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Windows XP still has more users than Windows 8 and 8.1 combined

Microsoft decided to pull the plug on extended support for Windows XP last year, following almost a decade of patches and security fixes for the ancient operating system. Even though the removal of support has pushed a few users to move, Windows XP still has more active users than Windows 8 and 8.1 combined.

A new report from NetMarketShare claims Windows XP still accounts for 16.94 per cent of the desktop user base in March 2015, while Windows 8 and 8.1 only hold 14.07 per cent combined. Windows XP has dropped seven per cent since September 2014, but it looks like users are not moving to Windows 8.1.

Instead, Windows 7 is continuing to grow, with over 56 per cent of all desktop users on the older platform. Manufacturers continue to offer Windows 7 and Windows 8 to customers and most DIY projects use Windows 7 instead of the newer platforms.

This could cause even bigger problems when it comes time to ditch Windows 7, unless Windows 10 manages to scoop a huge amount of users. Microsoft is trying to push adoption by offering Windows 10 for free to Windows 7 users for a year.

Windows 8 and 8.1 adoption will most likely drop as well with the new update, as users on these two systems will get upgrades for free without the year restriction.

Windows 10 looks to remove some of the mistakes made on Windows 8, alongside adding new security and universal apps for Windows Phone and TV. Microsoft seems to have a new outlook on what it needs to do to excite users into buying Windows 10, with Satya Nadella running the show.