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Thread: Windows Trends

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    Post Windows Trends

    Useful information even if perhaps somewhat weighted by Microsoft (though I'm not saying they have).

    Windows and Store trends

    Whether you already have a Windows app for sale or you are considering building or porting an app for Windows, this page provides the data you need to help determine what types of apps to build and where to focus your development resources. The reports on this page provide data about Windows usage, including what kinds of hardware our customers are using to run Windows, and data about app purchases and downloads from the Microsoft Store.
    Charts about the balance of supported Windows versions in the wild, memory, screen resolutions, etc.

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    Re: Windows Trends

    Interesting chart numbers, though they are almost a year old. I thought I was one of the few to still be using Win 7 on my desktop. I've nothing against win 10, it's just I never felt the need and I have so much stuff on this machine that if I screwed it up, it would take me a month to redo everything. I was also surprise the majority of machines only have 4Gb of ram. Must be because of high number of laptops. Also thought the majority of screens would be 1080, not 720.

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    Re: Windows Trends

    Quote Originally Posted by wes4dbt View Post
    Interesting chart numbers, though they are almost a year old. I thought I was one of the few to still be using Win 7 on my desktop. I've nothing against win 10, it's just I never felt the need and I have so much stuff on this machine that if I screwed it up, it would take me a month to redo everything. I was also surprise the majority of machines only have 4Gb of ram. Must be because of high number of laptops. Also thought the majority of screens would be 1080, not 720.
    I feel like developers dramatically overestimate the tastes of the "average" consumer.

    At work, I'd die with 4GB of RAM. My employer understands this, and also understands how many thousands of dollars of productivity they lose if they skimp. So my slowest machine has 16GB. At home, I also want power.

    But then there's my dad. He wants to watch Netflix, Youtube, and use Skype. When he went shopping, he was looking at price tags. $300 sounds good. $250 sounds better. The $300 one had 8GB of RAM and a video card. Does he need that? Well, to find out he opened Netflix on the store displays. Worked on both of them. So he bought the $250 pile with 4GB of RAM that has 768MB reserved for onboard video. The monitor? 720p, because at the 20" range that still counts as "HD" and he understands "HD" more than "1080p".

    Developers and gamers believe 99% of Microsoft's money comes from people who buy computers based on the first paragraph. Microsoft has spent the last 10 years struggling because 85% of their money comes from the people in the second paragraph, and the thriving virus industry is the only reason people buy new computers closer than 10 years apart anymore.

    So yeah, it's not surprising to me the numbers indicate if I want a big Windows 10 audience, I need to make sure my app behaves on a cheapy Android tablet. That's precisely the computer Joe Sixpack buys. If my app works good on that equivalent hardware, all 18 customers in the Windows 10 store will be able to use my app.
    This answer is wrong. You should be using TableAdapter and Dictionaries instead.

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    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: Windows Trends

    Until this last year, I was still using a Win7 32-bit system as my primary computer at home. On such a system, 4GB is all you can use (or a bit less than that). If you combine that with something Sitten said about people not upgrading hardware all that often, both the 4GB and Win7 are reasonable.

    Now that I think about it, my Surface Pro 2 has only 4GB of RAM, and works great. The SSD means things load fast, and I'm only using VS2010 on that system, which isn't the memory hog that VS2017 is. I now have Win10 and 16GB RAM on my main system, which is fine, but it doesn't work noticeably better than the Surface Pro does, except with games, and that is video dependent not RAM dependent.

    As for resolution, there's always a whole lot more of them, this time of year. Don't mean a thing, though....
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    Re: Windows Trends

    I'm a bit concerned about how they collected all this data. Does the Windows operating system spy on what we are doing? This shouldn't bother me but for some reason, I feel uneasy about this possibility.
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    Re: Windows Trends

    Nope, the bottom of the page shows the sources:
    The Windows usage data is obtained from customers who have opted to send us telemetry data. The app purchase and download data comes directly from the Microsoft Store.
    Given that the Windows info is just Windows version and basic hardware info (plus DirectX support), it is the kind of info you would expect them to collect as telemetry data... and as it is only from those who have opted in, it isn't spying.

    The Store keeping track of purchases etc isn't surprising, in fact I'd be worried if they didn't collect that info.

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    Re: Windows Trends

    Quote Originally Posted by si_the_geek View Post
    Nope, the bottom of the page shows the sources:
    Given that the Windows info is just Windows version and basic hardware info (plus DirectX support), it is the kind of info you would expect them to collect as telemetry data... and as it is only from those who have opted in, it isn't spying.

    The Store keeping track of purchases etc isn't surprising, in fact I'd be worried if they didn't collect that info.
    Ah nice. I feel better. I didn't scroll too far down the page. I was mostly interested in the OS installations data which was nearer to the top of the page. I only gave a cursory glance to the data nearer the bottom so I guess I missed that bit where they said how the data was collected.
    Treeview with NodeAdded/NodesRemoved events | BlinkLabel control | Calculate Permutations | Object Enums | ComboBox with centered items | .Net Internals article(not mine) | Wizard Control | Understanding Multi-Threading | Simple file compression | Demon Arena


    C++ programmers will dismiss you as a cretinous simpleton for your inability to keep track of pointers chained 6 levels deep and Java programmers will pillory you for buying into the evils of Microsoft. Meanwhile C# programmers will get paid just a little bit more than you for writing exactly the same code and VB6 programmers will continue to whitter on about "footprints". - FunkyDexter

    There's just no reason to use garbage like InputBox. -jmcilhinney

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    Re: Windows Trends

    There's a yes and no in the "Does Windows spy on its users?"

    By default, a lot of telemetry is turned on. There are some indirect benefits in sharing that telemetry: mostly that you share app crash data and there's some hope if you're an edge case they'll find a solution for you. But you can turn it off if you wish.

    The bonus/penalty here is the kind of person who doesn't care is generally the kind of person who shops by price tag and doesn't know what computer to buy. So one could argue the statistics are tilted away from high-end users, who tend to be more likely to turn off any kind of telemetry.

    But there's some stuff they can get even if you don't agree to send them telemetry data. For example, if you use Windows Update at all, they have to know some things about your OS to know what patches you need. Technically they can use that to help count the number of OS installs in the wild. Same with Windows Store purchases like si_the_geek pointed out: you can't opt out of saying "I have at least Windows 10" when you purchase a Win10 app, and "number of downloads is counted" is kind of required if they are to pay the developers.
    This answer is wrong. You should be using TableAdapter and Dictionaries instead.

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    Re: Windows Trends

    I wouldn't be surprised if they also could tell how much of the automatic stuff you have turned on or off. This could allow them to break down the numbers along some other, potentially more interesting, lines. I doubt they'd be so quick to share that, though. That would certainly amount to "airing the dirty laundry."
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    Re: Windows Trends

    It seems odd that paranoia is the focus here.

    I'd rather see the page updated with current data on a quarterly basis. If anything the staleness is the most important criticism.

    Who are all of these Win 8.1 users? There can't be that many unupgradeable Windows RT tablets out there in the wild.
    Last edited by dilettante; Jan 7th, 2018 at 05:13 PM.

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    Re: Windows Trends

    Probably just inertia.
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    Re: Windows Trends

    If people wait too long Windows 10 will pass them by and they'll be screwed. At a certain point new Windows 10 releases ("builds") will stop supporting older hardware combinations, and the old Win10 versions are not kept available as far as I can tell.
    Last edited by dilettante; Jan 7th, 2018 at 06:41 PM.

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    Re: Windows Trends

    Quote Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
    If people wait too long Windows 10 will pass them by and they'll be screwed. At a certain point new Windows 10 releases ("builds") will stop supporting older hardware combinations, and the old Win10 versions are not kept available as far as I can tell.
    How long term are you thinking, I convinced Win7 programs will be supported for many many years to come, I still have programs running that I wrote in VB6 on a XP machine 15 years ago. Who really knows what the Windows OS will be like 15 years from now.

    Edit - I reread your post and I see your talking about hardware. But it seems that problem will sort of solve itself as old hardware needs to be replaced. If Windows starts changing so rapidly that companies have to start replacing relatively new hardware there will be a Cry heard around the world.
    Last edited by wes4dbt; Jan 8th, 2018 at 02:15 AM.

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    Re: Windows Trends

    Microsoft cuts off Windows 10 support early for some PCs

    Updated: An entire generation of PCs, most only three or four years old, are now unable to receive new feature updates to Windows 10. But Microsoft has created an exception for those devices, allowing them to continue receiving security updates for five additional years.

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    Re: Windows Trends

    Also:

    Windows lifecycle fact sheet

    Windows 7 *

    End of mainstream support: January 13, 2015

    End of extended support: January 14, 2020


    * Support for Windows 7 RTM without service packs ended on April 9, 2013. Be sure to install Windows 7 Service Pack 1 today to continue to receive support and updates.
    So two years left (and ticking). And even then:

    Microsoft warns Windows 7 is dangerously insecure in 2017

    Right now, Windows 7 has extended support guaranteed through January 13, 2020. After that, no more public patches will be rolled out. Although, Microsoft says the public patches might not be enough to keep Windows 7 safe anyway.

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    Re: Windows Trends

    Quote Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
    It seems odd that paranoia is the focus here.

    I'd rather see the page updated with current data on a quarterly basis. If anything the staleness is the most important criticism.

    Who are all of these Win 8.1 users? There can't be that many unupgradeable Windows RT tablets out there in the wild.
    I think this is a good question and the answer's really difficult to hit. You'd think if someone is the kind of person that holds on to 8.1 forever we'd find them actually still clinging desperately to Win7.

    But it's easy to forget Windows 8 released in 2012, 5 years ago (it's not late enough in 2018 for me to round up ). 8.1 arrived in 2013. Windows 10 came in 2015. 3 years can be a long time in certain upgrade cycles.

    Me, personally, I'm still using a late-2013 Macbook Pro. It predates the i5 and i7! Getting here required investing in a RAM and SSD upgrade, but it performs well enough I'm not tempted to think about investing in a new laptop yet. My main Windows machine is even older than that, but is running Windows 10 because I keep it upgraded. This is probably more or less how most of us work: even if you're still on Win8 you're probably doing it out of a desire to carefully balance "up to date" with "works with the software I have to develop".

    But my dad, he's buying a new computer every other year. Why? The first reason is he's a bargain shopper. He usually ends up buying an i3, sometimes an i5. It comes bundled with about 18 different virus scanners and other OEM utilities that serve only to soak up what limited processing power he already has. Until this year, every one of his PC purchases has been slower than my 2013 laptop.

    Which is why he keeps buying. When you buy the cheapest desktop you can find you get bare-bones RAM, slow hard disks, and whatever CPU was in the bargain bin for the OEM. They bundle it with tons of things you don't need. When you don't know too much about maintaining it, it's easy for updates or virus definitions to lag. When the only browser you use is IE and you don't at least work with adblocking extensions, it doesn't take long for your machine to end up mining bitcoins for someone else. Once one thing finds an exploit, it tends to leave a door open for other things.

    Every PC he's bought has been tossed away for the same reason as the last: "It got slower and slower and now I can't even watch a Youtube video anymore, so it's just old." It makes sense to him. Lots of other machines he operates get older and less reliable over time. So he goes out and buys another cheap one.

    So while the cycle is probably a little longer than it used to be, I think that's insight into where all the Win 8.1 installs come from. It's consumers who bought a PC somewhere around the 2014-2015 era and their PC hasn't quite slowed down enough for them to buy a new one. They could have upgraded to Windows 10 for free, but the news at the time was, "IT SPIES ON YOU", "THEY SCREWED UP THE START MENU", "THERE'S NOTHING USEFUL IN IT", and "JUST WAIT FOR THEM TO REVERT IT". So they waited, the free period passed, and now they don't want to pay to upgrade.

    This kind of happened in enterprise, too. My work machine from 2013 to 2016 or so ran Windows 7 because IT supported Windows 7. We were a small company with only a handful of IT people and they didn't want to fool with a non-homogenous support base. When Windows 10 updates arrived, they very quickly used Group Policy to suppress the update prompts on all of our machines, and we were warned if we updated to Windows 10 we'd have to wait for them to reimage it back to Windows 7. (I think it was a bluff, but people do what they're told at work. Usually.) The only reason I'm on Win10 right now is we got bought by Someone Big and their IT has resources to burn.

    So there's my theory. "Paranoia" is the focus. When Win10 came out, MS didn't sell it very well and let the news cycle poison users against it. Even among devs you'll still find people "holding out until they come to their senses and revert". Consumers will upgrade as their machines reach relevant levels of disrepair, but given economic trends it's just as likely they'll buy some cheap Android tablet as a PC. Enterprise users that are still on 7 or 8.1 are going to be doing so as long as eBay keeps providing parts for them. Microsoft tried to give away Windows 10 for free and got no bites.
    This answer is wrong. You should be using TableAdapter and Dictionaries instead.

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    Re: Windows Trends

    Hoping for a reversion back to Windows 7, Vista, or XP is sort of silly. They are far down the road with Windows 10 now, and the large "feature updates" mean we're really at Windows 13 or 14 at this point anyway.

    Some things just are not worth spiting yourself over. "Embrace the horror" since you have no alternative anyway. The latter is especially true if you want any of the improvements and new features. Some of these get more important every day, for example the improved support for Bluetooth LE.

    The blue collar box jockeys have always been a thorn in the side of developers, and I include database and network "administrators" among them. There is a very high wall of resistance to change and learning among them that makes a VB6 die-hard look adventurous by comparison. Microsoft needs to work on a campaign to rein these lackeys of theirs in - hard.

    Reminds me of a contract where they insisted on "DevOps": translation "We have these useless box jockeys and want to stick them onto your development team." We ended up having to tolerate their dead weight being charged to our project and did our best to assign them mindless tasks like running unit tests and proofreading end-user documentation.

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    Re: Windows Trends

    I totally agree with you. For a short period it made sense to maybe hold back from Win10 in the enterprise just to make sure it was stable, but the time's sort of come and gone. MS is getting more aggressive about sunsetting its products on a fairly rapid schedule.

    I don't know what that means for the enterprise, or the kind of shop that's depended on weird drivers from strange countries that last them for 30 years. I've always felt like for all the troubles involved, Linux was the choice for "I need it to be supported for decades". Yes, that means you have to do a lot of the work yourself. If it's worth betting your business on something, it's probably worth having a guarantee it can't be phased out because you aren't a line item on someone else's budget anymore.
    This answer is wrong. You should be using TableAdapter and Dictionaries instead.

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    Re: Windows Trends

    There are a lot of shops with Linux on servers and embedded in network devices.

    Most of these never get updated and are full of unpatched bugs and well known security vulnerabilities... but the box jockeys don't care. They can spend more time out smoking on the loading dock on the company dime. When the wheels come off they take no responsibility whatsoever.

    Companies who have been badly burned by this enough times have gotten smarter and moved things to reputable Cloud providers. Even those who use Linux (even Azure now) at least take care to keep software current.

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    Re: Windows Trends

    I feel like that's less the fault of Linux and more the fault of "security and good IT maintenance is hard and very few businesses dedicate anything resembling a budget to it." But I also don't think you're necessarily making the statement that Linux has any kind of inherent flaw.

    I think the prevailing problem is people see software as some kind of eternal thing you pay for once and it works forever. It needs maintenance, like any other machine. Betting your business on software that doesn't let you do that maintenance yourself is always a risk. I don't think many people who are starting businesses understand that.

    (That's always been the weird part about starting businesses to me. We're all encouraged to ignore "I don't know what I'm doing" and dive headlong into the deep end. For every 100 Daily ***s about a company that overpromised, there's some startup out there who told the same lies but accidentally delivered and was rewarded with 100 companies' worth of money. We don't fund slow-growth companies with real business models.)
    This answer is wrong. You should be using TableAdapter and Dictionaries instead.

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    Re: Windows Trends

    Yeah, but those are Atom based computers. A strange niche to begin with, and not too concerning.
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    Re: Windows Trends

    The problem isn't Linux distributions, but the failure to install patches and new versions as bugs get corrected. If you let the server run until it fails you get (a.) lazy days for a long time, and then (b.) job security and even overtime pay to recover from the disaster.

    Employers are catching on to this, and it happens almost as much for Windows as anything else. The problem lies with these inept computer janitors, not the software.

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    Re: Windows Trends

    Quote Originally Posted by dilettante View Post

    Reminds me of a contract where they insisted on "DevOps": translation "We have these useless box jockeys and want to stick them onto your development team." We ended up having to tolerate their dead weight being charged to our project and did our best to assign them mindless tasks like running unit tests and proofreading end-user documentation.
    Haha, not exactly like this. Professional DevOps team may really help you with a project. They are real specialists in the field and many people are dreaming about doing DevOps training course from that team
    Last edited by si_the_geek; Mar 10th, 2018 at 05:18 PM.

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    Re: Windows Trends

    Quote Originally Posted by Niya View Post
    I'm a bit concerned about how they collected all this data. Does the Windows operating system spy on what we are doing? This shouldn't bother me but for some reason, I feel uneasy about this possibility.
    I think these information can be easy to collect, because when we install Windows OS, they can access the info about our computer already. My concern is that "are they allowed to use this info and publish it"?

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    Re: Windows Trends

    Generally, as part of Windows Setup, you get asked if you want to enable it. It's somewhere in Control Panel and can be turned on and off whenever you want.
    This answer is wrong. You should be using TableAdapter and Dictionaries instead.

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