Windows XP remains the dominant OS — at least in one part of the world

Windows XP Bliss
Windows XP Bliss (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • The year is 2021, and Microsoft has ushered in Windows 11.
  • While it may not be a shock that many, many people are still operating on older Windows operating systems, it is unusual that one country still primarily uses Windows XP.
  • That country is Armenia.

For many, October 2021 has been a time of change, wherein Windows 10 was abandoned in favor of Windows 11. However, not everyone is so keen on making operating system jumps. In fact, one country hasn't done so en masse in two decades.

According to StatCounter, desktop PCs in Armenia still primarily roll with Windows XP (via WinFuture). As of September 2021, 53.5% of desktops were using the operating system that landed in 2001. Windows 10 came in second with 32.8% percent. Given that October's figures aren't included in the chart yet, it's not clear how many Windows 11 rigs are floating around in Armenia, but it's safe to assume there are nowhere near enough to dethrone XP as the king of the hill.

It remains unclear why Armenia's XP and Windows 10 market share values still battle with each other for dominance every few months, with Windows 10 occasionally tying things up or taking the crown. It's also unclear why Windows XP keeps rising to the top after these temporary swaps.

In any event, the point is this: If Microsoft's seriously intense Windows 11 marketing hasn't worked on you and you're still happily living with Windows 7, 8, 10, or another older operating system, know that you're not alone. There are a great many people out there in the world still rocking software from two decades ago. The question now is: Will you be utilizing Windows 11 in 2041?

Robert Carnevale

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to

  • In 2041? Probably not. But I also don't think other, less fortunate, countries will be either. XP was really good out of the gate and got even better with each service pack. Where Vista, 8, 8.1, 10 and 11 have all kinds of quirks, instabilities, incompatibilities and simply stupid design choices that make them not "loved" like XP. It might be a good idea to look at why XP was such a massive success and see if you can replicate that for Windows 12 or 13...
  • 2 words: Windows and Seven
  • Was very good, but still not as popular as Windows xp was
  • A simpler time back then. I feel like technology and software are a lot more demanding/complicated than it was 20ish years ago. Look at BF1942 (2002) vs BF2042 (2021) and not just talking about the graphic either. But it could be a number of things, money, change, style, if it ain't broke, etc.
  • Tactical guess here, but I'm betting BF2042 doesn't hold up nearly as long as others like BF4 did for reasons similar to what you're mentioning. Overcomplexity draped on top of an already simple, satisfying formula.
  • Will keep it simple, Armenia is a poor country therefore I doubt they can afford it, secondly Windows XP runs on cheaper hardware so it would make sense for such. in a simple line of progression Windows XP (low hardware requirements) - Windows vista(quite high requirements at its time) Windows 7(somewhat lower requirements but higher than XP overall) Windows 8(a slightly higher HW Req) Windows 8.1(the same) Windows 10(essentially the same) Windows 11(higher requirements) , no where in this line of Windows iterations has Microsoft gone back on its performance requirements for Windows other than Windows 7. Microsoft has a lighter Windows system known as Windows Core, which they've failed to make use of even while its fully functional.
  • I agreed, except for the cheaper hardware point. Windows Vista would fly on any PC from the past decade. Remember Windows 8 is a decade old next year. Windows Vista, 7, 8's requirements haven't been high for a long time now. Vista requires 2GB RAM to work well, haven't even been able to buy this for some time now.
  • Windows 7 was also a massive success. Windows XP was the first "stable" Windows and this is really the only reason it's still around.
  • @ERodeo. That's not accurate. Windows XP was destroyed by the Sasser virus which was only fixed on Service Pack 2.
    It remains the only Windows version that was crippled by a single virus across the globe. Maybe you have a short memory or are too young to remember
  • XP is still pretty prevalent in Azeroth too.
  • Armenia, I salute you. If it ain't broke, then don't fix it.
  • Except it is broke, you can make anything work forever in theory. It can still be broken.
  • No way Armenia will be the only one. We forget in the rich world, we're the exception not the norm. Those PCs will be ancient. It furthers reminds us why Apple Mac isn't the dominate platform Apple would like you to believe. That said I still see XP used at bus stations, train stations for timetables and supermarket checkouts, every and again one crashes and there's XP saying Hello :D.
  • XP was the reason I abandoned Windoze, dreadful software, all my drivers had to be replaced. Every large company I worked for stuck with Windows 7. 'Nuff said.
  • This stat is weird, so good on you for looking into it. I'd propose though that there is probably a better explanation. These statistics rely on browser usage. My first thought is that there are bot farms in Armenia that run XP. Regular consumers are probably not predominantly using it.
  • I only found out about Windows 11 last week, and it turns out my computer isn't compatible. So, I'll keep rocking the last Windows to ever be released (Windows 10).
  • Well the reason why so many countries (usually in the state sector) use WinXP is simple - software compability. Even here in the Czech Republic (it is Central Europe, just for the stupid), why should eg. hospitals pay millions for new software compatible with new OS when the 20 years old software works well and safe? It's just a black hole consuming money unnecessarily even if they could afford it readily...
  • Because it isn't safe. That's the real issue...
    Upgrading to the latest and greatest isn't necessary year over year. But keeping security updated is important. Especially at a state or medical level.