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The name Windows XP is always accompanied by a lot of memories from childhood. Windows XP might have been the first exposure to a software for many people. Windows XP was released way back in 2001. This makes it 17 years old as of 2018. But that isn’t the interesting part. Windows XP is still used by millions of people in different parts of the world.

As per market share goes, Windows XP has 4.59% market share. It may not sound like much but it is still a large number when we take the age of the operating system into consideration. The number is even more striking when we compare it with that of macOS. Windows XP has more market share than the top version of macOS.

Market share variations of Windows XP

Statistics from NetMarketShare shows that the market share of Windows XP has decreased gradually in the last two years. However, there was a small rise in the market share during October of 2017 when the market share increased from 6.19% to 7.64%.

Windows XP market share March 2018
Image Courtesy: NetMarketShare

This value then decreased to about 3.81% in February of 2018 which is the lowest value ever recorded. But the value then increased by 0.78% during March and now is in the range of 4.59% market share.

Why do people still use Windows XP?

Using an age-old operating system definitely has some absurdity stuck to it but there are reasons why people still use it.

One of the reasons why people still use Windows XP is that it runs well on older and less powerful hardware. Windows XP runs smoothly even if you have a PC with specifications that put you to shame. This is because it was made for the hardware in 2001. So it doesn’t need the memory requirements of a newer operating system.

Something that goes alongside the above-mentioned factor is that Windows XP still runs most of the apps that these people use. Of course, a lot of developers has announced that they have ended support for Windows XP but most of these apps still work. Google Chrome has also stopped support for Windows XP. Speaking of support, Microsoft has ended support for Windows XP back in April of 2014.

A lot of government and private offices in developing countries like India still use Windows XP. Many schools and even some colleges still use Windows XP in the desktops provided for the students to use. The learning curve from Windows XP to Windows 10 may be a little too steep for older people who have been using the operating system for many years now. It might be difficult for them to switch.

The cost of upgrading to a newer version of Windows is one of the major factors. Since they use an old OS, their hardware will be too old to support a newer operating system like Windows 10. This means that in order to upgrade to the already expensive Windows 10, they would have to upgrade their hardware too. Imagine doing that process to offices and schools which have hundreds of PCs running Windows XP. This might be the reason why some companies and institutions went after Windows 7 when Microsoft stopped support for Windows XP. Windows 7 is also good at running well on older hardware.

What will happen if we still use Windows XP?

The biggest problem is security. Windows XP is very vulnerable to cyber attacks. People who have a lot of sensitive data should upgrade to a more secure operating system. Companies and Institutions shouldn’t even think about using Windows XP. Attacks like WannaCry Ransomware had more impact on Windows XP. So it is highly advised to stop using Windows XP or even Windows 7 as Microsoft will end support for Windows 7 in 2020.

Windows is no longer the top priority of Microsoft which is clear from the details that we got from the recent reorganization at Microsoft. We can see more about the roadmap for Windows at the BUILD Conference in May.

  • Kevin

    XP was SOLID.
    XP was STABLE.
    XP had the Help and Support Center
    XP had many 3rd party programs to scan your computer for viruses malware and other issues, many for free
    XP was easy to diagnose and resolve issues.
    XP was easy to customize and edit the registry and tweak the operating system itself.
    XP was easy to undo or roll back the entire system to a previous state.


    • L’homme Joli

      Remove solid, stable and I agree with you. Yes it was stable, but yes it was very old sort in a way “proven and known old technology”. It would crash if it was still updated as Microsoft programmers are dogs in programming, or maybe not, maybe they just became worse of worse as time passes lol.
      Other than that I agree with you. The UI of XP is still unmatched, the customization was very user friendly with 3d buttons and no shitty glass theme, and problem diagnosis was easy as ABC. More time pass, more Microsoft became foolish in closing the OS for “security reasons”. I had to disable ALL trace of UAC with registry tweaks on Windows 10 to get the almost feeling of XP.

      • Christopher Wortman

        If you don’t update applications like how most people live(d) then xpsp2 is absolutely fine. Sp3 is a bit unstable requiring a service roll-up to be stable. But don’t bother with updates and you’re usually ok. Same goes for 7. Updates break things. So why bother updating?

    • Anon


      XP IS SOLID.

    • Wolfie D

      WindowsXP was, and still is- “IS” the king of windows!!

  • Anon

    I have a Windows XP PC, and I think it is great. I did put SSD, which gave it an amazing performance boost and I use it with a 4k monitor!. (This was my fourth XP and the most reliable).

    I did buy a Windows 7 PC, to replace XP, but it was dreadfully slow (even with SSD). Even with a motherboard upgrade and a dedicated graphics card it was slow.

    I bought a Windows 8 PC, but that was terrible. It seems like an unfinished product. The free upgrade to Windows 10, was welcome.

    I had bought an Intel i7 Windows 10 PC, to get the same performance as my Windows XP box. Yes, it boots up quick. There are some improvements, but I still miss my Windows XP box.

    I bought Office 2016. Outlook 2016 sucks, as it is slow compared to Outlook 2003. From a UI perspective, Outlook 2016 is ‘hard’ to see, as they use that ‘strong blue’ colour which hurts the eyes, but Outlook 2003, as sort of 3D buttons. They also got rid of the ‘yellow’ email icon from Outlook 2003 (which makes it hard to read). They are trying to make Outlook 2016 look like on a web site (2D)., but then why bother buying a desktop PC?

    Even Word 2003, is much better then Word 2016.

    There are some nice things in Windows 10, but there also things which annoy me.

  • Jessica Simpson

    I have five PCs at Home, (all running Win 10), and the latest updates (Fall/Spring) have rendered two of them next to useless.

    – As I’m still only using (old software) [office 2003] then I’m gonna be forced to re-install XP again on the electronic dustbins, cos that’s what they’ve been turned into: (glorified trash cans).

    I could go down the Linux route, but from the distros I’ve downloaded (may 2018), then I have to say that they still don’t cut it.

    So my old machines will soon be boosting the numbers of users running XP real soon.

    Which is a shame, because Win 10 is quite good; if you have a Super-Kool-Computer with mega bucks of memory and ram, and in actual fact: Win 10 is as good as XP was -(is), ..

    Rgds, ..

    • Wolfie D

      windows sucks BIG time! I be an older gent and Way too used to winxp but this win 10 fas a “too controlling” atmosphere! I want MY decisions in MY control.!

  • Don Frampton

    Windows XP is still a good os. Less tracking of users, no forced updates, no forced apps downloaded like Candy Crush, etc.

    Windows Vista, 7 are good after sp updates but then you get into more software tracking.

    W10 is also a good os overall. Again, it’s all of the tracking and useless forced downloads of apps.

    I know some ot many will say that Google, FB, Twitter and others also track users even when not actively using. Even Apple collects user data all be it slightly different.

    The point that seems to escape many is that some of us don’t want to be track, spoofed, malwared nor forced to accept whatever is in the best interest of the companies.

    Personally I have deleted my facebook twiiter, snap chat, linkedinlinkedin and what ever other accounts that I had throughout the years.

    Still using XP today with virtual machines of newer so I can keep up with “progress” while.minimizing my trackability.

    Now if I can do the same with and iPhone or Android phone, that would be golden.

  • Vonny Anastashia Putri

    There are many advantages using XP even until now in 2018 among others are :
    1. Easy to find any drivers, just use driver identifier ^^
    2. Easy to change skins and your XP will be more beautiful than any OS on the market
    3. Easy to change the whole system as we like ( registry, msconfig, gpedit, win, sys etc )
    4. Very friendly to users in terms of memory requirement and hardware / soft config
    5. No Unnecessary Blue screen of death ^^ ,all windows after XP suck with so many stupid BSOD

    6. Just put DEEP FREEZE , all deadly viruses/ ransomwares are NOTHING

    7. No biggie bugs in XP
    8. If u insist to use AV , just use kingsoft AV 2014 japanese edition, it’s free & POWERFUL ^^
    9. Use windowsblind , and your XP will be even more beautiful than windows 10 , 7 , 8 and linux
    10.The bottom line XP IS COOL and STRONG and you know it ^^

    • 1, I haven’t ever even had to worry about drivers in Win10
      2, I have Win10 setup with a dark theme and a dock like OS X, wasn’t hard
      3, Be more specific I doubt there is anything you can’t do in Win10
      4, If by “friendly to use” you mean “most programs don’t even work any more” and “doesn’t support enough RAM to do anything modern at all”
      5, XP had BSOD constantly what are you high on? Like literally this was a problem of the XP era and it happened CONSTANTLY, it barely happens now, for most people it will never happen. You are so backward on this.
      6, What are you even talking about Deep freeze? Just run Malwarebytes and you’re fine on any version of Windows…
      7, What is a biggie bug lmao
      8, Why would you use unknown japanese software instead of highly renown and completely free Malwarebytes that works 100% without any issues
      9, That has nothing to do with XP, Windowblinds is available on them all. In fact it doesn’t actually support XP any more although I’m sure it works fine.
      10, oh god

      The fact is this OS is old and outdated, and can’t do the things a modern computer can do. It’s also an extremely user-unfriendly experience to use an old outdated system that no one supports any more. And it’s funny when you bring up antivirus and security because you literally are running an UNSUPPORTED and OUTDATED system with a wide array of KNOWN EXPLOITS. Your system can’t be secure if you are running Windows XP, period, end of story.

      I’m not selling anything, in fact I prefer OS X, these are just facts.

  • Fred Nerks

    WXP SP3 in a clean install is around 5 GB. After all the possible updates, it grows to 20GB on the disk.
    The initial unpatched 5 GB, is very very fast and stable.

  • STOP!

    The best feature of Win-XP that that you dont have to deal with the Microsoft-RAPE-update “feature” that windows 10 has, that the users cannot turn off.

    Another thing, if you develop hardware for PCIe cards (hardware design engineers like me), you can debug its basic features and register bits manually (which is how we debug prototypes first, before we test with the drivers) without a driver only on windows XP. The only hardware prototyping platform is windows XP.

  • robert Torsdale

    Windows XP is great for businesses and the best operating system to run Flight Simulator X gold (the best flight simulator even in 2019). Don’t let anyone trick you into new operating systems that are designed only to take your money, and lots of it, over and over.

  • Mag Milion

    I am using XP nowadays, and it works perfectly well for me, I use Office 2010 for editing documents, so switching to any newer system does not make any sense, these words are also written on XP system and – as you can see – are perfectly legible :)

  • FrankScotsman .

    I prefer XP 10 to 1 over any other OS Microsoft ever made. Each OS after XP was flawed and inferior.