The last time I published stats was back in May, and now it’s time for the September edition. The numbers are pretty simple, and the positive trends I reported earlier continue.
Since May, Windows 7’s demographic has increased by 47% (wow!) and now comprises 38% of the user base. 64-bit has shot up by 41% and is now 22.5% of the user base, something that makes me very happy since it was dawdling at <1% for several years. Windows XP is finally below the 50% mark, having dropped to 43%. If you add up Vista and Win7, you get 56.4%, which is very good news. For the first time this means that the majority of Paint.NET users are not on Windows XP! My decision to drop support for XP in the forthcoming v4.0 release (“late 2011,” remember) appears to be a solid business decision, and will let me focus on using newer technologies like Direct2D. Anyone who says “you are dropping support for the majority of your users!!!1” is, well, wrong.
Yay pie charts
|May 2010||September 2010|
|Total hits to update manifest||4,243,221||3,598,716|
|Hits per day||136,878||116,087|
|Windows Vista / 2008||22.64%||18.14%|
|Windows 7 / 2008 R2||25.95%||38.25%|
|All other languages||0.86%||1.02%|
|Don’t have translations||18.62%||18.38%|
19 thoughts on “September 2010 usage statistics – XP no longer on top”
I’m curious Rick… Why are you so platform-dependent? Isn’t Pain.NET a .NET Framework application? Microsoft keeps saying .NET Framework is supposed to be cross-OS. (Microsoft says cross-platform actually but I read it cross-OS or cross-Windows.) So, why Paint.NET isn’t cross-OS? Why is Direct2D so important while Paint.NET does not even support writing to any language other than latin-based ones? (Windows Paint does support other languages.)
Please don’t mistake me for an envious Windows XP user who holds a grudge for Windows 7 and all things modern (everybody does these days) — I use Windows 7 64-bit and I own a copy of Adobe Photoshop CS3. I merely asked those questions because I was curious to learn their answers from a .NET Framework developer who practically develops such applications. (I myself develop with Delphi.)
“So platform dependent?” Paint.NET was never designed to be platform-independent, nor has it ever been advertised as such. It’s a Windows application, through and through, and is designed to take maximum advantage of the facilities that are available there (Direct2D, etc.).
Well, that’s exactly my question: Why?
I’m curious to know what does Paint.NET do that requires cutting-edge technology? After all, there are a lot of similar applications out there, including Zoner Photo Studio, GIMP, Inkscape, Photoshop Elements, etc. but none of them have such a tight system requirements; and mind you, they are often more powerful than Paint.NET.
John, it’s not necessarily about “cutting-edge technology.” A lot of the features Paint.NET wants to use are rather pedestrian: a 2D rasterizer, a text renderer, etc. Most of the time it’s actually about not wanting to write 2 versions of the application or any particular subsystem, one for Windows N and one for Windows “after N”. In this case, “N” is XP. Or rather, it’s not about “not wanting to” (wah boohoo, right?) but about not having the time and energy to write and completely test and then then release 2 versions at the necessary level of quality (even if “2 versions” are stuffed into 1 zip file, and is transparent to the end-user). I am one guy. If I had a small army of developers, and if I determined that the cost of maintaining XP support was less than the revenue coming in because of those users, then of course I would not drop XP support.
It’s also about moving on from old technologies, like GDI or GDI+, which are falling behind in terms of features or robustness, and are becoming an increasing liability for both. GDI+ is crashy when it encounters “bad” fonts (“bad” being nebulously defined). It also has many bugs when it comes to 2D rendering and geometry operations. GDI is not good for high quality text rendering, nor for antialiased 2D rendering of any kind. Direct2D has high quaility rendering, DirectWrite is really good for text, and both open the door towards doing hardware accelerated stuff, etc. I want to work with modern tools, and these enable me to deliver a modern application.
Photoshop CS5 currently has higher system requirements than Paint.NET v3.5.5. As for the GIMP, I don’t follow them very much. I imagine they run on “everything” because they always cater to the lowest common denominator feature set that’s available on all their platforms. If they need a 2D rasterizer then they use some GPL library which is then another DLL in the installer and thus not a platform dependency. One partial consequence of this is that GIMP never really fits in when running on Windows. Its window management is weird, its buttons look weird, and it never really feels like a native app. I write Paint.NET specifically for Windows, which covers both what I personally use and what 95% of the PC market is using. Remember again: I’m one guy, not an army. It makes sense for me to write for the platform that I have experience with.
Also I’m not aware of any place Microsoft has stated that the .NET Framework is “platform independent.”
John, you may be thinking of Silverlight, which runs on multiple OS’s. The .NET framework is exclusive to Windows. Check out the Wikipedia article for more info. 🙂 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_.NET#Microsoft_.NET
And by Silverlight running on “multiple OS’s”, what I really mean is “cross-browser”.
I know! I did mention it: “Microsoft says cross-platform actually but I read it cross-OS or cross-Windows”. Microsoft .NET Framework is supposed to provide similar experience across different versions of Windows that run the same version of .NET Framework.
Very interesting! I’m one of the Win7 64 bit users since last week ^^
as for Pdn itself, i’m a graphical designer and I use it for my work. Website designs and templates are all made by that wonderfull piece of freeware.
And as a programmer myself I encourage opensource (too bad this stopped, but I read your reasons somewhere, and I fully understand them), free programs.
Also, i wondered, is there a way to support you in development? I mean, i’m just a simple pdn user, but is there a way to donate or some kind?
Thanks for reading and greetings from Belgium (I’m making other Belgians use pdn btw ^^)
Hey Whitebird, yes you can donate 🙂 http://www.getpaint.net/donate.html (It’s also in the Help menu, and there’s always a button at installation or update time)
Will do! (as soon as I’m able to set up a Paypal account)
I wonder if there is some sort of “thank you” page with the names of donors? Or are donors not mentioned at all? I’ll still donate though ^^
For privacy reasons, donors names are kept private. Also, oftentimes someone wants their name listed on donations page as a way to get cheap advertising on the website. So, by not offering to do this I close a loophole, so to speak. If someone wants to advertise on the website, they may go through Google AdSense, which has the ability to target a specific website.
Ok, no problem
Thanks for the reply Rick. I think now I understand…
One minor point however: I didn’t say “Photoshop CS5” (that’s one mighty beast!) I said “Photoshop Elements”. But never mind…
I was just trying to make the point that the system requirements for v3.5.5 are in-line with what’s already out on the market. I would expect to see other software move to Vista+ system requirements by the end of next year, and in 2012 especially, which lines up with when Paint.NET v4 should be done. I’ve already seen a few new programs that say “… for your Windows 7 PC” and that don’t support XP.
-Firstly, thanks for this piece of such a wonderful software. 🙂
-Now, I’m not questioning your decision to move from GDI/GDI+ to DirectWrite/Direct2D, but how about moving from Winforms to WPF? AFAIK, WPF uses DirectX (Direct3D) rather than GDI, so we could still get better performance without casting aside XP users. You could even state: “This program (Paint.NET 4+) may work on Windows XP but it isn’t supported nor tested by us (you).”
Rick has already announced that he has no immediate plan of moving to WPF. In has last post titled: “Microsoft Ribbon for WPF”, Rick says: “Paint.NET is based on WinForms, not WPF, and will likely remain that way.”
I am a great fan of Piantnet, a have a 64 bit laptop which also runs on Windows7 so I am happy to be on the right side of your statistics. So I get to continue editing my photos without paying for a photo editor that costs an arm. Thanks Rick.
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