn a new OS and turn off a bunch of things designed to spy on me – especially for no reason at all. That said, I might have gone for the upgrade, but when I feel someone is trying to force me to do something, especially when it benefits them to my detriment (i.e. privacy), I firmly dig in my heels. Call me crazy, but I’m of the generation that bought computers which we then owned and could control (notwithstanding whatever contradictory stipulations were snuck into the EULAs).

    With this whole upgrade debacle, plus the new operating system upping the spying and reducing my control over the device (no safe mode on start-up? Isn’t that the point of safe mode? And why would I want a device that doesn’t allow updates to be disabled – MS itself has made it very clear why this is an important option), I have to say MS is pretty much dead to me. I shouldn’t have to be hypervigilant about my OS. I’ll ride out Win7 and maybe switch to something else after.

    • My sentiments and feelings exactly. I’m using Windows 7 Professional as well on my desktop. I also have Windows 10 Home installed in Virtualbox as a guest OS. I had Windows 10 Technical Preview in Virtualbox as a guest for some time, but got tired of it and just deleted it.

      I also have currently (as opposed to 70 various distros at one time) Korora (Fedora based), Manjaro (Arch based), Debian 8, Linux Mint 17.3 & Linux Mint 18.0 beta (Debian-Ubuntu based) distros installed as guests in Virtualbox. They all have the Cinnamon desktop. I also have Xubuntu with the Xfce desktop. I ALSO have Cub Linux & Remix OS (Google OS) as well.

      I like to browse in Virtualbox so my Google Chrome browser is sandboxed in the guest OS. I so detest Windows 10, cringe even at the thought of opening it up just to update it, I find myself working and browsing in one of the Linux desktops as I am now using Linux Mint 17.3. Like you I’ll probably stick with Windows 7 Professional x64 until 2020 and then I’m going straight to one of the Linux distros as my main OS. By the way, I have no interest whatsoever in a cloud-centric OS. Nor do I care for “apps” for I like Win32 applications and programs. I don’t want a phone OS on my desktop..

      In 2020 if I need a Windows program like TurboTax I can just install TurboTax in a Virtualbox Windows guest. Besides Windows 10 Home, I also have Windows Vista Ultimate & Windows XP Professional x64 as guests in Virtualbox

      I knew nothing about Linux 2 years ago, but I had heard of it. So I set out to learn more. I’ve been enjoying the various Linux & BSD distros and have learned a lot. Definitely like them better than Windows 10 Professional and with Windows now as a service (WAAS) I just know Windows will eventually go subscription like Microsoft Office (Office 365). It may not go subscription until 2024, but that is the way they’ll end up to insure a steady stream of revenue. I hate subscriptions and I’m sure they don’t like me much since I’m still using Office XP Professional (2002), along with LibreOffice.

      When it comes to Office Microsoft didn’t make much income from since I never climbed on board the upgrade merry-go-round. I did buy Office 2000 Professional and still have it which I can install if for some reason one day my legitimately purchased Office XP edition no longer will activate.

      With the direction Microsoft is going, particularly with their upgrade shenanigans, I’ve gone from a Microsoft fan to a Microsoft detester. Linux is my future unless Santa one day gets me a decked out Apple Mac Pro “trashcan” or all-in-one. Still might prefer Linux over Mac OS.Time will tell, but Windows won’t be in that telling.

      • Have you found something that you cannot do with LibreOffice that you had to use windows for? Turbotax and Anydvd are the only 2 programs that I have that need windows now and then. Turbotax can be done online with Linux Mint, by the way.

        • Find a somewhat rarely used feature without hunting for forever? There’s a reason Office went to the ribbon interface. It’s easier to find things.