Windows 10 Hits 600 Million Active Devices

Posted on November 29, 2017 by Mehedi Hassan in Windows, Windows 10 with 37 Comments

Microsoft May Actually Have a Reliability Strategy

Back in May, more than 500 million active devices were being powered by Windows 10. Today at its annual shareholders meeting, Microsoft CEO announced a new milestone for the company’s operating system: it’s now powering 600 million active devices, reports GeekWire.

Windows 10 growth slowed down ever since the end of the free upgrade offer for Windows 7/8 users. Microsoft’s operating system continued to pick up market share, albeit at a much slower rate, as more and more businesses started moving away from Windows 7, but the majority of users are still running older versions of the OS to this day. Extended support for Windows 7 is set to end in 2020, and by that time Windows 10 should be well over the 1 billion target Microsoft set during the initial launch of the OS.

Going forward, it’s clear that Microsoft won’t have too much trouble getting users to upgrade to newer versions of Windows. The company’s Windows as a Service strategy has performed surprisingly well so far, with more than 20% of all Windows 10 users already using the latest feature update for the OS which only came out in October.

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Comments (48)

48 responses to “Windows 10 Hits 600 Million Active Devices”

  1. Jules Wombat

    Great so how about that Windows 10 on 2 Billion devices in two (or was it three) years Target ?

  2. SherlockHolmes

    "The company’s Windows as a Service strategy has performed surprisingly well so far"? Did I miss something here? There wasnt one Upgrade since the launch of Windows 10 that went out without a problem.

    • JustMe

      In reply to SherlockHolmes:


      I tend to agree. I fail to see how the WAAS strategy has performed 'surprisingly well.' What worked well was their malware-style attepmts to force adoption tactics. If you buy a new Windows PC, it will likely be Windows 10, unless you specifically build it yourself, as older versions of the OS wont work on the newest hardware. The OS continues to get bloated, continues to make it diificult to uninstall unneeded pieces without the use of Powershell, and generally is a pain (IMHO, that is - I know there are those that like it and thats fine. Me, I dont.) What WAAS has done is to make me really look at what I will need for a post-Windows operating environment. While I am not there yet, I will get there.

    • PeteB

      In reply to SherlockHolmes:

      Or contained a single useful new feature.

      • hrlngrv

        In reply to PeteB:

        Picky: the 1709 Start menu is different from the 1507 Start menu, IMO 1709's is an improvement. Likewise, Edge has improved (though I still don't use it myself). Finally, WSL for me is a very interesting new feature.

  3. Thr2017

    My Intel NUC won't update from 1703 to 1709.


    It wants me to first uninstall Virtual PC 2004.

    I have not installed VPC2004

    I don't think any version of VPC can run on Win10.

    I can't find it in the Install Programs List. It is not a Windows feature.


    Catch 22


    This post updated 4 Jun 2018:

    The problem also occurred when updating from 1709 to 1803.

    After uninstalling Hyper-V, I had to reboot twice before the update would work.

    Rebooting once did not work.


    The Windows Update error message was:

    Some apps need to be uninstalled

    Microsoft Virtual PC 2004


  4. hrlngrv

    So roughly 100m every 6 months? So W10 should hit 700m by end of April 2018 and 750m by end of July 2018, 3 years after 1507 'RTM'ed. Even with some acceleration, unlikely to hit 900m at the 3 year mark.

  5. MikeGalos

    So crunching this number and the share at NetMarketShare we find that:


    There are now over 2 Billion personal computers using a desktop operating system

    Over 1.8 Billion of them use Windows

    Windows 10 alone is 4.8 times as popular as all versions of macOS/OS X/Mac OS X combined

    Windows 10 alone is 9.8 times as popular as all Linux desktops combined

    Fragmentation in Windows is minor now with 83.5% of all Windows computers running only two versions

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      Curious how you reach the 2 billion figure. From the article above, 600m Windows 10 devices doesn't mean 600m Windows 10 PCs. Figure 550m of those devices are PCs (so 50m phones, Xboxes, IoT running W10), and Netmarketshare shows total Windows 10 desktop share as of end of October 2017 at 29.26%. Combining those gives total number of desktop machines in use of about 1.88 billion.

      As for Windows fragementation, see the thurrott.com article on the latest AdDuplex stats. There are 3 builds (1703, 1709 and 1607) each with more than 10% share of Windows 10 PCs in use. Not sure there's any public info on Windows 7 breakdown between SP1 and original.

      • MikeGalos

        In reply to hrlngrv:

        Because I didn't assume 10% weren't PCs - a valid assumption seeing that they're all computers capable of running programs written to use the same APIs.


        600,000,000 / 0.2926 = 2,050,580,998


        Didn't know I was being graded on showing my work.


        But speaking of "neatness counts" grading, how did you get bolding on this platform?

        • hrlngrv

          In reply to MikeGalos:

          Picky: 60m would be 10% of 600m. I admit I pay too much attention to arithmetic precision.

          Re boldface, Brad or Tim responded to a forum post of mine mentioning that [Ctrl]+B toggles boldface, and [Ctrl]+I toggles italics. Why there's a button for italics but not boldface in the comment composing/editing UI seems to be a trade secret for this site. FWIW, pasting boldface text from HTML sources retains the boldface formatting.

    • skane2600

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      Fragmentation isn't just an issue of how many versions people are using, it's also the difference between versions that matter.

      • MikeGalos

        In reply to skane2600:

        Yes. But with backward compatibility that Microsoft has maintained that's not the big issue.


        If I only have to target two versions that's not a huge deal even if they're quite different.

        If I have to track the quirks of a dozen versions that is a huge deal even if those versions are fairly (but not totally) close.

  6. skane2600

    So essentially 600 million PCs if you ignore the outliers.

  7. MutualCore

    So by the current 'run rate', 1 billion MAU by Nov 2019. Not bad, considering no phones, no AR/VR, and minimal XBox.

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