back to article Crystal ball gazers declare that Windows 10 has finally overtaken Windows 7

The party poppers have gone off in Redmond, not to usher in 2019, but to celebrate another market share-watcher declaring that yes, Windows 10 has finally crept past Windows 7. Stat-wranglers from NetMarketShare are the latest to declare that Windows 10 has gently given its much-loved (or less disliked) predecessor a nudge …

  1. SharpOB
    Linux

    I wonder how much Linux has increased...

    1. J J Carter Silver badge

      It's lept from below the noise floor to a rounding-error on the stats. W00T!

    2. fishman

      Android

      Well, since Android uses the Linux kernel, I'd say to "World Domination".

      1. doublelayer

        Re: Android

        Android uses the Linux kernel. So do a bunch of embedded devices and some systems for internal virtualization components. None of those mean that Linux runs the world, for the major reason that an actual Linux system consists of more than a kernel. It's a great kernel, but with a completely closed layer above, the benefits to users just aren't there. Android uses the kernel but prevents real use as a Linux-capable machine by denying root access and being structured such that gaining root access through odd means doesn't allow compatibility with most Linux functionality. I can run some things, sure, but things that expect the standard environment of users or anything complex will run into roadblocks set up by the android developers in an effort to keep android unified and not easily changed by the end user.

        If I want to run software that will run on Linux, I need a desktop install, a server running it, or a designed-for-linux embedded device like a raspberry pi or an openWRT-compatible router (some limitations remain). It will not run on my android phone any more than it will on my Linux-powered microwave. In that sense, Linux on the desktop, where there is effort put into letting users control everything, keeping things globally functional, and creating a nonproprietary system, is very far from running the world. It has dominance in servers, but not much else. Claiming victory because android borrowed some code is missing the point.

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Re: Android

          for the major reason that an actual Linux system consists of more than a kernel.

          Linux is the kernel, the common alternate desktop O.S you are thinking of is GNU/Linux, often referred to as Linux (should at least be 'Linux though) as it is/was the Linux kernel plus the GNU software stack.

          Today, we could probably do with adding a few more, ' /' to the name, but people would still contract the name to just 'linux' and continue to sow confusion.

          1. doublelayer

            Re: Android

            I accept that, but only somewhat. Linux is more than the kernel. The name may have applied only to the kernel at some point, but it has grown to be a term used to refer to a type of system using that kernel and certain types of tools above that. Android has some GNU code in there too, but it isn't GNU/Linux in the conventional sense, nor is it Linux in the conventional sense. Similarly, BSD may refer to a kernel, a license, a set of kernels that use the same paradigm, and an operating system distribution built on one or more. When comparing it to an operating system, I, at least, will assume the "operating system distribution" definition to be in use.

            Specifically with GNU, having a system that would be accepted as Linux by many does not necessarily require the GNU implementations of the tools. For example, an embedded Linux using the busybox versions of the basic tools and without other GNU components could still fall into my definition of a Linux-style system if it allowed access and user control. Meanwhile, a system that puts all the code of a standard Linux system with GNU tools in, but then blocked its ability to be used in the standard manner (for example blocking login ability and the ability to install new code) would no longer count for me as a Linux *system*, instead being a thing using the Linux kernel.

            1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

              Re: Android

              > For example, an embedded Linux using the busybox versions of the basic tools and without other GNU components could still fall into my definition of a Linux-style system

              You can go that far with Android by using TerminalIDE or many similar 'apps'.

              https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Android/Terminal_IDE

              http://www.spartacusrex.com/terminalide.htm

              1. doublelayer

                Re: Android

                Hence why I used the word "could". In order to get that capacity, you still need the relevant access using those tools. My example here would be routers running openWRT. On those, you don't get all the same Linux compatibility that you might want, but you do get root functionality, ability to run virtually any code that you can compile and run in the resource limits and with the tools installed, and theoretically the ability to construct the tools you are missing, which some people choose to do with openWRT. On a rooted android device, you may have obtained root capabilities but you still can't get around the major changes android has made to the unix-like user tools. One major example of this is that android uses user accounts very differently to virtually every other Linux system out there, which is virtually guaranteed to get in the way with many complex tools.

                On the other side of this coin, if I created a machine that used the full Debian distribution, with the Linux kernel, GNU tools, and all the other functionality that clearly makes a Linux system, and then sealed it in a virtualization system so you couldn't use any of it, I have changed how it works. All the Debian code is there, but it doesn't give the user the functionality of Debian. It only gave the creator of the system those capabilities. For the user, it is what the thing can do, rather than what code went into it, that makes the system what it is. When "Linux system" has come to mean a certain level of usability, compatibility, and modifiability, it is a disservice to use that term when those aspects are not present, even if the words are literally true. For me, my microwave is not a Linux system; it is a microwave. Until I am allowed to rewrite its code or at least log in, the Linux kernel it runs does nothing for me, and the thing is called what the thing does, which is a microwave.

                1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

                  Re: Android

                  > On a rooted android device,

                  TerminalIDE does not require the device to be rooted.

                  > you still can't get around the major changes android has made to the unix-like user tools

                  Each application has a separate user-id (unless requesting shared user-id). TerminalIDE runs as one user process and so all tools run inside TerminalIDE as that user. Certainly you can't poke around inside other apps - that is a security issue.

                  1. Unicornpiss Silver badge
                    Meh

                    Can't we all just agree..

                    ..that there are a LOT more devices out there using the Linux kernel than anything from MS. And it will always be this way, the main reason being cost.

                    We may never see the "year of the Linux desktop" mostly due to sooo much software being written for Windows, and MS's effective marketing, though it may be inching closer with every Windows release and/or update that squeaks through quality control without proper testing.

                    Personally I use Linux most of the time, at least when I'm not at work. I just prefer an OS that doesn't nag, put form over function, or spy on me. It also uses less resources and runs quicker on my machines. YMMV.

  2. Jess

    I installed Windows 10 free upgrade on my PCs

    Dual boot with Linux mint.

    For the first year I found Windows 10 better than the then current version of Mint.

    Then came the significant upgrades.

    Windows became glacial on both systems, but Mint improved. So ever since I have been using it as my primary system. Only booting into Windows when specific tasks need it, such as iTunes to redeem codes, but even this has become so tedious, it's easier to dig out a 2004 PowerBook and use that instead.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Windows became glacial on both systems"

      My Win10 systems boot in under 16 seconds, and reboots in less than 35 seconds. Just sayin'...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Windows became glacial on both systems"

        My Linux systems don't need to reboot.

        1. Ragarath

          Re: "Windows became glacial on both systems" @AC

          Codswallop!

          1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

            Re: "Windows became glacial on both systems" @AC

            There was a power cut last month so my 'uptime' is only 22 days. Prior to that it was 200 or so.

            The reason that Windows requires reboots on an update is that the file system cannot replace a file that is open, such as a dll. This means that the replacement files must be put in another place and a script written to move those files on the next reboot, which then must be done to complete the update.

            Unix-like systems use a inode file system. This allows an open file to be replaced by creating a new inode for it and leaving the open file to be continued to be used through its own inode. When the old file has been closed by all programs then the old file is deleted and the disk space recovered - the OS keeps track of these file opens. It is only necessary to restart long running programs, such as web servers, to get them to use the new updated files.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              "Unix-like systems use a inode file system. This allows an open file"

              Sure but:

              1) Processes that are never restarted keep on using the old file - which could be vulnerable - and that means any daemon - even on desktop systems, not only web servers, but many system-level processes.

              2) Kernel code stays in memory as well, unless you use some of the mechanism that could replace kernel code while running. The tricky part is if the update changes memory structures - that's one reason why Windows doesn't allow to replace open executables - because having different code expecting different structures running at the same time could easily led to disasters.

              Thereby but specially configured Linuxes - and well tested to enure they can be patched while running need reboots if you want to keep them safe. Unlike Windows they won't annoy you to do so, but until yo do, you have a window (pun intended) when the system is vulnerable.

              1. Tom Chiverton 1

                Re: "Unix-like systems use a inode file system. This allows an open file"

                " unless you use some of the mechanism that could replace kernel code while running. The tricky part is "

                Cough : https://www.ubuntu.com/livepatch

                1. Ragarath

                  Re: "Unix-like systems use a inode file system. This allows an open file"

                  @Tom Chiverton 1

                  My codswallop post was actually a reference to the fact that you had to reboot for kernel patches or you would be unsecure. Thank you for enlightening me!

              2. JohnFen Silver badge

                Re: "Unix-like systems use a inode file system. This allows an open file"

                Tom Chiverton 1 already addressed your point #2, so I'll just address point #1. You're right, however you don't need to reboot the system to get running processes to use new code. All you need to do is restart those running processes -- which can be automated so as to eliminate user error (such as missing a process).

              3. Richard Plinston Silver badge

                Re: "Unix-like systems use a inode file system. This allows an open file"

                > that's one reason why Windows doesn't allow to replace open executables

                No it isn't. The only reason is that they _can't_ replace a file that is open without corrupting the system. The directory entry contains the filename and the start of the data block pointers. Replacing the directory entry with one that points to the new data blocks would allow the old blocks to be reused and overwritten while the program with the open file will still be using those blocks.

                > Processes that are never restarted keep on using the old file - which could be vulnerable -

                Updates are not just for 'vulnerabilities' , they are for bug fixes and enhancements. The update process for services can, and often does, include a service restart, particularly in Debian systems.

                It is relatively easy to identify services using deleted files* and to issue 'service name restart' commands. This can be automated if required.

                * # lsof | awk '$4 == "DEL" { print }'

                auditd 1001 1001 root DEL REG /usr/lib64/libnss_files-2.18.so;53bd9626

                libvirtd 1468 1509 root DEL REG /usr/lib64/libnss_files-2.18.so;53bd9626

                ...

              4. Richard Plinston Silver badge

                Re: "Unix-like systems use a inode file system. This allows an open file"

                > 1) Processes that are never restarted keep on using the old file -

                Further to previous post:

                With Windows, if the reboot is not done then _new_ processes also use the old file.

          2. Ucalegon
            FAIL

            Re: "Windows became glacial on both systems" @AC

            I would disagree strongly.

            We run just under 300 PCs in my educational establishment. Since upgrading this summer from 7 to 10 it's been steady but persistent slow down across the board. After a flashy September go live on Windows 10 the entire suite of computers have landed at the end of 2018 as things of ridicule among the students. They are now slow to boot, slow to respond, random freezing and of course the dreaded blue screen of Nope.

            My complaint also drags with it the incomprehensible desktop design of 10 and the shear randomness of where you will find controls you might want to use. It's fast becoming a PR nightmare among the students. It's fast becoming an excuse not to complete tasks which is even more irritating.

            Whilst I fully appreciate our organisation has an abomination of a company doing our tremendously cheap outsourced "support" it's been like traveling back to the 1990s for usability/reliability. Well it would be but in 2019 it's actually worse. We'll have to upgrade windows 10 again at some point just to stand still. Given it took 2 months to sort out the big problems from the upgrade to Windows 10 there's delay and irritation to look forward to every couple of years at the least.

            All this is, of course, my prejudiced experience of Windows 10 to date. I have to use, I would never choose to use it. But in contrast after many years of making do with Windows 7 I found that OS to be reasonably transparent. With the glories of 10 and it's increasing size and poor condition I am seriously exploring alternatives to see if we can migrate to a more modern operating system.

            1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

              Re: "Windows became glacial on both systems" @AC

              Check for Meltdown and Spectre mitigations being installed. Even when I pushed it here, my hyperthreaded dual core i3 was more than capable of handling my loads while I wander the Internet. Now it's not hard to hit 100% and Server Manger has a constant litany of complaints about the performance hit since this system's firmware got updated.

              Thanks Intel.

            2. aqk
              Pint

              Re: "Windows became glacial on both systems" @AC

              "... glories of 10 and it's increasing size and poor condition I am seriously exploring alternatives to see if we can migrate to a more modern operating system."

              Sure, Dude. I bet you've been saying that for years.

              Yes... I too predict that the desktop world will finally dump this horrible Microsoft product and migrate to Linux by 2017!

  3. johnnyblaze

    Whatever the 'real' usage stats, Win10 has been very problematic for Microsoft - the stability/testing/QA is non-existent and the 'as a service' delivery model is badly broken. It's nothing for MS to reallt cheer about anyway. It's been 3.5 years, and with 1 year as a free upgrade, and Win7 not being available for along time now, it says quite a lot for how people view Windows 10 and how many have been avoiding it. Microsoft are going to have a massive problem on their hands come 2020 when potentially 200m or more PC's are still running Windows 7.

    1. mark l 2 Silver badge

      I believe that even now you can still upgrade from Windows 7 to 10 for free just by putting your Windows 7 product key in when asked for one during the install. It certainly worked for me last summer when I upgraded the OS on a family members laptop. This is despite the official free upgrades period ending 2 years ago.

      I don't know of anyone who actually bought a version of Windows 10 other than paying for the OEM version that comes with a new PC. So the fact that it has only just crept passed 7 suggests that a lot of people really don't like it.

      1. The Oncoming Scorn
        Boffin

        My understanding is that the Windows OEM licence is burned into the BIOS on UEFI systems & that the key is valid for Windows 10 activations.

        I had a recent W10 upgrade for a new out of the box Windows 7 Dell.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "I don't know of anyone who actually bought a version of Windows 10"

        Businesses did and do it, as many of them buy PCs without preinstalled OEM software. And of course MS is working hard to move them as well towards Windows 10.

        Anyway, you're right it took so long to barely pass Windows 7 - even if some software (i.e. Adobe) also dropped Windows 7 support forcing user to upgrade as well. Yet, MS is too stubborn to understand it - after all forcing it down users' throats is working, they just need to wait... the problem the Linux world is also too stubborn to be able to offer a real alternative - but for those using only basic software or who can live with Linux software limitations.

        1. Mage Silver badge
          Linux

          Re: the problem the Linux world is also too stubborn

          No, the problem is Adobe, Sage, Cloud CRM that needs Silverlight and other essential windows software for businesses.

          The problem hasn't been "Linux" for maybe ten years.

          I have XP (32bit), Win7 (64 bit) win10 (32bit & 64bit) and Linux Mint + Mate desktop (32 bit, 64bit, old PCs, newish laptop, server). XP and Linux are superior IMO to Win7 and Win 10. Win7 is superior to Win 10 for 64 bit, but Win10 32bit runs older 32bit Windows SW that won't run at all on Win7 64 (I think also anything with VB6 Serial port SW doesn't run on 64 bit windows). There is a penalty on using Win 64 on older PCs or with less than 4G RAM. There is no penalty at all in performance, compatibility or RAM using 64bit Linux, either for Linux appllications and 64 bit Linux will run 32 Bit Windows programs on WINE that either won't install or run on Win7 or Win10 64bit versions. I did have a 32 bit Windows on something, but it's got Linux now.

          Debian runs better on the Linx 1010 tablet + keyboard dock except the touch doesn't support rotation. The old Lenovo X201 laptop/tablet has same issue with Mint and there is supposed to be a script to fix it.However it's only used landscape and only in laptop mode, it's combo touch & Wacom pen is better than the Linx 1010, except the X201 is too low resolution for photo work.

          The Linx1010 has 32bit UEFI and 32 bit Win10, no doubt due to low RAM even though a "64bit" cpu. You need to copy 32bit Linux UEFI directories to a 64 bit Linux, which I didn't do yet, to install 64bit Linux on the crazy Linx1010 tablet. Terrible design as the keyboard has a heavy metal plate to stop it falling over instead of a hinge out flap.

      3. JohnFen Silver badge

        "I don't know of anyone who actually bought a version of Windows 10 other than paying for the OEM version that comes with a new PC."

        Indeed. Over the holidays, I bought 3 new machines to upgrade my home servers. All three came with Win 10, but I immediately wiped them all and replaced it with a reasonable operating system instead. I'm sure, though, that I just added 3 to Microsoft's user base count.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      >Win10 has been very problematic for Microsoft - the stability/testing/QA is non-existent...

      Yes, with Win10 MS have successfully blurred reality, they can glibbly refer to Win10, yet from a stability/QA viewpoint what matters is the individual builds, which given they get replaced every few months don't have time to be bedded in and proven.

      It would be interesting (and informative) to get some data on the "made for business" editions (ie. non-retail versions).

    3. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      @johnnyblaze - Bloat 7 is the last version of Bloat in use by me. That is for a couple pieces of software SWAMBO uses occasionally. It is far simpler to just run Linux otherwise and avoid Bloat 10 and Spyware-as-a-Service. SWAMBO uses Linux Mint as her daily driver.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @a_yank_lurker: I feel you should have two downvotes, one for unnecessarily telling us what you and your missus do, and one for inserting an unnecessary letter into a much-loved acroynm. However it's the season of goodwill so I've let you off.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I now only use windows to run one specific piece of automotive diagnostic software (VCDS for VAG vehicles). I need to look at getting updates for that without connecting that machine to the network. It WONT run in a vm sadly.

    Poke the 10 spyware where the sun dont shine redmond

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    With every new device there is a Windows 10 Install

    So overtime the numbers would climb past Windows 7, however this really only applies to you Home User and not Corporate who like Windows XP are hanging on till the bitter end. I only have 2 Clients who use Windows 10 the rest and it's a big number are sticking with 7 after recovering from a Win XP to 7 Migration.

    1. ArrZarr Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: With every new device there is a Windows 10 Install

      The problem being that there's no clever way to link windows 7 to the word apocalypse like we had with the XPocalypse in 2014.

      I might humbly suggest the Armaseven, the 7radgedy or the bowl of petunias, but they lack the zing of the first time around.

      1. AK565

        Re: With every new device there is a Windows 10 Install

        "Bowl of petunias"

        I vote for this and let the rest of the world figure it out.

        I do believe that El Reg is the only non-SciFi publication in which Hitchhiker references are made on a regular basis.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: With every new device there is a Windows 10 Install

      My Brother is sticking with Windows but got totally peed off with Windows 10

      As a result of one update after another replacing his Video driver with a dumb version he said sod that. So, after one trip to Ebay, he now runs Server 2012 R2 Standard on his Desktop.

      I had to tip my hat to him. It is very, very stable and... well you know the rest.

      Windows 10 is in his words, 'A clusterfuck of the highest magnitude' and this is coming from someone who spent 20 years working for MS.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "[...] and Win7 not being available for along time now, [...]"

    I have held onto one retail and two virgin OEM W7 install keys. Had left it too late to get all retail ones. Also retained several motherboards equivalent to my running one as spares. Only one Windows application needs to be online - and its role is rapidly becoming obsolescent.

    Linux Mint and Waterfox is being used for some browsing in a W7 VM as a start towards switch-over to Linux.

  7. Paratrooping Parrot
    Linux

    This time next year

    I will be removing Windows 7 from my laptop and will move onto a Linux infrastructure. I have seen all these people struggling with Windows 10, and I don't want to be a part of that. I may keep a bare bones Windows 7 set up as a virtual machine on the laptop, just in case.

    I don't need Adobe Lightroom because I can now use darktable instead. Web browser and word processors already exist under Linux. I don't play games though.

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: This time next year

      I completely switched two years ago for personal work on the newest laptop bought after win7 sales ended, I wasted money paying extra to have Win7 on it as I hardly used that after adding Linux. Not booted the dual boot into Win7 for nearly 2 years. Only issue was I had to reboot then and convert all my PSP7 native PSP files to photoshop .psd to import them to the Gimp, as the PSP file plug in doesn't work (maybe it's for the later brain damaged Corel version)

  8. DrBobK

    2018 was the year I switched from Windows 7 to MacOS for day to day stuff (I had Windows 10 on a laptop and didn't like it - the last Windows I did sort of like was XP). I have always had some linux, OSF/1, or SunOS things for less day to day stuff.

  9. J J Carter Silver badge
    Windows

    Not surprising with corporate refresh cycles

    My shoppe will complete replacement of 4,000 Windows 7 laptops with new Windows 10 machines around June.

    1. ivan5

      Re: Not surprising with corporate refresh cycles

      More fool them.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Not surprising with corporate refresh cycles

      you have my pity. just make sure they don't blame YOU for migrating to it and creating all of those new 'unexepcted' problems related to Win-10-nic.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not surprising with corporate refresh cycles

      I thought you'd already done that eons ago, according to a recent comment?

  10. Palpy

    Curious about the enterprise situation.

    Six months ago (before I retired and moved away), the medium-sized USian municipality where I worked used only Win7. Vague rumors of Win10 being evaluated swirled occasionally. The airgapped automation system had recently (2016, I believe) been upgraded from XP to Win7.

    SysTrack wrote in September 2018 that 65% of its customers had migrated to 10; 32% remained on 7 and 3% ran "something else". That single low-N stat would indicate greater migration in enterprise than on users' desktops.

    Self runs Siduction, Ubuntu Studio, and Mint, in order of importance. Self's dear wife runs Macs of various vintages. A reconditioned grandpa-box runs Win10 for the sake of a few applications, but it remains airgapped most of the time. It's not very important.

    Personally, I find it pleasant to watch Microsoft from a position of relative safety. There is a lot of good to be said about the OS -- and about its rich application ecosystem -- but it seems wise to have alternate platforms running. And to limit the damage the OS can do when it fails, or tries to betray your data to its makers.

    1. Bob Camp

      Re: Curious about the enterprise situation.

      In the U.S, most places lease their PCs for three years on a staggered schedule. Since two years ago, the new PCs trickling in to my company have had Windows 10 on them. Nobody upgrades their PC from 7 to 10; when the lease on their PC has run out, they just turn in their Win 7 PC and get a new Win 10 PC. And life goes on without any complaints or hiccups.

  11. Howard Hanek
    Linux

    Right. Sure. Whatever.

    Lipstick on a pig is Microsoft's design philosophy.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Right. Sure. Whatever.

      Whereas Linus doesn't bother with the lipstick

      1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: Right. Sure. Whatever.

        > Whereas Linus doesn't bother with the lipstick

        I don't bother with lipstick either, and certainly don't want it as a UI.

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: Right. Sure. Whatever.

          Amusingly, it was meant as 'Linux' not 'Linus'. It wasn't intended as a slur on Mr Torvald.

          Your GUI _is_ the lipstick of the OS though.

          1. Col_Panek

            Re: Right. Sure. Whatever.

            At least with Linux you have your choice of Cinnamon, KDE, Gnome, Enlightenment, XFCE ... and the other 20.

  12. Simon B-52

    Bitter and twisted

    What I regret most in having used Windows is that it has proven to be such disposable knowledge, with a very short working life. That has ground away what was once a deep interest in computing into a bitter and twisted resentful loathing.

    I was lucky enough to have some exposure to a unix system through college in the 1980s, but thereafter mostly had to use Redmond's Rot. I now have a couple of airgapped and backed up XP and Win 7 boxes for the software I hated least, with net access via linux.

    A pox on you Bill Gates.

  13. Ian Emery Silver badge
    Boffin

    Fear Mongering

    When M$ stop issuing security updates for Win7, it wont be the end of the world, just like it wasnt the end of the world for XP. Lets be honest half their updates opened up new problems, or negated fixes for older ones.

    As long as the big Internet browsers and security companies continue to support it, it will be perfectly safe for 99% of the population.

    I was running a Netbook with WinXP up until November 2018, it was only the software bloat that had slowed it to a crawl that made me update to a newer travel companion running Win7 (shipped with Win10, but got wiped the day it arrived). That old netbook went around the world with me, and was used to do my banking back in the UK, shopping and paying bills during extended overseas stays in some of the seedier parts of S E Asia, yet never once was in compromised.

    Yippee, Win10 is now the big fish in an ever shrinking pond; I might even try the desktop version of Android on my next PC build.

    Win10? Not a fucking chance.

    1. Palpy

      Re: Android on the desktop

      A few years ago I tried Android on a netbook. Very snappy. The app ecosystem wasn't as well developed then, though, and I got bored and put Mint on the machine.

      On OS GUIs: Flat-versus-skeuomorphic is not a big deal to me. Puppy Linux has (or had, last time I tried it) the most 3-D, skeuomorphic desktop I've seen anywhere. Quite lovely. For me, as long as I can have an application dock and a hierarchical menu, I can get along fine. But many people want a certain aesthetic look, and that's perfectly reasonable too.

    2. aqk
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Fear Mongering and M$

      Gee..

      You're cute. I love the way you stamp your little foot. And even type that old Macintosh M$ jokey acronym. Nice to see someone still remembers.

      So it's gonna be Linux for everyone by 2016, huh?

      Oh. Now it's Android. I see. Possibly by 2020?

  14. OGShakes

    Who cares?

    Only us tech people will view Linux as a reasonable option and don't get me started on Apple still assuming people don't make viruses for their products. All 1000 staff at the company I work for are now on 10, it works and all their software runs on it. If I was to wander in to any team and talk about getting something different, there would be a panic and we would have to spend months training them all how to use even the most simple other system. Some of my more 'special' staff didn't even notice that their new laptops were running W10 not W7, they were more put out by the new laptops being silver not black.

    1. tempemeaty

      Re: Who cares?

      @OGShakes

      Well said. All the average every day people I've met are so completely lost with anything technical. They can't manage to to much more than turn electronic equipment on or off. When they get a virus or a driver stops working, they buy a new computer or just go without. Doing something like install an OS and/or learn new software is beyond most average peoples mechanical skills.

      I've given up on the non-technical masses(most others). All I can do is administer to my own needs while the corporation produced world running on corporate produced OSes burns around me or collectively runs off a cliff.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who cares?

      > Some of my more 'special' staff didn't even notice that their new laptops were running W10 not W7.

      So you've just pointed out that you don't need months of training to change a UI and therefore countered your own argument. :)

      While I've done some medium scale Windows deployments in my time I've also deployed Linux desktops to a smallish environment (approx 50 staff) with users ranging from competent to highly illiterate and they were working right away without any training.

      I'd produced some how-to guides in advance just in case but they were never required. The whole project substantially reduced my support burden from the previous Windows environment, and I worked alongside the folks on a daily basis. They were perfectly happy.

    3. Col_Panek

      Re: Who cares?

      Somehow they've managed to figure out how to run smartphones.

      I've never taken more than ten minutes to get people up to speed on running their KDE desktop that I converted from Windows 7.

  15. Mycho Silver badge

    At what cost?

    I keep seeing about windows 7 paid updates and no indication of what they might cost. I'm guessing it's whatever they think they can gouge out of each client in turn?

  16. chivo243 Silver badge
    Windows

    It's my fault

    I've installed Win10 so many times, then decided better.

    In all seriousness, I have installed W10 as a VM many times, for testing, POC, etc. I even bought my mother a new lappy with W10, but I cannot seem to get out of first gear with it myself. I spend too much time looking for things I used to know the location of, and people say "use the search function", but turns out MS has also carefully renamed some things too... what is it about fool me twice?

    The UI is too flat for my liking, but then again, I haven't seen a UI for any OS that isn't a pancake lately. What happened to all the depth and 3D'ish stuff we were promised? I get the feeling that all this flat UI stuff is bad for the eyes?

    1. Bruce Ordway

      Re: It's my fault

      >>all this flat UI stuff is bad

      Not sure about impact on my vision but...

      I find the modern interfaces to be less intuitive and slower for most users.

      I believe that for the most part, "flat design" rarely follows function.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        "I believe that for the most part, "flat design" rarely follows function."

        It comes from web designers, who never had a clue about software applications... but they were friendly with the marketing people, as both fail to understand what users need...

    2. overunder

      The Back Button Dependency

      With the exception of KDE, all desktops feel like a Linux desktop from 2001.

      Mac OS 10 is nearly 20 years old, and it shows. Windows 10 is a confusing pascal colored 2D deck of cards with mostly empty space. Gnome still thinks Windows XP with active desktop is cool. EVERY mobile OS/Gui reminds me of a books opening chapter page with a picture of a rabbit to describe context.

      I hope you like bland hopeless GUI's with recursive page trails to back out of, then back out of, then back out of again.

      1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: The Back Button Dependency

        > With the exception of KDE, all desktops feel like a Linux desktop from 2001.

        I almost never see the 'desktop' so I don't care about it much. I have several programs running in different virtual desktops and just switch between them. The 'task bar' and menu get used. KDE Plasma, semi-transparent windows, and all the desktop clutter I really don't care about. Gnome 2 or Mint does all that I need when I want it.

        The function of an OS is to keep out the way of using using the computer.

      2. aqk
        Facepalm

        Re: The Back Button Dependency and bland

        Oh that WIndows -10 IS SOOOO BLAND!

        So... spend most of your time playing Freecell huh? And you haven't tried figuring out aero or wallpaper customizing yet. Sad.

    3. Martin

      Re: It's my fault

      Someone dubbed the Windows 10 UI the Fisher Price operating system. It really looks like something that you'd do for a kids computer to get them started.

      1. overunder

        Re: It's my fault

        "It really looks like something that you'd do for a kids computer to get them started."

        That's what an adult thinks, what a kid thinks is why do I have to press so many things with no reward. Uhhh...

        I strongly discourage children to use Windows 10 if they want to keep their imagination. With adults I don't strongly discourage them, I just mildly discourage them (and there's a few I've encouraged ;-P)

      2. aqk
        Coat

        Re: It's my fault

        ....something that you'd do for a kids computer to get them started

        Or your mother-in-law (but you're not married are you?). Or your elderly aunt.

        Or the average doofus office clerk. Or his/her manager.

        Alas, we are not all real techies like you are.

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: It's my fault

      "I haven't seen a UI for any OS that isn't a pancake lately"

      Mate on Linux or FreeBSD, using one of the 'classic appearance' themes, is as 3D skeuomorphic as you can have with a 2D monitor, with gradient colors and buttons that LOOK like buttons and sizeable borders that actually LOOK LIKE BORDERS. It's VERY easy on the eyes.

      But yeah that 2D FLATSO FLATTY MC-FLATFACE FLUGLY crap has *GOT* to *GO*. It's been SHOVED UP OUR RECTUMS for TOO LONG. Blame Google, Gnome 3, Microsoft, and to some extent, Apple for that.

      In Linux (and FreeBSD) you have CHOICE, something that "the monopoly" does NOT want you to have!

      1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

        Re: It's my fault

        You can replace or overlay the Windows GUI if you bother to go out and look at the possibilities. I've been using Winstep Xtreme for as long as it's been in existence on whatever flavor of Windows is required for all my tools. Extremely expensive tools as in thousands per seat tools. Other operating systems are in use here depending on what applications are required. Budget drives Applications drives Operating System required. Just another damned tool chain.

    5. JDX Gold badge

      Re: "I spend too much time looking for things I used to know the location of,"

      Is this definitely the OS and not you getting older? If it was 5 years earlier would you have found it as tricky or taken it in your stride, the way teenagers "just know" how tech works and their parents struggle?

  17. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

    It's a pain when running a non standard configuration

    Windows 8.1 allowed you to mix a Quadro and a Geforce in the same system - 10 doesn't. It will try and install drivers for one of the cards, breaking the other.

    Still can't get over how awful the multi boot menu is, either.

    Unfortunately it's essential for Windows Mixed Reality, and some other apps, so there's little choice.

  18. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Terminator

    But will Windows ever get to 11?

    W10 is now three years old and will be four by the time that W7 support is pulled - so I would expect that Microsoft is working on another version by now. I use Vista, W7, W8 and W10 daily - and there's an XP system that's used for old software support.

    Every time this subject sticks its head up we have the usual "move to Linux" comments (yawn). But the fact is that most people are not moving to Linux, it's just too different - I think there's a market opening for an operating system that looks like, and works like, Windows 7 but runs on OpenBSD or some other secure system - W10 may be "free" but I'd happily pay for security, no data leakage and being able to get on with my work without learning this months features.

    1. Norman Nescio Bronze badge

      Re: But will Windows ever get to 11?

      Chuck some money in the direction of ReactOS and/or WINE.

      ReactOS is most definitely not there yet, but the intent is pretty much to provide the ability to run Windows executables without a Microsoft Operating System: "The main goal of the ReactOS project is to provide an operating system which is binary compatible with Windows"

      WINE aims to "allow computer programs (application software and computer games) developed for Microsoft Windows to run on Unix-like operating systems". WINE also is by no means perfect.

      Both of the above appear to be compatible with your wishes, and throwing some money their way might help your wishes come true.

    2. DougS Silver badge
      Trollface

      Only if Apple does

      Microsoft is just copying Apple again and staying on version 10 (or X, in the case of OS X / macOS) forever. Because only Spinal Tap is able to get to 11.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Only if Apple does

        Yeah didn't MS say something about Win-10-nic being "the last version of windows" or something?

        Wait until they pull Win32 API support. You *know* they wanna! It won't happen until after Win 7 loses complete support, probably. But you _KNOW_ they wanna! Everything UWP or whatever "new,shiny" Micro-shat decides to excrete into the public, against our will, changing the rules so that old devs will be "junior" again, just like it's been with so many other technologies starting with ".Not" back in the early 2000's...

        I think Windows has gone beyond a product that people are willing to pay money for so they can have it. It's become a pre-installed "you have to take it or else" monopoly, locking in all but those savvy enough to know how to install a different OS. It's as if all cars [assuming all must run gasoline except those converted by end-users to a different kind of fuel] MUST use a particular brand of gasoline, which is continually re-formulated without our wanting it to change... [wait why is my car performing poorly now, why does the engine light come on, why does it make that noise when I punch the gas pedal to the floor...]

        Think of it THAT way and anti-trust anti-monopoly government forces would ALREADY be all OVER Microsoft for monopolistic practices, etc.. And their lack of quality and "take what we give you" attitude toward customers is just par for the course.

    3. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: But will Windows ever get to 11?

      fact is that most people are not moving to Linux, it's just too different - I think there's a market opening for an operating system that looks like, and works like, Windows 7 but runs on OpenBSD or some other secure system

      OpenBSD is probably more 'too different' than 'Linux.

      You'd be happy to pay for something that's not Windows but would (presumably) run windows?

      I have to agree with other reply, bung some money at Wine - it's probably a surer bet than ReactOS in the shortterm - I use it for a few Windows programs I still want to use.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: But will Windows ever get to 11?

        I wonder what his acceptable definition of "looks like" and "works like" is. Because Windows 10 doesn't look like Windows 7 - there are Linux distributions that look more like 7 than 10. Do they look enough like 7 to qualify, or do they have to be clones of the UI? Similarly, what does "works like" mean. Does it have to run Win32 applications, or is the bar lower than that?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But will Windows ever get to 11?

      "I think there's a market opening for an operating system that looks like, and works like, Windows 7 but runs on OpenBSD or some other secure system"

      Unlikely without a LOT of work going into it.

      For the most part, what's keeping people on Windows is application compatibility - all manner of corporate and in-house stuff using goodness knows what on the enterprise side of things, and gaming (mostly) on the home user side. If it looks like Win7, that's all well and good, but if it only has WINE levels of compatibility and performance, then it's not going to get very far.

  19. chivo243 Silver badge
    Pint

    NO, it will never be as cool as SpinalTap. Besides it will become just Windows, and it will be a subscription. WindowsDesktopExperience? WaaS? WDaaS?

    Put your money away, I just saw this recently, and have not had a chance to test it ;-}

    https://www.distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=ghostbsd

    Happy New Year!

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      ghostbsd

      I did some testing for that a few years ago, but the gnome 3 thing put me off...

      however the 'boot into live system' install concept isn't bad.

    2. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Put your money away, I just saw this recently, and have not had a chance to test it ;-}

      https://www.distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=ghostbsd

      Looks interesting, but I'd be cagey about recommending a BSD to newcomers used to the hardware world ensuring everything is certificated to run on at least the most recent Windows - I'm not sure BSD is as forgiving to people who buy hardware expecting it to just work, but 'Linux is mostly there for most things, even if you have to wait 6 months to a year.

      1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

        Yep, lambs to slaughter. You know you're going to have to bring your A-game to the table when a main point on the home page is that they need pciconf output to insure proper hardware detection for the installer/boot-config.

        I'm certainly going to give it a shot as BSD was my first Unix back when it was shiny and new. It ran extremely well on my heavily modified A2000. As did most anything else for an OS for that matter.

  20. revdjenk

    The original title for this article ...

    ... insinuated that windows 10 had more users because it was "more popular." Aren't there more 10 users because it is a forced choice?

    Anyway, my Linux, Android, and Chromebook devices are happily keeping up-to-date, with no "take backs" or delays.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: The original title for this article ...

      Yeah I wonder what the actual uptake of Windows 10 would be if they hadn't done the forced upgrades of Windows 7 PCs via Windows Update, drivers for Windows 7 continued to be available for Intel CPUs post Kaby Lake, and the support deadline for Windows 7 was extended years further than originally planned like XP.

      I'll bet they'd be lucky to crack 25% if that was the case. There is no reason I'm aware of why Windows 10 should be preferred over Windows 7.

  21. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Updates

    Meh. I run Firefox 43, as they removed important stuff in 44. I run Pale Moon 27.6, as the removed the same important stuff. So I'll run Windows 7, as they broke important stuff in 10.

    No need to be bleeding edge any more.

    1. Someone Else Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Updates

      Since "bleeding edge" demonstrably means no improvement in functionality or performance (especially in this context) I can't imagine any reason to even attempt to be on the "bleeding edge"...except perhaps for the k3wl-ness factor.

  22. Someone Else Silver badge

    Liars, Damn Liars, and Win10 install stats...

    <rhetorical>I wonder which one(s) we're seeing here?</rhetorical>

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Android

    overtook both of them combined 2 years ago.

    1. Anonymous Cowtard

      Re: Android

      "overtook both of them combined 2 years ago."

      Did you read the article? I did, it's about desktop OS prevalence.

  24. aqk
    Windows

    From 5½ YEARS AGO - I only got 17 downvotes!

    The following was from 2013, when all the silly elRag Winbashers (you know who you are) were saying they would NEVER give up their WinXP / Win7 systems, and the desktop world would be all using Linux by 2017 or so....

    Ah... Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

    ====================================

    Re: I'll update

    I've upgraded a desktop and a laptop to Win-8. One of them has already been upgraded again to 8.1 - I realize I'll have to re-install when the "real" 8.1 comes out, but that's OK. Unlike you, I went the $39 route each.

    I've a 3rd PC that may be upgraded if MS does a another bargain-basement offer like this when the final 8.1 comes out.

    I wonder what all these tedious eight-bashers here are gonna do 2 or 3 years from now, when their old XP and Linux systems become unfashionable, or perhaps a boss starts asking questions as to why his IT dept. is so out-of-date....

    It would be amusing to keep some of these comments here and repost them publicly a few years from now.

    Alas, most of these folks are anonymous cowards.

    ==============================================

    Hey, maybe you guys could give me a few more downvotes this time? I love collecting them here.

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