Windows 7 versus Windows 10

There’s nothing like a looming deadline to concentrate the mind — something that applies as much in tech as it does in journalism.

Microsoft recently revealed that Windows 10 has burst through the 800 million users mark. And while it’s dangerous to read too much into these very broad statistics, it does seem that there has been an uptick in migrations in recent months. While it took nearly nine months to go from 600 to 700 million users, it only took only five-and-a-half to get from 700 to 800 million. Sure, that’s not as fast as it was in the early days (when consumers had the option to upgrade for free), but it suggests there is some additional momentum out there (see the chart below).

SEE: 20 pro tips to make Windows 10 work the way you want (free PDF)

One obvious reason for this uptick in Windows 10 adoption is the rapidly looming demise of Windows 7, which goes out of mainstream support in less than a year.

There are still hundreds of millions of PCs out there running Windows 7, many of them in businesses where the operating system has been a reliable workhorse for nearly a decade. My colleague Ed Bott has an excellent list of your options if you’re still on Windows 7.

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