Windows 10 is Now in Use on Over 900 Million Devices

Microsoft revealed today that there are now over 900 million devices running Windows 10, a gain of 100 million devices in six months. Which means that, if this growth holds, Windows 10 will be active on over one billion devices by the end of the first quarter of 2020.

“Windows 10 is on more than 900 million devices!” Microsoft’s Yusuf Mehdi tweeted today, pointing to the Microsoft by the Numbers website. “Thanks to our customers, we added more new Windows 10 devices in the last 12 months than ever before. From PCs to HoloLens to Xbox to Surface Hub, Windows continues to power innovation—with more to come next week!”

As you may recall, Microsoft officially hit the 800 million milestone in March, and I exclusively revealed in May that the number had then jumped to 825 million.  The last official count before that—which was inflated by Terry Myerson counting virtual machine installs, as it turns out—was 600 million, in November 2017.

Mehdi’s claim that Windows 10 usage growth has been stronger in the past year than ever before is interesting, in part because it’s not possible to fact check it: Microsoft’s 2018 numbers were, again, artificially inflated. But 100 million new devices in six months works out to 16.7 million new devices per month, well under the 20 million per month average that Microsoft used to report for Windows 7.

But it makes sense: With Windows 7 finally heading to its support end of life, businesses have surely started upgrading and migrating to Windows 10 in ever bigger numbers. And if this growth holds, we could see one billion active devices even sooner than March 2020.

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Conversation 23 comments

  • bill_russell

    24 September, 2019 - 1:14 pm

    <p>Except what are "devices"? MS wishes they have a bunch of "devices". It still essentially the same old "desktop computers" (including laptops and x86 surfaces in that). This metric was invented back when windows phones and windows mobile tablets were being released, and the "universal" name was in play (which ended up meaning – software that runs on the fewest things).</p><p>Sure you could factor in Xbox as a "device", but why do I even need to know what OS its running. If it runs windows 10 under the hood, it doesn't matter to the outside world.</p>

    • Paul Thurrott

      Premium Member
      24 September, 2019 - 1:16 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#470357">In reply to Bill_Russell:</a></em></blockquote><p>It's PCs, Xbox One consoles, HoloLens headsets, Surface Hub devices, IoT devices, and probably more.</p><p><br></p><p>But yes, mostly PCs.</p><p><br></p><p>It does matter to developers, I'd imagine. </p>

  • dallasnorth40

    Premium Member
    24 September, 2019 - 1:41 pm

    <p>Finally… ;-)</p>

  • bluvg

    24 September, 2019 - 1:42 pm

    <p>VMs should not necessarily be excluded, at least not 100%. There are a lot of VDI implementations out there, which serve up the main (or only) business computer for lots of users.</p>

  • BeckoningEagle

    Premium Member
    24 September, 2019 - 1:55 pm

    <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">"But 100 million new devices in six months works out to 16.7 million new devices per month"</span></p><p><br></p><p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">so 24 bittish </span></p>

  • EZAB

    24 September, 2019 - 1:58 pm

    <p>We just got two new Windows 10 (AMD) PC'S at work in the Office, one replacing an old Win. 7 Intel PC. This is a business that is almost all on Mac's in the Office and in the Graphics Department!</p>

    • wright_is

      Premium Member
      25 September, 2019 - 2:24 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#470395">In reply to EZAB:</a></em></blockquote><p>We are in the middle of rolling out a couple of hundred PCs…</p>

  • simard57

    24 September, 2019 - 2:27 pm

    <p>i suppose this will translate into a nice bump in Windows License revenue for next quarter?</p>

    • madthinus

      Premium Member
      24 September, 2019 - 2:35 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#470424">In reply to Simard57:</a></em></blockquote><p>Doubt it. Businesses pay for usage rights. They can use any version of Windows that is supported. </p>

  • hrlngrv

    Premium Member
    24 September, 2019 - 2:35 pm

    <blockquote>Windows 10 will be active on over one billion devices by the end of the first quarter of 2020.</blockquote><p>IOW 1 year and 8 months or so later than MSFT's original forecast of 3 years after the 29 July 2015 release, i.e., midyear 2018.</p><p>Also, do the number of non-PC devices running Windows 10 total even 100 million? There may be tens of millions of Xboxes in use, but I figure EVERYTHING else neither PC nor Xbox don't even number 10 million, maybe not even 1 million.</p><p>Windows 7 is nearing EOS, Windows 8.x was as close to a dud as Windows versions get, so the unstoppable continuing PC upgrade cycle is pushing this essentially inevitable event.</p>

  • pvtjedi

    24 September, 2019 - 6:04 pm

    <p>Paul I have a HUGE question. If there are that many users on the platform why in the world can Microsoft not get anyone in the world to make apps for the platform??? I would buy a surface tomorrow if I knew I could get the app selection that Apple or Google have.</p>

    • hrlngrv

      Premium Member
      24 September, 2019 - 7:21 pm

      <p><a href="; target="_blank"><em>In reply to pvtjedi:</em></a></p><p>There are plenty of 'apps' for Windows 10 PCs. The same ones as have been available under previous versions of Windows for PCs. You may be familiar with them under the label Win32.</p><p>You seem to mean touch-driven mobile apps. Seems most PC users don't need 'em, and it seems developers have noticed that there aren't enough non-PC Windows 10 devices for there to be a viable market for such apps.</p>

    • ragingthunder

      24 September, 2019 - 10:43 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#470509">In reply to pvtjedi:</a></em></blockquote><p>Just curious, what "apps" are you missing from a Windows 10 PC?</p>

      • james_wilson

        25 September, 2019 - 6:33 am

        <blockquote><em><a href="#470573">In reply to ragingthunder:</a></em></blockquote><p>There are loads of apps missing from Windows 10 that I would like to see – and by app, I mean a decent looking, modern app – not something that looks like it was written for Windows 95.</p><p><br></p><p>Most of the apps out there now have tiny buttons and are either far to complicated, were written years ago and haven't been updated for Windows 10 or lack features. Outlook is a good example. Far too complex, not great on a high dpi screen and this is in 2019. The bundled apps with Windows 10 are terrible, Mail, Calendar and People. Far too simple and only do the very basics.</p><p><br></p><p>What about a decent media converter / meta data tagger. Nothing on Windows 10 that either looks horrible, is difficult to use or just plain doesn't work.</p>

  • longhorn

    Premium Member
    24 September, 2019 - 6:06 pm

    <p>I wonder if Windows 7 ever reached a billion users or if it stopped around 900 million about the time Windows 10 launched? Without interference from Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, Windows 7 would likely have reached a billion users before Windows 10 launched.</p><p><br></p><p>It looks like Windows 10 will be the biggest version of Windows ever, but to be fair Windows 10 isn't just "one" version and Windows 10 is the only Windows OS that has been on the market for over 4 years without being replaced by another version. Windows 10 has escaped competition from later versions because there are none.</p><p><br></p><p>EDIT: I forgot good old Windows XP. It was a little more than 5 years on the market before Vista was released. Windows XP continued to do well even after Vista so it's possible Windows XP also came close to a billion users.</p><p><br></p>

    • hrlngrv

      Premium Member
      24 September, 2019 - 7:16 pm

      <p><a href="; target="_blank"><em>In reply to longhorn:</em></a></p><p>Since Windows 10 was released 1+ year after XP reached EOS, I figure there were lots of PCs still running XP when Windows 10 formally debuted in late July 2015. It's quite possible Windows 7 didn't reach 1 billion users.</p>

      • longhorn

        Premium Member
        24 September, 2019 - 9:23 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#470516">In reply to hrlngrv:</a></em></blockquote><p>Yes, Windows XP was the biggest obstacle to Windows 7 adoption just like Windows 7 has been the biggest obstacle to Windows 10 adoption.</p><p><br></p><p>I do think Windows has had 1.5 billion users for quite some time. Because Windows 7 faced competition both from Windows XP and Windows 8/8.1 I also think it's quite possible Windows 7 never reached 1 billion users.</p><p><br></p>

    • Paul Thurrott

      Premium Member
      25 September, 2019 - 8:04 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#470510">In reply to longhorn:</a></em></blockquote><p>Windows 7 never hit one billion. As noted by others, XP's continually extended support life cycle was the reason.</p>

  • Thom77

    24 September, 2019 - 6:22 pm

    <p>This cant be right. Thurott has been warning us of the chromeOS takeover for years. </p>

    • saint4eva

      25 September, 2019 - 3:26 am

      <blockquote><a href="#470511"><em>In reply to Thom77:</em></a></blockquote><p>You guys are busy deleting peoples' comments. </p>

  • Winner

    25 September, 2019 - 1:01 am

    <p>I wonder what innovation this decades-old OS is powering per the Yusuf tweet?</p>

  • blackcomb

    29 September, 2019 - 1:58 pm

    <p>But what about desktops and laptops?</p>


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