16.37% PC users still on Windows XP : study

More than 16% of all PC users who agreed to provide data to the distributed global Kaspersky Security Network were still working on computers running Windows XP in June 2014. This fact carries potential implications for information security.

This number was part of the findings from the “Windows usage and vulnerabilities research” carried out by Kaspersky Lab experts in the summer of 2014.

Users whose computers run under a dated operating system or have out-of-date versions of installed software risk coming under attack from malware that exploits vulnerabilities. The study also looked at individual countries to assess the proportion of Windows XP users among all users of Kaspersky Lab’s Windows-based products in each country.

Vietnam was the leader, with 38.79% of users still preferring to work under Windows XP, followed by China with 27.35%, India with 26.88%, and Algeria with nearly a quarter (24.25%) of users still remaining loyal to the legendary operating system.

Roughly, one in five computers protected by a Kaspersky Lab product still runs under Windows XP in Italy (20.31%) and Spain (19.26%). A smaller proportion of users – 4.52% continues to use Windows XP in the US.









The long-playing XP, the accelerating Windows 8.1
Although technical support for Windows XP users got stopped in April 2014, the sales of this operating system finished back in 2010. This, however, did not have much effect on its popularity: according to Kaspersky Lab data in June 2011, a year after the end of sales, 48.86% of users were still using Windows XP.

The percentage of Windows XP users has gradually declined from 35.64% in June 2012 to 25.42% in 2013.  Windows XP’s popularity roughly dropped by 10% with every passing year.

Interestingly, that decline was not greatly affected by external events which could potentially have accelerated it, such as the release of Windows 8.1 in October 2013 or the discontinuation of the extended Windows XP support.

In November 2013, there were 21.42% XP users; by June 2014 the number fell to 16.37%, which makes a 5.05 percentage points’ decline, or roughly a half of the total annual decline in XP’s popularity.

In contrast, Windows 8.1, the newest Windows operating system to date, had a 7.22% market share in June 2014. This result is 1 percentage point better than its precursor Windows 8 had at the equivalent stage: from late October 2012 to June 2013, Windows 8 was installed on the computers of 6.22% of Kaspersky Lab product users.

The improved take-up rate for Windows 8.1 may be partly related to the fact that Windows 8 was the first Microsoft operating system which supports upgrades to new versions with an embedded upgrade client via the official Windows app store. Besides, Windows 8 users had a free option to upgrade to Windows 8.1, which also played a role in how fast the new version was adopted.

In terms country specific users opting for OS upgrades, US topped with 16.27% users followed by Canada (13.52%), Germany (11.17%), the UK (10.79%) and France (10.31%). While countries such as Italy (8.1%), Russia (5.14%) and India (2.91%) show some of the lowest user base with OS upgrades.

“The Kaspersky Security Network statistics show that the XP epoch is finally coming to its end. However, a sizeable proportion of users still run this aging operating system. Its maintenance has been discontinued by Microsoft, which means that the manufacturer will no longer release security updates or patch vulnerabilities which may still exist in the system. Should virus  writers find such a vulnerability, XP users will come under threat,” said Vyacheslav Zakorzhevsky, Head – Vulnerability Research Team, Kaspersky Lab.

Kaspersky LabMicrosoftOperating SystemOSWindows 7WIndows 8WIndows 8.1WIndows VistaWindows XP
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