Windows 10 is Now in Use on Over 800 Million Devices

Posted on March 7, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 22 Comments

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Microsoft revealed today that Windows 10 is now in use on over 800 million PCs, a jump of about 100 million since last September.

“Thank you to all our customers and partners for helping us achieve 800 million Windows10 devices and the highest customer satisfaction in the history of Windows,” Microsoft corporate vice president Yusuf Mehdi tweeted today, linking to Microsoft’s By the Numbers website.

Microsoft hit the 700 million active devices milestone back in September, right around the time of its Ignite Conference, though we had reported on this one a bit early—OK, 5 months early—because the firm wasn’t accurately measuring the count until Terry Myerson left the firm. (Terry was measuring virtual instances of Windows 10 as “active devices,” which artificially inflated the number.)

Before that, Microsoft had announced the 600 million figure in November 2017. Presumably, that number was inflated by VM installs, however.

Assuming a steady rate of growth, Windows 10 should finally hit the long-anticipated 1 billion active devices milestone by this time next year. But perhaps it will happen a bit more quickly than that thanks to Windows 7 upgraders.

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Comments (22)

22 responses to “Windows 10 is Now in Use on Over 800 Million Devices”

  1. StevenLayton

    Granted, they didn’t hit the big 1 Billion in the time frame they wanted. But, heck, 800 million is still a big number!

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to StevenLayton:

      Unless there was going to be a revolution (most PC users switching to Apple or Linux) or counterrevolution (everyone sticking with Windows 7 despite EOS, or shifting to Windows 8.1), Windows 10 was certain to be used on at least 80% of all microcomputers in use at some point, which means at least 1.2 billion given the now standard estimate of 1.5 billion microcomputers in use worldwide.

      This was inevitable. The surprise remains that MSFT predicted Windows 10 would reach 1 billion devices by last summer. That was almost certainly predicated on at least 250 million non-PC devices running Windows 10 by that time. No Windows phones doomed that assumption, though it raises the question where Windows 10 IoT actually is today vs where MSFT believed it'd be back in 2015.

    • christian.hvid

      In reply to StevenLayton:

      To developers, 800 million is apparently a pitiful number, given that almost nobody creates new applications specifically for this market. I wonder how many Windows 10 devices there needs to be in order to get developers on board again - 800 trillion?

      • hrlngrv

        In reply to christian.hvid:

        If developers are stupid, then the number of potential customers doesn't matter. Besides, who in their right mind would want to use software from stupid developers?

        OTOH, if developers aren't stupid, then perhaps they realize that (1) most (well over 90%) of PC users have no interest in using phone apps on PCs, (2) web apps running through browsers make a lot of sense on PCs running on AC power, (3) outside of web apps, most (again well over 90%) of PC users have, er, well-developed habits with respect to using PCs and have little or no interest in changing those habits, i.e., trying alternatives.

        At work, software use is dictated by one's employer, and if my employer is any indication, damn little new software is ever added to the standard software image, meaning scant opportunities for 3rd party Windows developers for workplace software. At home/not at work, how much PC usage is browser usage?

        I figure 3rd party Windows software developers are smart enough to know that there are far more lucrative opportunities in web development than for any specific OS. Also, like it or not, free and/or open source software has changed the PC application software market. There's still a healthy market for non-cost-free PC games, but most other application categories have very capable FOSS alternatives to ESTABLISHED commercial packages. Breaking into such market sectors with new non-cost-free packages ain't particularly easy.

        IOW, welcome to the MATURE PC software market.

        • VancouverNinja

          In reply to hrlngrv:

          These three points are what has made the current gen of software apps so disappointing.

          1) most (well over 90%) of PC users have no interest in using phone apps on PCs.

          This could be no further from the truth. There is nothing more frustrating to users of pcs that could be working on photos, texting, controlling smart devices, or anyting from their pcs but are forced to pick up their little 5 inch screens to work from. Developers have not helped consumers they are hindering them by ignoring PC apps.

          (2) web apps running through browsers make a lot of sense on PCs running on AC power. Why? This makes no sense whatsoever; if you mean for developers to create a web app but there is no advantage to a user. And at the end of the day it is all about the customer at least in my world.

          (3) outside of web apps, most (again well over 90%) of PC users have, er, well-developed habits with respect to using PCs and have little or no interest in changing those habits, i.e., trying alternatives.

          ??? I don't even know where to go with this point.

          Once, or if, developers figure out their little bit sized apps have dumbed down the entire software category and that 1.5 million + PCs could drive some very nice revenue and increase their customer satisfaction we might get back on track. The last decade feels like software lost its true momentum towards better solutions for the user.

        • christian.hvid

          In reply to hrlngrv:

          Yeah, being a developer myself I'm well aware of the constraints you mention - and I haven't done any Windows specific development in years. Still, I find it odd that a comparatively small platform like the iPad (~300 million) does not face this problem at all - there are literally thousands of apps developed specifically for the iPad. It's not the dominant platform by any stretch, but it's a niche that's large enough to be worthwhile for plenty of developers. But that logic apparently does not apply to Windows 10.

  2. blackcomb

    What about desktops? I'm sure it won't be half of users. No one in their right mind uses Windows 10.

  3. BoItmanLives

    Hundreds of millions of Windows 7 PCs force converted to Windows 10 in the middle of the night without user consent, and Windows 10 being the only choice when buying a new PC.

    Yes so "impressive", people "just love it" and are flocking to it. Meanwhile they ignore all the bloatware crap MS actually want them to use - cortana, store, edge, useless and orphaned mobile apps, etc.

  4. anthonye1778

    1 billion in 3 years might have been a pipe dream, but at least they were ambitious. These results are still pretty impressive given the hurdles.

  5. bluvg

    VDI has pretty significant traction in some industries. Those should be counted in my opinion.

  6. locust infested orchard inc

    By my reckoning, should the growth of Win10 installs continue at the current pace, in 12 months from now Windows 10 will have finally reached that 1 billion milestone.

    What an awesome feat that would be, though not quite meeting the expectations of the former head of Microsoft's OS Group, Terry Myerson, who publicly made a bold ambitious of 1 billion Win10 devices by mid-2018, during Build 2015. But perhaps with the inclusion of virtual instances of Win10 it may reach the target by Q4 2018.

  7. Winner

    800 million voices crying out in agony, and suddenly were silenced.

  8. kevin rose

    Presumably this includes the one Windows 10 machine we keep in a bag in the office for those rare occasions when we need to run non-web based applications...

  9. dontbe evil

    "but but nobody want windows 10"


    comments notifications (top/right) are still broken

  10. hrlngrv

    Aren't there non-PC devices running Windows 10? Xboxes? IoT?

  11. sayfuljuipp

    Very nice Info for Windows 10