(Almost) 700 Million

Posted on May 7, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 26 Comments

Full Windows 10 on ARM? RIP, Windows Phone (Premium)

Microsoft announced today that there are now over 700 million PCs running Windows 10, a jump of 100 million since the last check-in.

UPDATE: Microsoft tells me that the figure is still “nearly 700 million,” which is the number Terry Myerson had provided a few weeks back. I was holding back on this post until the 700 million figure was official, but I guess we’re not quite there yet. —Paul

Yep. It’s time for some math.

As I noted back in November, Windows 10 adoption had accelerated throughout 2017. So how does it look over the past six months?

It’s held steady at 100 million PCs over 6 months, which works out to be 16.7 million new PCs per month. That’s the same tally we saw in November.

That’s good. But it is perhaps equally useful to compare this jump to comparable time frames. That is, how did Windows 10 usage grow during the first part of 2017, one year ago?

Between October 2016 and May 2016, an average of 14 million new active Windows 10 PCs were added each month. So it appears that the Windows 10 uptick growth we saw in the latter half of last year has remained consistent. As time goes by, more and more people are moving from legacy Windows versions to the newest version.

Critics will point to Terry Myerson’s ill-advised announcement in April 2015 that Microsoft would see over 1 billion Windows 10 PCs and devices by mid-2018. That Microsoft will fall short of that mark—well short, really—is easily understood. But we’ll need to see what corporate adoption looks like in the year ahead to understand if Microsoft can get there in less than three more years.

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Comments (29)

29 responses to “(Almost) 700 Million”

  1. Avatar

    DeenVR

    I'm always a bit skeptical of these big-round-number announcements, especially with MS's tendency towards "creative accounting" these days, and padding the number with Xbox's, IoT's, Enterprise licenses that permit a 10 install but it gets used for 7, etc.


    There's also the reality that NMS has shown uptake as completely flat for Windows 10 the past two months, it's still only around 40-42% of Windows PCs - so it seems like there's a disconnect between MS reporting and the situation on the ground.

  2. Avatar

    hrlngrv

    Re Myerson's claim, he may have been under some pressure from on high to be optimistic about Windows phones. 200m Windows phones and small tablets by mid 2018 may have been a stretch, but not overly outlandish from the 2015 perspective. Along with 750m-800m PCs plus tens of millions of Xboxes and IoT devices does bring the estimate to 1 billion. Looks like PCs will fall only a bit short of 750m (within 5% of that). Dunno about Xbox and IoT. But phones are dead, and when they died, the 1 billion goal by mid 2018 became unattainable.

  3. Avatar

    JustMe

    I tend to think you'll see a jump in adoption just before Windows 7 goes EOS.  I suspect most businesses are not going to want to stick with 7 past that date - and going to 8.1 if they havent already at this point only buys you about three years before you have the same issue.  I also think that the IT folks who are going to have their hands the most full are those that work in the health care sector - not so much for office machines, but for the computers that drive the multi-thousand dollar scanning machines.  There will always be people who stay with what they have, but businesses have money to make and aren't going to want to be monitarily held down by an IT anchor that they have to figure out how to get out of the silt.


    Whether or not I agree with where Windows 10 is going, it will eventually be nearly everywhere.

  4. Avatar

    longhorn

    The total number of Windows users is likely to decline because of Windows 10. There are many Windows 7 users who won't upgrade and feel forced to leave the platform after Windows 7 EOL. Unfortunately the Mac is also in a very weak position (hardware-wise) and Linux is still too geeky for mainstream. So many PC users feel stuck these days.


    Microsoft could easily grow the PC market with a decent version of Windows, because people love PCs. The Windows usage share is still almost as high as the Android usage share (link below). I don't know why Microsoft views the PC as "legacy". The PC could be a very profitable market for Microsoft, just like in the past. As a “PC enthusiast” I’m saddened by the lack of respect for the platform shown by Microsoft, Apple and also Linux companies Red Hat and Canonical. The “smartphone mindset” is killing the PC. The PC is not a smartphone.


    http://gs.statcounter.com/os-market-share


  5. Avatar

    mariusmuntensky

    :)) How many of those were forced to windows 10? hmmm... at least 50% for sure

    • Avatar

      Tony Barrett

      In reply to mariusmuntensky:

      I'm sure too - 'no choice' upgrades. If people had a choice (which MS knew would be a bad idea), then the number would be half this. A lot of people like it, a lot of people hate it, but MS said you're getting it whether you like it or not. It doesn't matter how you feel to MS at the end of the day - it's all about the numbers.

  6. Avatar

    fbman

    Will corporate adoptions be able to be detected, due to firewalls run by all corporations. Or do they just use the yearly true-up payments as an indication.

  7. Avatar

    madthinus

    That number is meaningless as Windows users are not engaged on the platform.

  8. Avatar

    Daekar

    I heard a few weeks ago that we're finally dropping all our Windows 7 VMs and deploying actual Windows 10 PCs to all of our data workers. Apparently the poor performance my folks have been dealing with while using their terminals is widespread enough for IT to just drop local "cloud" desktops and go for real computers again, especially considering the prices we paid for the WYSE terminals we used.


    I cannot WAIT to get off of Windows 7. At least several hundred other folks will be coming with my team in the transition and not network PCs will be staying on the old version, so IT won't have to support quite as heterogeneous an environment as before.

  9. Avatar

    AnthonyE1778

    I believe that they will hit 1 billion in less than three MORE years. The next year or two are going to be key, I think, to meeting this goal as more and more businesses adopt the platform. At some point, we may even see an explosion in adoption rates.

  10. Avatar

    Stooks

    We are deploying LTSB 1607 finally at work.

    • Avatar

      Tony Barrett

      In reply to Stooks:

      When we have to deploy it, because we have no choice, it will be 1607 LTSB for us too. No Cortana, no Edge, no app store. Saves is a lot of effort, and also means we effectively get 10 years security updates and a 3 year cycle between releases. Just how it should be for the enterprise.

  11. Avatar

    hrlngrv

    Businesses aren't going to stick with Windows 7 past EOS, and they're unlikely to adopt Windows 8.1 on an interim basis and have to go through another upgrade in 3 years. Windows 10 will almost certainly reach 1 billion PCs before January 2020.

  12. Avatar

    Chris Payne

    I wonder if there was a discussion internally between Satya, Myerson, and other top brass a little while after Myerson's announcement, where Satya said, "you know what, we need to get out of this mobile/consumer game. Sorry to harpoon your announcement Terry, but this just has to be where we head in the future."


    I really hope - because I'm a fan - that this giant of a milestone miss, as well as the destruction of the mobile and developer market, was done on purpose with an eye toward reshaping MS's future and not out of ambivalence or ineptitude.

  13. Avatar

    Scottie Tooley

    There is about to be a bunch more on top of this too. Many health systems are still on Win7 and only now making the jump to Win10.

  14. Avatar

    edboyhan

    One of the major under-reported themes (IMO) of the recently completed Build2018 is the blurring of all the different app models (winforms, WPF, XamarinForms, .Net (3 flavors: standard, core, framework), UWP/XAML, PWA, etc.)that MS supports. MS is focusing on providing devs with a wide variety of tooling to enable mixing and matching of features from the different models within existing (primarily LOB) enterprise apps. Couple this with all the new stuff dealing with packaging and distribution of apps (especially MSIX), and all the sessions devoted to "modernizing" existing apps, it is clear that MS's focus has shifted to a much more enterprise dev-friendly stance.

    The goal I think is to get more LOB apps into forms suitable for newer distribution mechanisms (stores, containers, VM's, in the cloud or on the edge) so that business adoption of W10 accelerates, MS can put W7&W8 to bed, and MS can get businesses more comfortable with more rapid release cadences, and more sandboxed runtime environments (like s-mode). UWP & Xamarin are not dead rather they become feature smorgasbords rather than either/or all or nothing choices.

    When one focuses mainly on the keynotes, there can be themes that are missed because they are addressed more cogently in the breakout sessions and channel 9 panels. 

    My guess is that this new focus will facilitate business adoption of W10 over the next year

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