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Is Windows 7 really that popular?


#1

I’m heading into the magic world of Windows where the eight-year old OS is still use on 37% of all Windows machines worldwide.

Do you see similar numbers for your customers? I would really like to go Win10-only for a new app, so I wonder what’s worse: missing over 30% of revenue or building and supporting software for Windows 7 in 2019.


#2

I’m clinging to my Win7 machine until the day it dies - and then I’ll be getting Linux Mint.

My laptop is Win 8.1 or 8.2 or whatever it is. I paid extra for that, for the guy in the store to get rid of Windows 10.

Never 10.

APC


#3

I hope I’ll get my app to Linux by then. :wink:

I rarely work outside of the house, so I’ve been using Macs Mini as my main development machines for over 7 years. It’s nowhere as expensive as other Apple’s hardware. Hopefully, a new one is finally coming next week.


#4

Well wouldn’t say it’s popular but it’s still in heavy use. For the users that opt in to send usage stats for our app, the percentages are something like this ( Oct 1 - 22 ):


#5

Here’s a chart of Poker Copilot’s month-by-month traffic, showing which version of Windows they were using as a percentage of all our Windows users:

I’d suggest you extrapolate where the usage is likely to be in a couple of years time and make your decision based on that. Perhaps Win 7 users will be between 10% and 15% of all Windows users.


#6

Thanks @Penjani and @SteveMcLeod, I suspected that the share should be significantly lower for professional users. Yes, I can probably pass on Win7 in a year – I’ve done it before for macOS and iOS versions that were below 20% collectively.


#7

What kind of technology are you using that won’t work on Windows 7? If you’re coming from OSX/IOS world, you’ll find that Microsoft puts much more effort in backward compatibility. Meaning, most languages/development environments will create builds which will work same on Win 7/8/10. There are smaller differences, e.g. HiDpi support.

One more data point - in my case (software for developers/IT guys), Win 7 is now on 21%, WIn 8 on 6%, rest is Win 10.


#8

I’m going to use WPF + regular .NET because UWP seems to be dying. I know that MS is obsessed with backward compatibility but still would prefer to minimize fragmentation for easier QA and support.

For the same reason, we’re going to postpone an Android version of the app until there’s enough revenue to hire somebody to deal with the platform’s fragmentation.


#9

WPF + .Net should just work on Win7/8.
If you’re product is targeted at businesses, it’s very common that company has a mix of Win7/8/10 for various reasons. In these cases, they might think “we’ll skip this software since it doesn’t work on all our computers while competition does”. In that case, they won’t buy it for 70% of their machines which run on Win 10, they won’t buy it at all. That would have much larger effect on sales than 20-30%.

Maybe there are real reasons why support for older Win would be problematic in your case, I don’t know that. But in my opinion unless it really uses something new from Win 10, it will just work the same in Win7/8.


#10

Interesting, thank you! I often encounter some small but annoying problems like rendering glitches between macOS versions, so I expected something similar on Windows. The app will be targeted more towards individuals but I guess checking if it runs well on Windows 7/8 will not hurt.


#11

I just remembered that Windows 7 comes with .Net 3.5. Since you definitely want newer .Net version that means some extra work is needed in installer to work on Windows 7.
Oh, and signing installer with code signing certificate is nowadays a must on Windows.


#12

Get you setup installer to check for the required .Net version, alerting users when they need to install a newer version. Open the download page for them if required.

I wrote my own installer in .Net 2.0 for this purpose, even though the main app requires .Net 4.0.

On code-signing, pay the extra for EV (Extended Validation) certificates, otherwise each version you release needs to build a ‘reputation’ and keeps getting flagged to users as ‘suspicious’. EV certificates bypass this reputation building phase.


#13

For those who use InnoSetup for the installer, there are scripts for it to check .Net version and automatically download newer one if needed.

otherwise each version you release needs to build a ‘reputation’ and keeps getting flagged to users as ‘suspicious’

This is not correct, you don’t need to build reputation for each new release. You need to build it only when you start using new certificate for signing. Once it’s no more “suspicious”, it doesn’t matter if you use different name or version for installer. So reputation is tied to a certificate, not to a specific installer. I’m talking first hand about this since I’m using non-EV certificate. That’s why it’s better to purchase it for as many years in advance as possible, since reissue of certificate resets reputation.


#14

Thanks for clarifying the situation regarding reputation. Very good to know.


#15

Windows 7 share depends on niche you sell your software in, but it is still pretty high, so not supporting it is losing money, IMO. In my case, supporting Windows 7 does not require any additional effort - if you won’t be using any APIs that are only supported on Windows 10+, then you should get Windows 7 support automatically with no additional effort.

Another story is Windows XP. While severely outdated, there are still people who use it. Writing Windows XP-specific code is not practical in economic terms, so we simply offer partial support for Windows XP - some features do not work and require newer OS - it is a tiny subset of features, and in most cases users do not hit those limitations. We have Windows XP listed as a supported OS on the web site. Windows XP share is about 5%, and this is good money I better not lose :slight_smile:


#16

Wow, 5%! But totally understandable, I was clinging to Windows 2000 for years myself.

Thank you, I didn’t even know that there’s something like this. What’s the best place to buy a certificate?


#17

It was discussed previously here:

TLDR: KSoftware


#18

Note: depends on what kind of pro users.

Inside of corporations Win 7 is currently a standard, as much as I can see. The migration to 8 is done only for FE developers that must test a code on 8. 10 I haven’t seen on the floor yet.


#19

Around 10 or so years ago I sold an app that needed .NET 2.0. Back then it was an issue to get the user to download a 60MB file if they didn’t have .NET installed. Today even here in Borneo I can download that in a few seconds.

Let me see how long it takes to download whatever is the latest… 4.7.2 apparently. Including downloading the downloader thingy…, 45 seconds to finish downloading.

It’s now taking longer to do the installation bit. That took around 1.25.

Not a big enough obstacle to throw away 10 to 20% of potential users (inc. me)

https://www.grc.com/never10.htm

APC


#21

I have it :slight_smile: