In its post-earnings conference call last night, Microsoft revealed that there are now over 1.4 billion PCs running Windows 10 and 11.
“Windows took share this quarter,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said during the call. (From what? The Mac?) “There are now more than 1.4 billion monthly active [PCs] running Windows 10 or Windows 11, and they’re a powerful on-ramp for both our first-party and third-party services. Windows 11 users engage with the Windows app store at nearly three times the rate as Windows 10.”
It’s interesting to see Microsoft provide a new milestone figure for Windows PC usage. However, this figure is lower than the 1.5 billion figure that the firm provided in October 2018. And it’s not totally clear how they compare. Today, only Windows 8.x, 10, and 11 are supported by Microsoft, but there are clearly many Windows 7 and even Windows XP PCs out in the world. (In fact, I just saw a Windows XP-based PC yesterday at a museum in Mexico City.)
Today’s figure represents “monthly active devices,” which I think roughly translates to “actual number of PCs out in the world,” and so one might say that this figure is comparable to the older 1.5 billion number, and that there are still some millions of unsupported Windows-based PCs out there too. Thus, the number probably has grown, and not fallen.
One might also compare this figure to previous Windows 10 usage milestones. As you may recall, Microsoft got into trouble overinflating its Windows 10 usage figures early on, but it finally and belatedly hit its promised 1 billion milestone in March 2020.
One might also compare this number to other personal computing platforms. We know, for example, that there were 2.5 billion active Android users worldwide as of August 2021. And one year ago, Apple revealed that there were over 1 billion iPhone users worldwide and 1.65 billion total 1.65 billion total devices running Apple platforms. We should get new Apple numbers next week at its earnings announcement and new Google figures later this year, perhaps in May at Google IO.