1.4 Billion

Posted on January 26, 2022 by Paul Thurrott in Windows, Windows 10, Windows 11 with 25 Comments

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.

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Comments (25)

25 responses to “1.4 Billion”

  1. solomonrex

    The lack of a Windows 11 number is not great. It's looking more and more like Windows 10: Intel edition.

    • lvthunder

      Why does it matter if a user is using Windows 10 or 11? It's still Windows.

      • hrlngrv

        Should it matter whether someone uses Windows 8.1 at least before EOS next year?

        OTOH, shouldn't it matter that some people are still using Windows 7 and older versions?

        Me, I don't understand anyone wanting to use Windows 11 unless they use LOTS of 3rd party replacements for the doodoo MSFT bundles with Windows.

    • Donte

      I am not sure why the Windows 11 numbers matter?? Just like all other versions, it will become the #1 version in time.

      Seekers will seek it. Some users, like my wife and kids PC will get prompted to do it...and they did. Gamers will move in a second if they think its faster, like those that purchase new Alder Lake CPU's. 250 million PC's will be sold in 2022 with the assumption that 99% of those will come with Windows 11. Same for 2023...23..24..25. At some point, the Enterprise will migrate, probably start in mid 2023 in hopes to be done by the 2025 deadline.

      It will happen.

      • thretosix

        I'm starting to think in October of 2025 there will still be more people on Windows 10 than Windows 11.

        • winner

          The Tik-tok curse of every other Windows version continues!

        • Donte

          I don't. I know my company is already looking at it. We have a group testing 11 now. We will flip 6K computers off 10 and on to 11 before 2025. From what I have been told they upgrade over the top testing has been really good.

          • thretosix

            Sounds like a nightmare. I'm most worried about users not picking up on the changes, then again I guess that's more tickets more money for my company, just unnecessary.

  2. navarac

    It is Microsoft's usual gobbledegook financial news again this quarter. The financial results are just percentages of nothing as always. A % increase on ? =?. I don't know how they can get away with reporting non-numbers to their shareholders. Or are we getting a vastly amended report? This is the same as reported the last quarter, and the last, and the last etc etc. Non-news in other words, trying to obfuscate the truth.

  3. jumpingjackflash5

    Windows is the victim of Microsoft's cloud success. They take it as a starting ramp now, not much cleaning, polishing - it just (somehow) serves for the purpose.

    Sad to say, but now there is good time for some Linux distro/corporation to start gain the momentum and move the world to Linux :-(

  4. brettscoast

    Interesting numbers there, what is indeed startling is how many corporates, big companies still running windows XP\7 on their user systems which are so insecure in many ways in today's online world.

  5. Pierre Masse

    "In fact, I just saw a Windows XP-based PC yesterday at a museum in Mexico City." That's where it is supposed to be.

  6. simard57

    "(In fact, I just saw a Windows XP-based PC yesterday at a museum in Mexico City.)" and that is where it belonged, on display!

  7. bluvg

    Re: Windows 11, it seems the general response on this site doesn't match the feedback Microsoft is getting, or at least says it's getting (from an O365 Message Center post):

    "Windows 11 has the highest quality scores and product satisfaction of any version of Windows we’ve shipped to date."

  8. hrlngrv

    | Windows 11 users engage with the Windows app store at nearly three times the rate as Windows 10.

    Someone has to ask: is that increased engagement voluntary?

    [Cynicism as a lifestyle.]

  9. lvthunder

    It is more interesting that more Windows 11 users use the Store.

  10. wpcoe

    " (In fact, I just saw a Windows XP-based PC yesterday at a museum in Mexico City.)"

    If it were an exhibit, that's appropriate. But, I suspect the museum staff were using it, no?

    • digiguy

      I suspect that too. The question is, was is connected to the Internet? Some stores here where I leave still use Windows XP, but I think they only use Intranet (to check inventories, to order stuff etc.), the devices are not online I think...

  11. sherlockholmes

    Whats the Windows Store? Oh yeah. Its the place where you can get ugly and useless Apps.

    • lwetzel

      "Its the place where you can get ugly and useless Apps."

      I bet they would accept any donations of "Pretty and useful Apps."

    • lvthunder

      I just clicked on the store and the top Free Apps are iTunes, Xbox, Netflix, TikTok, Disney+, and iCloud. Sounds like a pretty common top list to me.

    • paradyne

      Well, yes, iTunes. But there is a lot more these days you know!

      Spotify, Visual Studio Code, PowerToys, Linux distros etc. etc. I prefer getting things there as they tend to have a decent update and uninstall story afterwards.