Survey shows XP lingers on while Windows 11 makes a 0.21% ripple in the enterprise

Lansweeper stats make grim reading for Microsoft

Microsoft's Windows 11 adventure is going swimmingly. IT asset management outfit Lansweeper has published the results of a 10 million PC survey that gives the new operating system a 0.21 per cent market share.

That is a good deal less than the 3.62 per cent of Windows XP and a nose ahead of the reviled Windows Vista. It is also not great news as the OS enters its second month of general availability.

App advertising biz AdDuplex put the figure nearer five per cent, although its survey was far smaller at 60,000 Windows 10 and 11 PCs. AdDuplex's data is also based on the approximately 5,000 Windows Store apps running its SDK.

Lansweeper's research comes from 10 million Windows devices, presumably in the business world, of which the IT asset management platform reckoned less than 45 per cent could take the update to Windows 11, thanks to Microsoft's stringent hardware requirements.

It is also worth bearing in mind that the Windows 11 rollout will take place over a number of months as Microsoft keeps an eye on what breaks and what doesn't. Users with compatible PCs running Windows Update could well receive a message promising the update is on the way at some point in the future. Or telling them that Windows 11 won't work on their kit.

That said, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that users are staying away in droves for the time being, and enterprises are highly unlikely to go near the code until a year or more after release.

Plus, the Lansweeper data threw up some statistics that could be more concerning than the snails-pace adoption of Windows 11.

Windows XP accounted for 3.62 per cent of PCs in the survey and Windows 7 was a hair under 6 per cent. Both are out of support, although Microsoft will keep security patches coming for the latter – at a price.

Even more disturbing are those mystery beige boxes in the server room that nobody likes to talk about. Windows Server 2008 accounted for 0.57 per cent of the PCs in the report despite also being well out of mainstream support. Even Windows Server 2003 was still hanging on in there.

With almost one in 10 Windows devices running end-of-life software, opportunities for miscreants abound.

Roel Decneut, chief marketing officer at Lansweeper, stated the obvious: "The situation poses a significant cybersecurity risk... Although the majority of users are on newer operating systems, the billions of active Windows devices worldwide means there could still be millions of people using devices that are insecure and open to attack.

"Plus, a large number of these outdated systems are predicted to be running on enterprise devices, which means it's not just personal information that's on the line."

We asked Lansweeper other questions about its research but have yet to receive a response.

Speaking about the discrepancy between his firm's figures and those of Lansweeper, AdDuplex CEO Alan Mendelevič pointed out that enterprises tended to be much slower on the uptake of new operating systems.

He told The Register: "Our data is highly skewed towards the consumer PCs (much more likely to upgrade at the first opportunity)."

"At any rate," he observed, "0.21 per cent seems extremely low overall. But could be totally reasonable if it's just from the managed company PCs."

We have asked Microsoft to comment. ®

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