And in a week where the world is grappling with the consequences of just how vulnerable computers are is this joyous nugget of news: more Australians are using Windows XP than Windows 8.1, even though support for the former was officially canned years ago.
The results come courtesy of the Netmarket Share analytics service, which releases monthly data on the market share of browsers and operating systems across desktops, laptops and mobiles.
Their latest figures this week for the month of April couldn’t come at a better time, when airports, hospitals and computers around the world have been hammered by the latest shit frisbee to circulate online: a massive ransomware attack built off a cyber-weapon stolen from the National Security Agency.
The worm spreads through networks, attaching itself to computers whether users click on bad links or not. The only way to protect yourself was to ensure that your network was updated beforehand, by way of installing patch MS17-010.
Microsoft recommends upgrading to Windows 10 as well, although the patch is available on Vista, Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and other Windows versions. One version not listed, however, is Windows XP – which Netmarket Share data shows is still more popular than Windows 8.1.
StatCounter’s trackers have some slightly different figures globally, but the overall theme is the same in Australia. Over the last month, Windows XP is still a hair more popular than Windows 8, with almost 10% of users in the region on Windows 8.1 and more than half of users having merged over to Windows 10.
It’s worth going over the figures, if only to remind people that computers can be vulnerable whether you click on a dodgy link or not. And if you happen to be using an operating system that isn’t supposed to be getting security updates anymore, you should really consider using something else. Like, right now. And if you are one of those people still on Windows XP, grab these emergency updates from the Microsoft catalogue immediately.