Windows XP is really hard to kill, gains more market share by the day

By: Madeleine Dean
2 minute read

The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to highlight the main events of the past year. In 2016, Microsoft tried really hard to convince more users to upgrade to Windows 10— and with mixed results.

Many users accepted Microsoft’s offer and installed Windows 10 on their computers while others fought tooth and claw and stood their ground. In a nutshell, Windows 10 experienced a 14.4% increase in market share from December 2015 to December 2016, jumping from 9.96% to 24.36%.

The most surprising trend, though, is Windows XP’s still growing market share. According to the data provided by NetMarkerShare, Windows XP experienced growth in market share in recent months. Microsoft’s third most popular OS had a 9.07% market share in December 2016, up from 8.27% in October and 8.63% in November.

This is not the first time Windows XP has experienced a significant market share increase. Back in June 2016, the OS had a 9.78% market share that grew to 10.34% in July.

However, Netmarketshare’s figures are impacted by two elements: adblockers and users who don’t visit the websites it monitors. As a result, Windows XP’s market share fluctuation may actually reflect these influences. In other words, the ups and downs could simply reflect the fluctuation in adblocker use as well as more users visiting the websites monitored by NetMarketShare — implying that there could be no Windows XP market share growth at all.

We collect data from the browsers of site visitors to our exclusive on-demand network of HitsLink Analytics and SharePost clients. The network includes over 40,000 websites, and spans the globe. We ‘count’ unique visitors to our network sites, and only count one unique visit to each network site per day. […] The data is compiled from approximately 160 million unique visits per month. The information published on is an aggregation of the data from this network of hosted website traffic statistics.

Here’s an example to illustrate this difference: Microsoft claims that Windows 10 has a total market share of 30%, while NetMarketShare suggest that the OS has a 24.36% market share.

For better or worse, Windows XP is here to stay. Microsoft ended support for the OS in April 2014, yet many users and institutions rely on this dinosaur for daily usage. As a quick reminder, the UK’s nuclear submarines run Windows XP and 90% of UK’s hospitals rely on Windows XP while London police preferred to spend $2 million to stick with Windows XP. Let us not forget this OS is also extremely vulnerable to threats as many security experts have warned.

Major companies such as Google and Firefox will end support for Windows XP this year. In a world where Microsoft and other tech giants have dropped support for Windows XP, severely limiting its security and reliability, it is still worth sticking to this OS?


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