Microsoft announced two major Windows 10 milestones this morning: There are now over 350 million devices running Windows 10. And the system’s first major and free upgrade, called the Anniversary update, will arrive on August 2.
I spoke with Microsoft’s Terry Myerson about these developments last week, and I’ll focus on the new usage figure here.
Myerson told me that while the 350 million figure was important, Microsoft used other metrics to measure its success.
“The world is loving Windows 10,” he told me. “And customer satisfaction is at an all-time high. That is how we view success.”
Fair enough. But you may recall that I’ve been closely watching the Windows 10 rollout in order to compare it with Windows 7, generally considered the most successful Windows version ever. That OS achieved a regular cadence of 20 million new licenses per month during a period of time in which Microsoft cooked the books a bit to provide some financial stability.
Things have changed since then. Windows 10 has been in market for less than a year, and Microsoft is no longer evening out how it reports Windows 10 adoption, so the numbers tend to bounce around a bit more than in the past. And of course Microsoft is now measuring actual, real-world adoption of Windows 10, and not just license sales as it did with Windows 7. This makes the delta between Windows 10 adoption and that of Windows 7 even more impressive.
So let’s consider this latest figure: 350 million. At Microsoft’s last check-in, on May 5, we were told that there were 300 million active Windows 10 devices. And as I explained in Windows 10 Hits 300 Million Active Devices, Free Upgrade Still Ends July 29 at that time, Windows 10 adoption accelerated somewhat to 24 million “units” per month, up from 23 million at the previous milestone. (Which was 270 million active devices, in very late March.)
With 50 million new Windows 10 PCs and devices coming online over the intervening seven weeks—remember, I talked to Terry Myerson last week—the new pace is almost 29 million “units” per month, a significant jump. So Windows 10 adoption is actually increasing over time, which is perhaps surprising given what we might assume about the free upgrade and how that would impact adoption. (The theory being that everyone who wanted the free upgrade had surely upgraded by now.)
Microsoft has other ways to measure the success of Windows 10, too, of course.
“Engagement with devices higher than previous versions of Windows too,” Mr. Myerson told me. “We’ve seen 135 billion hours on Windows 10 usage since the launch last July, and 96 percent of enterprises are now piloting Windows 10. This is the fastest adoption of any Windows in history, and we’re really excited about that.”
As they should be.