Java and Flash top list of most outdated programs on users’ PCs

52% of the most popular PC applications, including Flash and Java, are out-of-date. People are exposing their PC and their personal data to risks, as malware targets older versions of software to exploit vulnerabilities.

outdated programs

Most outdated programs

Gathered anonymously from 116 million Windows desktop and laptop users, Avast found the most outdated programs include:

  • Java (Runtime 6,7)
  • Flash Player (Active X)
  • Foxit Reader
  • GOM Media Player
  • Nitro Pro
  • WinZip
  • DivX
  • Adobe Shockwave Player
  • 7-ZIP
  • Firefox.

Topping this list of the least updated applications is Java, with more than 24 million people running the outdated versions Java Runtime 6 and 7. And while another 26 million users are on the latest version Java 8, more than 70% haven’t installed the latest update rollout (currently update 121).

This is closely followed by Flash, where 99% of users have yet to update this control for Internet Explorer; and Foxit Reader which sees 92% of users working with an old version of the application.

Conversely, the most up-to-date applications are Google Chrome at 88%; Opera at 84%; and Skype which is 76% up-to-date across the sampled user base, which illustrates that even the programs that auto-update are not necessarily always up-to-date.

Key findings

Windows XP is not dead: Windows XP is still installed on 6% of the PCs surveyed. Around 6.5 million users from Avast’s sample base still use XP despite Microsoft discontinuing support almost three years ago. Windows 7 is by far the most common OS with 48% of users running it, followed by Windows 10 which is used by 30%

Low memory size slows people down: 4GB was the most common by far, followed by 2GB. Smaller RAM sizes of 2GB or less may cause PCs to run and perform tasks slowly if users do more than basic emailing or running a browser with just a few tabs open. However, around 15 million Avast users are running 8GB memory suggesting bigger RAM is trending upward.

Quad-core CPU is rare: the most common processor configuration is dual-core with 77% of sampled users owning a PC with one of these chips inside. Quad-core, a more recent innovation, was only found in 15% of surveyed PCs.

Solid State drives not the norm – yet: Hard Disk Drives (HDD) still dominate. Only 10 million of the 91 million disks sampled had the newer Solid State Drives (SSD). The average HDD was 500GB, while the more common SSD size was only 256GB, which is likely due to the fact that larger SSDs are still sold at a much higher price point.