Many make the presumption that building their websites, apps, and plugins for the latest operating systems is the right way to go. This leads to many products being made available for Windows 8 and Windows 7 users, but not so much for anyone with Windows XP or Windows Vista.
However, the truth is that there are still many people that use older Windows operating systems. As you are not tailoring your products for these people, you may be inadvertently sending them away. There may be certain parts of your website that don’t view properly, certain apps that don’t work at all, and etc.
Why People Still Use Older Operating Systems
There are many reasons why someone may be stuck using an older operating system.
For example, a user’s newer computer could break down or they may be looking to buy their first computer. So they look on Gumtree or check out OLX to see what’s available. At this point, they find that the options of cheap desktop computers mainly have older operating systems. Given that Windows XP can fill most needs, many do not see buying a computer with it as being an issue.
It is also true that people avoid using Windows 8 due to the extensive problems that it has. It is viewed as being an operating system meant for tablets and other touch screen devices. It’s been plagued with disastrous issues on desktops and laptops alike.
Windows 7 is not nearly as problematic. It is also supported by Microsoft still, while Windows XP is not supported.
How Many People Really Use Windows XP and Windows Vista?
This is only a concern if the numbers are there. Sadly, the truth is that the numbers are indeed there.
As of April 2014, Windows XP is the second biggest operating system by market share, making up for 26.29% of users. That’s pretty alarming considering it was released to the public 13 years ago. The same statistic shows that Windows 7 takes up nearly half of the market share. Windows 8 users only make up for 6.36% not that far from Windows Vista users at 2.89% market share.
What all this means is that there are still many users viewing the Internet from computers containing older operating systems. More specifically, there are still many Windows XP users around – even though the operating system is not supported. This makes it seem that these users will continue to use XP for many years to come.
How a Website Owner Can Use This Information
If these statistics are anywhere close to accurate for your website, you would be turning down more than one in four visitors that go to your website if you don’t think about XP. The truth is that a website could end up looking deformed on XP vs. newer operating systems. Plug-ins and apps could also not work at all.
The software that can be used on Windows XP is different as well. This means that certain things you have available for download may not work on their computer.
Ultimately, you just need to be conscious to the fact that many visitors to your website may be viewing from a Windows XP computer. If this is actually the case, you will want to make sure that everything views properly and works when accessed with a Windows XP computer.