Windows 10 is Now on 400 Million Devices

Posted on September 26, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 94 Comments

Windows 10 is Now on 400 Million Devices

It’s been three long months since Microsoft announced a new figure for Windows 10 usage. But the firm today said that there now over 400 million active Windows 10 devices around the world. So Windows 10 adoption has slowed dramatically since the free upgrade offer ended.

This is as expected. But I think the new number provides an interesting peek at the uptick rate we can expected going forward.

So let’s review the math.

Microsoft last provided a Windows 10 usage milestone on June 29, when it said that there were 350 million active Windows 10 devices. At that time, I noted that the Windows 10 adoption had accelerated from the previous milestone, hitting an average of almost 29 million new devices per month.

But 50 million additional devices over three months is a much slower pace of about 17 million per month. This is the slowest rate since Windows 10 was first announced.

Again, no surprise there: Windows 10 was free for its first year, and over that time period it averaged roughly 31.25 million new devices per month (if you assume a figure of 375 million after one year, as I do).

Does this mean that Windows 10 will see fewer than 20 million new devices each month, on average, going forward? No, of course not. There’s no way to accurately gauge how things will go, given that most future devices will be new PCs purchased by businesses or consumers, or business PCs upgraded to Windows 10. Those systems will be added to the list according to seasonal variances and business deployment schedules.

That said, I’ve often discussed how Microsoft artificially reported Windows 7 license sales during that product’s lifetime, evening out the numbers so that it appeared that 20 million new licenses were sold each month. So while Microsoft no longer uses that kind of accounting, it’s still an interesting number for comparison.

So it’s less, sure. But 17 million new Windows 10 devices per month is a real world number, whereas licenses sold is more nebulous: Many of those licenses were never actually used, or were used to install other versions of Windows. (Some today are likely running Windows 10, too.) So while 17 million is technically less than 20, it’s not really less. This is a solid number.

If that 17 million number holds steady—which, it won’t month to month, though I wonder about long-term—how long will it take Windows 10 to hit the one billion milestone?

35 and a half months, or about three years.

That means that Windows 10 will hit the 1 billion milestone in roughly four years, which is about 25 percent longer than the 2-3 years that Microsoft originally expected. And to be clear, Microsoft does still expect to hit the 1 billion number: I was told last night that they had simply “shifted the time frame a bit.”

My expectation is that Windows 10 adoption will actually accelerate to about 20 million per month on average, as more and more businesses come online with the new system. But even at 17 million, Microsoft is in a good place.

Disclaimer. If you’re really paying attention to the math, you will have noticed that I expected to see 375 million active Windows 10 devices by the end of July 29; that would mean that about 25 million new devices came online in July alone. If true, the average for August and September is thus only 12.5 million per month. I’ll just say that this is a guessing game, and that the truth is in there somewhere. And heck, what’s a few million between friends?

 

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Comments (95)

95 responses to “Windows 10 is Now on 400 Million Devices”

  1. Avatar

    2362

    I know they aren't anywhere near their original goal but 400 million ain't too shabby.

    • Avatar

      308

      It doesn't seem to be translating into any App growth for the platform. I am starting to wonder if its not the toal number of Windows 10 users but the device which they are using such as phone vs. PC. I understand that Windows Phone wasn't ever gong to have the usage numbers of IOS or Android but I can't help but wonder if Microsoft had not given up on Windows Phone before the UWP platform was even ready then we might be seeing more apps come to the Windows 10 platform.   

      • Avatar

        907

        I feel MS massively midjudged how difficult it was going to be to coax traditional desk top users into the store and store apps. Those users who are the massive majority of users will stay with their traditional desk top programmes. This is why developers in general aren't interested in UWP. MS has a battle on their hands and good luck getting these users talking to their pc.

  2. Avatar

    447

     Just posting to see what my Alpha # is.... :)

  3. Avatar

    412

    A little but on/off topic but someone stole my wife's Samsung Note 5 yesterday...the only spare phone I had was a 950xl I was given (my work is on Verizon and I couldn't use it). She LOVES it...so much she wants to sell her Moto 360 and get a Band 2, even if the future is uncertain...if Fitbit had notifications with Windows 10 Mobile, she would go that route. 

    • Avatar

      235

      For all the complaints a lot of people, including Paul, have about the 950 XL, it's really a very good phone. I like mine an awful lot, and the fact that it's dual-SIM is more important to me than any apps I may currently be missing out on. Maybe I'll find something that's really painful to be missing out on, but for now I'm very satisfied.

      • Avatar

        907

        dbp, you said you may be missing out on apps. That's the point, using WMobile is a compromise in one way or another. 

        • Avatar

          412

          As nice as the 950xl is, I felt a little bad for putting her into it but that is all we had. Didn't want to do a NEXT plan nor could we pay out of pocket for a phone. But after I loaded Facebook FB Messenger, GroupMe, Instagram, Wunderlist, Audible, Client for Google Photos, GMusic, Groove, OneDrive...she was simply OK with it all and loves the performance and look of the phone. 

  4. Avatar

    5477

    "If that 17 million number holds steady—which, it won’t month to month, though I wonder about long-term—how long will it take Windows 10 to hit the one billion milestone?

    35 and a half months, or about three years.

    That means that Windows 10 will hit the 1 billion milestone in roughly four years, which is about 25 percent longer than the 2-3 years that Microsoft originally expected. And to be clear, Microsoft does still expect to hit the 1 billion number: I was told last night that they had simply “shifted the time frame a bit.”

    My expectation is that Windows 10 adoption will actually accelerate to about 20 million per month on average, as more and more businesses come online with the new system. But even at 17 million, Microsoft is in a good place."

     

    Microsoft has killed any chances of reaching 1 Billion devices, by ending the free upgrade offer. Sure you can still do a digital entitlement, however, Microsoft is not naging people to upgrade to Windows 10.  Additionally, people are not buying new computers, like they did in the past. So, Windows 10 reaching anything close the 1 Billion mark is implausible too.

    • Avatar

      5234

      Let's see what happens after Oct. 4th too.

    • Avatar

      5234

      https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS41584116

    • Avatar

      5486

      That '17m' figure is rubbish, because as I said, we don't know how many of that '50m' were in the last 30 days of it being free. I wouldn't be surprised if the actual number per month now is below 5m - it could be even less as PC sales are not really going anywhere still. If you didn't want 10 when it was free, you certainly aren't going to pay for the upgrade!

      • Avatar

        5504

        I don't know about the numbers, but I agree that not many people would pay for an upgrade that they could have installed for free.

    • Avatar

      591

      Actuall, this report says PC sales are picking up again: http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2016/09/16/intel-third-quarter-revenue-increase-pc-sales/90485520/ Though we will not see things return to 'old levels' any time soon, Paul's expectations are fine, if not low.

      The issue I have is that June 29 is not 3 months ago yet and this number was likely 'audited' a week ago if not more.  I understand that this exercise is for interest, not accuracy.  But these numbers are all very safe.  Too safe, if you ask me ;) 

  5. Avatar

    5482

    New comment system looks awesome guys!

  6. Avatar

    127

    I am waiting to write comment no 112, just like my Alpha Member number. Oh wait..... ;)

  7. Avatar

    5475

    OK these comments are looking good...and pics too!

  8. Avatar

    5108

    Hmmm... I could use a measly 400 million customers. :-)

  9. Avatar

    3118

    just wanted to know what my menmber # was.

  10. Avatar

    5234

    "Does this mean that Windows 10 will see fewer than 20 million new devices each month, on average, going forward? No, of course not. There’s no way to accurately gauge how things will go, given that most future devices will be new PCs purchased by businesses or consumers, or business PCs upgraded to Windows 10."

     

    I don't think you can accurately say this.  Last quarter only saw 62.4 million new PC's, and they're still in decline.  They're already at less than 20 million per month when you consider that 7.1% of IDC's worldwide quarterly totals are Mac's.

    https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS41584116

     

  11. Avatar

    440

    Nice jobon the new comment systems. The Premium articles have been great.

  12. Avatar

    5394

    What will 1 Billion installs mean to Windows? In 4 years, I expect the initial installers to have moved on to new computers so there wouldn't be 1 Billion current users.

    • Avatar

      442

      Numbers like this are easy today for most companies.  They usually report the current active license checks done in the last 30 days.  So it's probably pretty accurate.

  13. Avatar

    863

    Commenting just to try out the new system!

     

  14. Avatar

    442

    Seems to me that a billion users in 4 years is not too bad.  Anyone have data on how long other tech has taken to get to this number?  Past Windows versions, smartphones sales etc etc.

    P.S. love the new comment engine.

  15. Avatar

    1063

    One has to wonder what these numbers would have been without the forced get Windows 10 campaign.  Would it be more or less.  I feel less, because it gave the FUD some crediblity.

  16. Avatar

    1329

    only because everyone else is... Alpha! :D

  17. Avatar

    230

    Clearly, their numbers are wrong.  400,000,002 as of yesterday.  Thanks to the "you actually still can upgrade to Windows 10..." advice that Paul has given in various arenas, I upgraded my girlfriend's two HP laptops yesterday (also removing an incredible amount of cruft).

     

    As to the new comments... I like them, and sure hope the twerps who snipe at each other didn't become premium members... of course if they could afford THAT, they'd probably also be able to afford moving out of their mom's basements... :)

  18. Avatar

    5496

    Login isn't complete. I signed in with twitter. So now when I sign in, I have to go back to the registration page. Then once I say sign in with twitter. It doesn't redirect me back to the previous page.

    Login with twitter(and the others) should be an option at the top, when we click log in.

  19. Avatar

    370

    Team @Thurrott.com,

    This look and functionality is fabulous.

    Thanks

  20. Avatar

    5496

    I think they should only be 1 commenst section. Not 2. 

    Non premis should be able to reply to premis. 

    Why do you have 2 different one anyway?

  21. Avatar

    305

    nice layout guys.. looks much nicer..

  22. Avatar

    728

    Checking my number.

  23. Avatar

    165

    Aren't people supposed to be round?  ;)

  24. Avatar

    680

    Not a bad, but the uptick should hit another spike over the next year or 2 as several large businesses start to upgrade and replace equipment. Every big organization I go into these days, I notice still has Windows 7 runnning the client computers. Even the origanization I'm affilated with, large government is still just testing Windows 10 with a look to start deployment in 2017.

  25. Avatar

    650

    On the comments system: Looks good. But, thread order doesn't seem to work as expected (my frst post wa a reply, but got listed as a reply to the last post that was there (at all, in the forum) at the time). Also votes to one's own post shoudn't be allowed. :)

  26. Avatar

    4450

    Dang, my number is quite high.

  27. Avatar

    389

    Interesting how Microsoft drawing the line at 1 billion Windows 10 users in 2 - 3 years created a situation where missing their prediction lessened positive Windows 10 news. 400 million Windows 10 users is impressive, especially for app developers, but unfortunately the message comes with an asterisk that user adoption is slower than predicted. How do app developers interpret this news? Imagine if Microsoft didn’t forecast a time constraint prediction; they’d be much more in control of their Windows 10 adoption message. App developers should see 400 million users as a positive to build UWP apps. Hopefully Microsoft learned a marketing lesson here.
    Graduations on the new site. I’m looking forward to all the new changes coming.

  28. Avatar

    5510

    It's not going to reach a billion in a few years. That's too big a number on such a few number of years. It's been over a year since Windows 10 was given away and over 50% of the Windows using population have chosen not to upgrade. 

    Businesses will only adopt windows 10 if it proves that productivity will increase by alot. That's because Windows 10 isn't really much different than Windows 7 and the time and expense to train people is too high. Fact is, businesses don't want to spend. Alot of business have eliminated their IT departments and outsourced it to outside companies. 

    Not just that, but with the continued evolution of the Android/ChromeOS/Andromeda, as well as Macos and ios, consumers will choose a cheaper and simpler solution to get their serious work and recreation rather than the complex Windows OS.

    It's not going to reach a billion.

  29. Avatar

    5504

    So about 400 million PCs or hybrids.

  30. Avatar

    907

    Damn, I've got alpha number envy. I think that's a thing :)

  31. Avatar

    907

    Team, the size of theprint when typing out a comment is tiny. Any chance of making it bigger for us old guys. :)

  32. Avatar

    907

    The problem with trying to predict the future growth of W10 is that it assumes no competitor will enter the market. Next month Google are announcing Project Andromena and if the rumors are correct then there may be genuine opposition for W10 on the desk top.

  33. Avatar

    290

    Looking good :)

  34. Avatar

    5496

    We can't edit our comments.

    A new line is just like office. Where you have a big space between lines.

    We can't block people, so I can't block trolls. 

    I prefer the old disqus.

  35. Avatar

    459

    400 million is a great number. Now, let's get going with those UWP apps!

  36. Avatar

    661

    what is the "p" link in the comment entry box ?

    it seems to select all the text in the text box - but "p"?

     

    • Avatar

      1

      That is just indicating that you are in a "paragraph".  You'll notice if you push the  in the toolbar it "p >> em" indicating that you are using the HTML tag "em" or Italics.  It's just to help you see what your text formatting is.  You can learn more here: https://www.tinymce.com/

  37. Avatar

    600

    Not really anything to say on the post.

     

    Just wanted to try the new comments

     

  38. Avatar

    5234

    Has anybody done the math on how many newly-shipped computers are contributing to usage numbers?

  39. Avatar

    1792

    So he said "400 million active Windows 10 devices"

    PCs, Xbox, Hololens and phone. I wonder what the breakdown looks like.....

     

  40. Avatar

    129

    ALPHA! (I'm done)

  41. Avatar

    224

    I do wonder how PC sales will fare going forward...20 million/month in the future is assuming they don't flatline, which with Android apps on ChromeOS is something that might just happen. The bank that I work for is only developing web apps going forward, some of which already have Android apps...and this a heavily conservative bank, I imagine smaller businesses are taking a long hard look as to why they actually need Windows except for Excel...Brad had an excellent writeup on Excel, it truly is the one Windows app that is unmatched in power and complexity by competitors.

  42. Avatar

    5486

    What would be really interesting (and MS will never tell this) is how many of that 50m were aquired in the last 30 days of Windows 10 being 'free' knowing the last official announcement was on June 29th. That would give you a real idea about how much things have slowed down, because the figures from Aug/Sep would be purely people either paying for the upgrade or buying a new PC. Now those figures would be interesting, and I think they would show a real dramatic slowdown, and I mean substantial. The only real way of know would be if MS *ever* release any more figures.

  43. Avatar

    6204

    I resigned my office-job and now I am getting paid £59 hourly. How? I work over internet! My old work was making me miserable, so I was forced to try something different, two years after...I can say my life is changed-completely for the better! Check it out whaat i do

    >>>>>>> <b>Netself30.Tk<b>

     

     

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