For the first time in a long time, Windows 7 is now being run by less than half of PC users. Only 43.12% still use the eight-year-old operating system, reports TechRadar.
This figure is down 3.5% from last year, but the drop-off is accelerating, reducing 2.6% in the last month.
However, those figures don't tell the whole story, noted NetMarketShare , the service that collected the data. Traffic from bots (automated accounts) has been on the rise in the past few years, and a lot of those bots are operating from Windows 7 machines.
Hackers can use bots to direct artificial traffic to certain pages or features, in order to add value to ad clicks. A significant portion of all countries' browsing data is attributable to bots. NetMarketShare has recently overhauled its data collection methods to decrease the influence of bots.
So while this drop certainly reflects some users upgrading to Windows 10, it also reflects the prevalence of bots in the service's previous statistics — that is, the Windows 7 market share was probably overblown to begin with.
Microsoft ended most support for Windows 7 in January2015, although users still get security updates. At that point, 56% of users were still using Windows 7, and were told they could expect "extended support" until 2020.
Windows 8 and 8.1 never achieved the market share of Windows 7. It completely revamped the Windows experience to mixed reviews, and it received massive backlash for its elimination of the "Start" menu.
Windows 10, released in June 2015, brought back the Start menu, had a much more intuitive interface, and was widely considered the first viable upgrade alternative to Windows 7. Since then, it seems, Windows 7 has been on its way out.