What's going to happen to Windows 7 and 8 when Windows 10 comes out?

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 2, 2015
Updated • Jul 5, 2017
Windows, Windows 10

Microsoft's newest version of Windows for desktop PCs and tablets is going to be released on July 29, 2015. The company is working on Windows 10 as we speak and has yet to pick a suitable RTM candidate so that the system can go in production and be made available to partners, hardware manufacturers and eventually end users.

It is clear that Microsoft is betting big on Windows 10, considering that it is offering free upgrades to Windows 7 and Windows 8 system owners, and also offering free licenses for Windows Insider users who stay on the beta channel after release.

If you check operating system usage share statistics currently, you will notice that Windows 7 is having a comfortable lead in all of them with a usage share between 50% and 60%. Windows 8 on the other hand has a usage share between 15% and 32%. (Steam Hardware Survey, Netmarketshare, w3Schools)

How is the release of Windows 10 going to affect the usage share of previous versions of Windows?

Microsoft attempts to get the bulk of users to upgrade to Windows 10 by offering the operating system as a free upgrade. While the offer is limited to the first year of release, it shows Microsoft's dedication to make Windows 10 work and make people forget about Windows 8.x.

Since upgrade offers are advertised to users who run Windows 7 and Windows 8, provided that they have automatic updates enabled, it seems likely that part of the user base will upgrade to the new version of Windows.

It is difficult to come up with figures as to how many will take the offer but it is likely that the offer will push the Windows 10 usage share significantly during the first days of release.

If you add hardware sales to it, it is likely that a sizable percentage of machines will run Windows 10 in the first year of release. Microsoft has released only one projection, to have 1 billion devices running Windows 10 after two or three years of release.

While it includes all devices, phones, tablets, game consoles and desktop computers, it is ambitious nevertheless.

But what does this mean for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1? Not much really apart from usage share going down as a consequence of the release.

Windows 7 is supported for another five years with security updates and Windows 8.1 for three extra years on top of that.

Even Windows Vista users, exempt from the free upgrade offer for reasons unknown, don't have to worry yet as their operating system is supported with security updates until 2017.

Since upgrades are free under certain conditions, it may make sense to upgrade as support for the operating system you have upgraded to is guaranteed for a longer period of time.

In addition, you get support for new features such as DirectX 12, an improved command prompt, Cortana, the new Microsoft Edge browser, Xbox app game recording, and new security features such as Device Guard and Windows Hello (may be restricted to certain versions).

As is the case with operating system upgrades, there is always new stuff to learn and things that are different when compared to previous versions of Windows.

Windows 8 users will find themselves right at home. The core difference that they will spot right away is the new start menu that replaced the start screen interface on the desktop by default. It is still possible to make it fullscreen if that is desired, but that's mostly it from an upgrade perspective.

Windows 7 users on the other hand will have a harder time adjusting to the new system. While not as hard as upgrading to Windows 8, there are still things that are done different.

The start menu for instance uses a different layout and some item placements seem kinda off. Store and applications can be ignored for the most part though if those are not required and since the Start Screen is gone, so is the switching between the two interfaces of Windows 8.

Unless you require some of the features that ship with Windows 10, there is little incentive to upgrade considering that it will take time and resources to get accustomed to the new operating system.

Closing Words

I have made up my mind some time ago, as I will keep on using Windows 7 on the PC it is installed on, and upgrade Windows 8.1 on another PC to Windows 10.

Windows 10 feels like an improvement over Windows 8.1, that's why it makes sense to upgrade Windows 8.x machines to it.

Now You: What do you think will happen to Windows 7 and 8 usage share after the release of Windows 10? And will you upgrade to Windows 10?

What's going to happen to Windows 7 and 8 when Windows 10 comes out?
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What's going to happen to Windows 7 and 8 when Windows 10 comes out?
Find out what the release of Windows 10 means for users of Microsoft's previous operating systems Windows 7 and Windows 8.
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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):


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