Microsoft reaches 3/5 of its 1 billion Windows devices goal

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 30, 2017
Windows, Windows 10

Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system has reached a new milestone recently; the operating system is installed on more than 600 million devices as of November 2017 according to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella who revealed the figure at the company's annual shareholder's meeting.

When Microsoft launched Windows 10 back in 2015, it set a very ambitious goal of getting the operating system on 1 billion devices over the course of two or three years.

Microsoft managed to get a lot of devices to upgrade to Windows 10 in the first year after release through a combination of offering the upgrade for free to customers, and some shady practices which practically forced the upgrade on some Windows 7 or Windows 8 systems.

The installed device count reached 200 million active devices at the end of 2015, and 500 million in May 2017.

Now, six months later, the figure increased to 600 million active devices, or 3/5 of Microsoft's initial goal of getting 1 billion devices on the operating system in the first couple of years.

As Woody Leonhard mentions on his site AskWoody, Nadella's figure reveals active devices and not active users. It is unclear what device types Microsoft included in the figure; the most likely explanation is that the company included any device that runs Windows 10 and meets the "active device" criteria.

This would mean that the figure includes Xbox One devices, embedded systems, tablets, smartphones, the Surface Hub, and any other device type that runs Windows 10.

Microsoft still has a couple of months before Windows 10 reaches the three year anniversary mark in July 2018. If the current trend continues, figures could rise another 100 million or so active devices to 700 million in total.

Microsoft will likely miss the 1 billion devices figure by year three however, and may need another year or even more than that to reach that initial goal.

The 1 billion devices mark would not be that far-off if Microsoft's Windows 10 mobile strategy would not have been a total disaster.

windows 10 distribution november 2017

In related notes, AdDuplex released its Windows 10 versions report for November 2017 as Günter Born noted on his site. The company accumulates the information from about 5000 Windows Store applications that use the company's SDK.

According to the report, devices running the Fall Creators Update edition hit 20.4% worldwide in November 2017. The Creators Update still dominates the field with its 63.5% of installations, and the Anniversary Update follows in third-place with 13.6% of all installations.

Microsoft reaches 3/5 of its 1 billion Windows devices goal
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Microsoft reaches 3/5 of its 1 billion Windows devices goal
Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system has reached a new milestone recently; the operating system is installed on more than 600 million devices as of November 2017.
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  1. sirpaul2 said on December 9, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    I probably account for two of them. I’m running a TP version on a machine that wasn’t fully compatible with Linux (hardware drivers), and upgraded another Win7 machine (since reverted and cleaned) just to have the product number – in case I later lose my mind, or am forced by MS to use it.

  2. Norm said on December 1, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    Yeah, I’m looking forward to the day when Win10 controls all self driving vehicles and decides to update just as we’re
    entering the intersection. It won’t matter because my pacemaker is also controlled by Win10 and it is also going into
    update mode.

  3. Franz Arenas said on December 1, 2017 at 1:09 am

    I personally did not start using Win10 until recently, the more I learn and read about it made me realize what I have suspected since the days of Win95. Microsoft and all their products are just another set of tools in the arsenal at the disposal of the government to use as they please.
    By the way I don’t believe the numbers this Microsoft clown (Satya Nadella) is claiming; I doubt they will ever reach such goal before this thing collapse due to customer’s complaining.

  4. Rush said on November 30, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    When I bought my most recent device it had windows 10 on in it, albeit not for long after purchase. With Win 10 originally on my newly purchased laptop I am sure that is included in the numbers mentioned above.

    And just what is Microsoft suppose to say at a SHAREHOLDERS MEETING? LOL…It is best to flat out lie, then to tell said gaggle of shareholders,,,,, “Due to a down-turn is sales…they may as well just go home?” And hand out free tissue as they hang their head and leave. LOL

  5. Hoppert said on November 30, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    In the end all remaining Windows users will have to either switch to 10 or whatever comes after that. It’s an unpleasant truth but the greedy, the ruling and the reckless have the upper hand. And they want everything. Our money, our privacy and our freedom. And they are getting it, too.

    1. A different Martin said on November 30, 2017 at 10:46 pm

      In the end all remaining Windows users will have to either switch to 10 or whatever comes after that.

      Well … if they stick with Windows. I’m almost certainly switching to Linux, and my dad is likely switching to Mac. Microsoft will probably get a cut of my next computer purchase anyway. (See Wikipedia’s article on the Bundling of Microsoft Windows.) Even so, it seems to me that the bundled, volume-license cost of Windows 10 is a small price to pay compared to the cost of actually using it.

  6. A different Martin said on November 30, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    The fact is that all new Windows hardware is tied exclusively to W10. Manipulating the market has its benefits.

    This. But I have a question. I read somewhere that in Windows 10, games (Solitaire, Spider Solitaire, Freecell, etc.) are no longer bundled with the OS. If that’s true, then what exactly have the Federal Trade Commission and US Department of Justice Antitrust Division been doing with their time for the past few years? I still maintain that Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson (the original judge in the US v. Microsoft antitrust case) had Microsoft dead to rights, and if there’s a purgatory, for him it would be witnessing what Microsoft is up to now.

    1. A different Martin said on November 30, 2017 at 10:12 pm

      (D’oh! My comment above was meant to be a reply to LD.)

  7. LD said on November 30, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    These stats are only for marketing purposes. For Microsoft, the use of big numbers work for them. They wait months at a time before releasing their usage numbers and that means they get to tout hundreds of millions of adopters at a time. They then spin it as a massive increase in demand for W10. Right now, the demand for new hardware is probably more accurate. The fact is that all new Windows hardware is tied exclusively to W10. Manipulating the market has its benefits.

    I can see MS moving totally away from reporting Windows device usage numbers after 2020. I think MS will move to only reporting Windows as a Service growth. Windows Updates is considered a service under WaaS, so the usage percentage will not be confined to only fee based services. The usage numbers will be in the billions of dollars (not devices) and big numbers influence potential buyers.

    1. Jason said on November 30, 2017 at 7:13 pm

      Yeah, this makes me wonder how many of my Linux machines are being counted in Microsoft’s figures. :)

      I find Steam’s hardware survey a lot more interesting, even if we acknowledge that it has its own methodological flaws (including a significant under-reporting of Linux devices because of how Linux users are polled). Check out what it has to say about Windows 7 vs Windows 10.

      1. Rush said on December 1, 2017 at 12:56 am

        Thanks for the Link.
        And pardon my ignorance here, but I am curious…

        Is the data compiled Via Steam for users that game on their systems and take the poll voluntarily? I am not a gamer, but I do wonder if the data supplied, can be reasoned as a certain percentage of non Gamer’s as well?

        I do find the data very interesting tho.

        Primary display resolution 1920 x 1080 +14.95% an increase, but I always thought that resolution was tied to Windows 10? But Windows 10 – 64 bit is -16.75% per the site.

  8. TelV said on November 30, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    By the way, I’m surprised; flabbergasted even that Woody Leonhard of all people should now be recommending installing the full blown monthly quality rollups, telemetry crap and all for Windows 7 and 8.1 instead of just the security only patches. I can’t imagine what induced him to do that.

    1. Sophie said on December 1, 2017 at 11:46 am

      @TelIV – I’m so glad you said this, because I follow Wood’s articles (particularly : CW’s Woody on Windows) and I am frankly staggered that he often says things like :

      “ok, folks…..I think (with caution) we are good to go now with updates of this, that or the other”.

      Unless its just me, while I greatly respect his views, experience and knowledge, (and he is in fact very cautious), I simply feel that Microsoft have completely blown it with me, and I can’t trust them.

      In the end, as I’ve noted, the risk is simply not worth the perceived gain. Its as simple as that!

      1. AnorKnee Merce said on December 1, 2017 at 12:16 pm

        @ Sophie

        M$ is a juggernaut or the Borg with an effective market-monopoly in desktop OS. Many businesses and professionals are locked into the Windows ecosystem. Most tech reporters cannot afford to be in the bad books of M$, eg boycotted by M$. Can’t blame the reporters.
        … So, it is mostly up to affected computer users to spread the truth about the Win 10 abomination of forced auto-updates/upgrades and forced Telemetry. M$ cannot touch computer users who “bad-mouth” M$/Win 10 with the truth on independent tech websites.

    2. A different Martin said on November 30, 2017 at 6:06 pm

      Well, if Tom Hawack gets to reference Pagnol, I get to reference Futurama. Maybe Woody has a brain slug. Or maybe he was watching Hypnotoad. I’m sure there’s a rational explanation somewhere. ;-)

  9. jasray said on November 30, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    Links please–

    Having problems with the 1709 upgrade; Windows 10 upgrades fine, and the result is a pretty machine running the latest version of Windows 10 for the slow lane. Problem though–it wipes out nearly everything on the computer as far as browser profiles, working programs with licenses, my entire Windows profile, and leaves only Public items in Windows.old.
    Have tried update from the Windows site and making a USB for install updating from running Windows. Plenty of space left on an SSD.

    Hmmm . . . I just go back to an image made. If I try and revert using Windows function, it says I have created an account that needs deleting.

    Fresh install?


    1. Shawn said on November 30, 2017 at 10:46 pm

      Fresh install will work great on a clean drive. I had a friend of mine trying to upgrade with all possible methods and the only key solution was resetting the actual drive.

      If you have the storage space or another hdd to test it I would do a clean install with the 1709 iso on a rufus usb

      Get it here at adguard

      Also on a side note if you have any driver backup tool I suggest doing so as for some reason some hardware just doesn’t reset right.

  10. insanelyapple said on November 30, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    TelV is right; in reality there’s important difference between those “brave” customers/users who by themselves, deliberately and intentionally went for Windows 10 and between those users who were trapped, moved by force by GWX component from Windows versions (often 7) they were satisfied with.

    But that’s the thing Microsoft or any other corporation won’t be ever interested because that doesn’t go well with statistics and shareholders moods.

    1. Sophie said on November 30, 2017 at 12:57 pm

      Never got the “GWX component”, because the minute I started seeing updates on Win7 that were called stuff like “Compatability update for future versions of Windows”, etc etc….. I went even more “on guard” than I had been in the first place. Never once saw GWX, thankfully. I mean, who wants to be nagged like that?

      Microsoft have really become so heavy handed and liberty-taking, unfortunately. We have to really monitor/watch them. Their behaviour many times mimics that of virus and malware.

      1. Darren said on December 1, 2017 at 6:24 pm

        “Went on guard”. Yes, that was me too. So much so that I’m still sitting on a scoured Win8.1 install and don’t plan on changing any time soon, tho I do have LTSB on a few test machines.

      2. Tom Hawack said on November 30, 2017 at 1:19 pm

        Same here except that I didn’t move to Win10, be it with the conditions you mention, the taming of Windows 10; similar rather considering I started to investigate on the privacy issues of Windows 7 itself when I had never even thought about it before, and I discovered many little interesting matters and “home-patched” (tamed) them myself with the help of what I could find/discover on the Web. If it hadn’t been for Windows 10 adoption policy armada I most likely would still be informing the overseas of confidential data :) So: merci beaucoup à Win10!

  11. Botany said on November 30, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    0% on my rig(s)…

  12. Tom Hawack said on November 30, 2017 at 11:38 am

    I don’t know how they calculate their stuff, but numbers are often manipulated.
    Reminds me French author Marcel Pagnol with a famous scene from one of his movies (translated with ‘DeepL Translator’) :

    – CÉSAR:
    You put a third of curaçao first. Be careful: just one third.
    All right. Okay. Now, a third of a lemon. A little bigger. All right. Okay.
    Then a good third of a pimple. Look at the color.
    And at the end, a large third of the water. There you go. Here you go.
    MARIUS: And that’s four-thirds.
    CÉSAR: Exactly…
    MARIUS: In a glass, there are only three thirds.
    CÉSAR: But, you idiot, it depends on the size of third parties!
    MARIUS: And no, it doesn’t depend! Even in a watering can, you can only put three thirds…

    :) LOL

    1. Sophie said on November 30, 2017 at 12:53 pm

      Poetic mood today, Tom? :)

  13. TelV said on November 30, 2017 at 10:16 am

    And how many of those 600 million are satisfied customers I wonder. I bet you could at least halve that figure if that question was posed.

    Furthermore the AdDuplex analysis confirms that spyware is installed on Windows store apps since the data was downloaded from 5,000 apps running their SDK.

    1. Sophie said on November 30, 2017 at 12:52 pm

      I’m satisfied! But that’s because I have tamed Windows 10, and also stopped MS$ from ever placing anything on it again. I love it actually, but only because of high level of control.

      1. Sophie said on November 30, 2017 at 3:27 pm

        @TelIV – yes, I do agree that we can only do our very best, and you never do quite know if you’ve got all privacy and telemetry related aspects truly stamped upon. So all you can do is your best!

      2. Tom Hawack said on November 30, 2017 at 1:34 pm

        “Poetry in motion
        Dancing close to me
        A flower of devotion
        A swaying gracefully”

        JOHNNY TILLOTSON, “Poetry In Motion” (that’s a 56 year-old poetry!)

        A cocktail’s poetry in this case, further even: the charm of the confrontation between arithmetic and semantic.
        Dior, j’adore, Pagnol as well :)

        OK, back to on-topic. Thanks Martin for your tolerance :)

      3. TelV said on November 30, 2017 at 1:32 pm

        Well, to quote the old adage, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch” and as far as Windows 10 is concerned it runs as a service. So you might think you’ve ‘tamed it’ Sophie, but in reality it’s Microsoft that’s in the driving seat, not you.

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