First launched all the way back in 2001, Microsoft’s long-standing Windows XP The operating system is still alive and kicking among some pockets of users, according to data from NetMarketShare.
Last month, 1.26% of all laptops and desktops still ran across the entire 19-year-old operating system. This is a larger share than much younger operating systems Windows 8 (0.57%), ChromeOS (0.42%) and Windows Vista (0.12%).
Windows XP officially reached life on April 14, 2014, which means that Microsoft has not provided important technical and Safety operating system updates for more than six years.
Estimates suggest that there are now more than two billion computers in circulation worldwide, which, if accurate, would mean that 25.2 million PCs continue to run on the highly insecure Windows XP.
Windows 10 market share
Windows 10is currently in use on more than 60% of all computers worldwide – up from just over 50% twelve months ago.
The figures highlight Microsoft’s enduring market dominance, despite the high profile of Apple Macs. The closest non-Microsoft competitor by market share is Mac OS X 10.15 with 3.49%, followed by Mac OS X 10.14 (2.96%) and 10.13 (1.44%).
The creeping increase in Windows 10 reflects a corresponding decline in the percentage of machines running Windows 7, which fell from 31.53% to 22.31% over the past year.
As Windows 7 reaches the end of its life in January, it is important that users upgrade to Microsoft’s latest operating system to protect against unpatched vulnerabilities.
Confident in the knowledge that Microsoft will no longer deliver security updates for outdated operating systems, cybercriminals can use resources to develop malware designed specifically to exploit older bugs.
Given the significant computer that is still running on unsupported operating systems, the potential scope of attacks remains significant.
The advice for users hoping to stay as secure as possible is to update to the latest Windows, Mac or Linux OS and protect their devices with a modern antivirus solution.