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Do you suspect that your customers’ PC systems are getting dangerously long in the tooth? A new report finds you’re probably right.

The report, released today by security vendor Avast, finds that the average PC is now 6 years old. The report also finds that more than half (55%) of all PC applications are out-of-date and therefore vulnerable to security risks.

Avast’s report is based on anonymized and aggregated data collected from 163 million devices worldwide through the Automatic Software Updater feature included in Avast and AVG security software. Avast’s report also incorporates data from Statista and other sources.

Avast says the applications where updates are most frequently neglected include: Adobe Shockwave (96% of installations out-of-date), VLC Media Player (94%), Skype (94%), Java Runtime Environment 6-8 (93%), 7-Zip Filemanager (92%) and Foxit Reader (91%).

Microsoft’s Office suite is vulnerable too. Fifteen percent of Office users still run the 2007 edition, Avast finds. Unfortunately, that version is no longer supported by Microsoft, meaning the vendor has stopped issuing bug fixes and security patches for it.

The most commonly out-of-date Office programs, according to Avast, are: Office Enterprise 2007 (15% of all installations), Office Professional Plus 2013 (10%), Office 365 (8%) and Office Professional Plus 2016 (5%).

Hardware and OS, too

Avast finds the average PC system is now 6 years old. And that remains the case even as a growing number of users upgrade to Windows 10.

Windows 10 is now installed on 40% of PCs worldwide, up from 35% in the third quarter of 2017, Avast says. During the same period, Windows 7 installations declined slightly as a percentage of total systems, from 45% in Q3:17 to 43% now.

However, 62% of those Win10 upgrades seem to have been made on older PCs, according to Avast. Microsoft offered the new version of its OS as a free upgrade to all Win7 and Win8 users, and it seems to have worked. So much for the much-vaunted PC refresh.

Yet even operating systems can be out-of-date. Avast finds that 15% of Win7 users and 8% of Win10 users worldwide run older, no-longer-supported versions of their operating systems. Incredibly, there are also more than 15,000 users still running a pre-release (beta) version of Win7. All these users are theoretically at risk from vulnerabilities and other significant security issues.

“Most of us replace our smartphone regularly, but the same cannot be said for our PCs,” says Ondrej Vlcek, president of Avast. “With the average age of a PC now reaching six years old, we need to be doing more to ensure our devices are not putting us at unnecessary risk.”

Are your customers running dangerously out-of-date systems? Tell them to stop — and offer them new, safer alternatives.

 

Learn more: Download the full Avast PC Trends 2019 report (18-page PDF)

 

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Devices