Last winter, I engaged in more than a couple discussions with kids who consider themselves to be computer experts (by profession, at the least) who believe that if you aren’t using the latest OS, you are a hillbilly. As of March 2014, the above chart reflects US computer OS use, per a pretty large sample survey.
The statistic that most interests me is “Other,” the 1.99% of users whose technology was, apparently, unimportant to the surveyors. On last winter’s hibernation/retirement trip to New Mexico, I met a surprising number of people who run their businesses on old versions of Windows: all the way back to a law office using Windows for Workgroups 3.11, a graphic artist using windows 98, a collection of small business owners who network and advertise their group on the web using tools from Windows 95, and several people still on Vista. I listened to music created by a 1960’s almost-a-rock-star created on a TASCAM 80-8 1/2” reel-to-reel in a camper trailer and bounced down to MP3 on a free version of audio software long-absorbed by Adobe.
That chart sort of reflects how little the computer-user market is driven by computer software hype-sters. Outside of academia, it appears that few of us care what the OS hucksters are “supporting.” Since Microsquash officially discontinued “support” for WinXP April 8. 2014, I suppose XP isn’t holding as strong as it was in March of that year? Well, the above chart was generated in May, well after Windows dropped support and XP still clung to 25.3% of the total market. More users moved from XP to Win7 than to Microsoft’s actual current OS, Win8. So much for driving the market.
I think this all points to the fact that consumers are more interested in value and function than “support.” The reason for that could be that Apple and Microsoft don’t really support anything well enough for consumers to care.