Windows is used by over 1 billion users according to Microsoft

Martin Brinkmann
May 27, 2023
Windows 10, Windows 11 News

It does not happen very often that Microsoft provides information on the number of devices or users of its Windows operating systems or other products.

Yesterday was such a day, as Microsoft revealed that Windows had more than 1 billion users. The post, published on the Windows Developer blog, focuses on performance for the most part. Its title, "Delivering Delightful Performance for More Than One Billion Users Worldwide", and one of the paragraphs in the post claim that Windows has crossed the 1 billion users mark worldwide.

Microsoft writes: "Today, we’re going to give you a behind-the-scenes peek into how performance improvements are delivered! Windows operates at a massive scale – with over one billion users and a rich PC ecosystem, and there are innumerable combinations of usage patterns, key apps, and hardware".

The post focuses on performance, specifically how Microsoft improved performance in various ways. The company boasts that Windows 11 "is the most reliable version of Windows ever", that users see a "6% average reduction in energy consumption" if they follow Microsoft's Energy Recommendation advice, and that Windows 11's time to desktop has been cut by 10% and that the impact of startup apps was reduced by over 50%.

The article offers even more insights. Here are a few highlights:

  • Microsoft runs "over one million machine hours of validation" each day.
  • Diagnostic data provides Microsoft with over 2.5 million cabs per day, over 12 million performance traces per year, and over 70.4 billion scenario performance data points per year.
  • The new Microsoft Teams up is two times faster than the old and uses half its resources.
  • Frequently used shell interactions were improved by "as much as 15%".

Microsoft explains that the new boot process improved startup significantly. Engineers cut the startup time of apps by ensuring "that apps the user is trying to interact with are responsive and prioritized" and by reducing contention.

File Explorer, the default file manager of the Windows 11 operating system, has seen improvements as well, according to Microsoft. The company claims that it has improved bulk file deletion operations by up to 67% and improved the launch time of the application as well.

Microsoft attached a long list of performance improvements that it made between the months of February and May 2023 to the post as well. Here is the entire list:

  • Taskbar improvements to ensure Taskbar is readily available after logging in
  • Task View performance improvements when devices are under heavy load
  • Improved performance of Windows Notification Service
  • Improved launch time of Quick Settings and Notification Center
  • Reduced threads, dlls, and graphics device count in Explorer
  • Reduced CPU usage of explorer
  • Reduced memory usage of Notification Center
  • Touch keyboard performance improvements
  • Resource usage reductions in multi-user scenarios
  • Reduced voice access and Narrator latency in larger documents
  • Improved voice typing activation time
  • Improved speed of theme changes
  • Reduced size on disk by leveraging features-on-demand via the Store

You can check out the full article here.

Now You: have you noticed any performance improvements recently? (via Deskmodder)

Windows is used by over 1 billion users according to Microsoft
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Windows is used by over 1 billion users according to Microsoft
Microsoft revealed this week that its Windows operating system has over one billion users.
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  1. 45 RPM said on May 31, 2023 at 7:51 am

    One billion users. None of them happy.

  2. David J said on May 28, 2023 at 6:20 pm

    Windows is dying Microsoft made sure of that when thy put stupid requirements on Win11 and if thy don’t change people will drop Windows after Win10 is end of life and go Linux!
    Win11 is shit!
    I my self went over to Linux(EndeavourOS) on my PC while my wife is running Win10 until end of life.

  3. Peter1980 said on May 28, 2023 at 9:11 am

    I’m one of them. :D

    1. John G. said on May 28, 2023 at 1:18 pm

      You lucky guy!

  4. illegalcopies said on May 28, 2023 at 5:29 am

    How many of those more “More Than One Billion Users Worldwide” are users with legit licenses? Any real journalists want to investigate and report back?

  5. GatesFoundation said on May 27, 2023 at 9:27 pm

    The direction they are going in with advertisements, dark patterns, removing power user features, limiting customization, and turning everything to web-based services can only lead to further deterioration of their numbers. People are switching to alternatives because they’ve had enough of Microsoft’s nonsense. Why use Windows when they can run the same bloated web services on Apple, Google, Linux devices without being bothered by Microsoft annoyances at OS level?

    The list of performance enhancements is basically an array of issues that they still need to fix because they broke it by changing something that wasn’t broken to begin with. On older systems, boot into a fresh installation of Windows 7 to observe the difference. Everything opens instantly, while providing far more functionality than later versions of Windows. There are no resource wasting services or bloated web-based frameworks. Its really sad to see how Windows has declined after Windows 7.

    1. John G. said on May 28, 2023 at 12:02 am

      @GatesFoundation, I agree. I have two laptops, one with W10 and another one of second-hand market with Ubuntu. I started to use the Ubuntu’s one each three or four days for printing purposes at my college. Then every two days, and finally now I use mostly everyday the Ubuntu’s laptop. It’s very easy, no problem with updates, with background apps, without Defender eating the CPU. Next year if possible I will buy a MacOS computer, they are also very fine to working purposes.

  6. Tachy said on May 27, 2023 at 8:57 pm


    Edge is crashing (CTD) when clicking the “proceed to checkout” button on Amazon.

    Both my PC’s, Win10 home (100% stock) and win 10 pro (100% tweaked).

    1. John G. said on May 27, 2023 at 11:56 pm

      @Tachy here with Edge 113.0.1774.57 having some issues editing PDF online. With Firefox/Chrome everything OK, I will do some testing on monday if I have time.

  7. REVOLT ! said on May 27, 2023 at 7:39 pm

    And of the 1 billion users 15 are happy windows users. The rest are miserable. We live in weird times when the worst, user hostile, privacy abusing and eternal BETA OS has a monopoly. The very second computer manufacturers wake up and start selling good, affordable computers with linux is the very second Microsoft starts dying. Rightfully so. The way it is now, that linux computers are very expensive is beyond f*cked up.

  8. Andy said on May 27, 2023 at 6:21 pm

    Most of Windows market share comes from pirated versions of Windows. No wonder Microsoft supports piracy as long as its the Home Users who are pirating Windows and not the Businesses.

    Watch this video to understand why:

  9. John G. said on May 27, 2023 at 6:11 pm

    1 billion users are tuning and tweaking and solving issues of all kind with Windows 10. Meanwhile the rest works with MacOS/Linux.

    1. John G. said on May 27, 2023 at 6:14 pm

      And millions of W11 users are now yielding and running across the fields of corn, chased by the children.

  10. Tachy said on May 27, 2023 at 5:48 pm

    A truely ambiguous statement.

    I doubt very much the word “user” means “a single person sitting at a computer”.

    It may refer to how many copies are actually licensed. Or it may refer to the number of unique ip’s M$ is recieving gathered data from.

    Add to that, is a large company with 25 computers running windws considered to be one user or 25 users?

    Myself, I look for what’s not being said.

    What pops out to me is that most of the worlds population is still too poor to afford a computer.

    If there’s 1b windows, lets toss on 1b linux (don’t argue, it’s just a made up number for this example). So that’s 2b computers out of 8b people.

    75% of humans live in poverty while I sit here tapping my keys and sipping my fresh hot coffee in my climate controlled house.

    The world is fucked up.

    1. VioletMoon said on May 28, 2023 at 4:10 pm

      @Tachy – Nothing wrong with the world; nothing wrong with your perception–basic bourgeoisie thinking.

      I do find it interesting how many people in the world have mobile phones and access to the Internet. The users with smartphones are highly sophisticated and know more about privacy and anti-tracking than any Windows OS users.

      SEVEN BILLION people have smartphones! Whoa! And they, too, are sipping their tea or drinking their coffee in idyllic, remote corners of the planet with views that rival the best desktop landscape wallpapers.

      Meanwhile, the typical PC user is “stuck” in a city dwelling with that “stench” called air and city traffic and low-down filth in the water.

      The average PC user has nothing better to do with his/her time than sit and stare at nonsense and read nonsense and write nonsense, while the average smartphone user is actually up and out and connected and using the legs and arms for some type of meaningful existence.

      Something wrong with the world? Only if one thinks that “tapping my keys and sipping my fresh hot coffee in my climate controlled house” is a higher form of living. Such a lifestyle depicted would really make me wonder on my deathbed if I had really lived life–“living is so dear.

      As I sense it, those who don’t have a computer don’t want a computer and don’t need a computer because a smartphone is more than enough,

      The last thing they want is to get “stuck” in some climate controlled room sipping coffee and tapping meaningless linguistic phrases purporting that they have arrived at some advanced state of living.

      The question: Who is really living in poverty? I would say the 25%, not the 75%.

    2. Anonymous said on May 28, 2023 at 12:42 am

      The world is fucked up because other people think differently to you? Teamwork relies of different people having different strengths. Without it, how would humans have ever progressed from wheel to motorized machinery and all of the other benefits of a highly complex world (if you classify a complex life as a benefit).

    3. John G. said on May 27, 2023 at 6:20 pm

      @Tachy +100, nobody wants to give up anything, especially those who never had anything before, truly sad and truly bloody real.

  11. Andy Prough said on May 27, 2023 at 5:38 pm

    That means the Linux kernel is by far the most often used kernel on the planet, because of the billions of servers and Android(ish) devices.

    So if you want extreme system stability, you have no choice but moving to a desktop GNU/Linux distribution, since Linux is tested and stabilized far more than any Microsoft kernel could ever be.

  12. John said on May 27, 2023 at 4:38 pm

    I use Windows mostly for gaming and not much else. Otherwise I use Linux or Mac OS as being preferred these days for productivity uses. Seems I did read recently that Windows use over all has actually dropped for its high. Still has significantly more users than other desktop OS but it is shrinking. This could be a reason for Microsoft to tout some impressive numbers.

  13. VioletMoon said on May 27, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Of course–that’s why I recommended five years ago [on gHacks] to invest in MSFT. I still make the recommendation.

    Example: $10,000 invested in 2018 is now worth $35,260.04 a wonderful 252.6% on return. Not the 5% from a CD, not 10% from a mutual fund. $100,000 = $352,600.36. Makes for some nice vacation dollars. Or $35,000 extra income for 10 years.

    Mr. Gates wants you to make money, and he wants to deliver the best possible OS experience, which may not be perfect, but it’s not bad.

    No complaints here!

    1. TelV said on May 28, 2023 at 9:54 pm

      Unfortunately, I don’t have $10k just lying around. In fact, not even $1k.

      Also, in the Netherlands where I live we have a punitive tax system and investments get clobbered, especially if you own your own home on which you also have to pay approximately 6.5% of its rateable value in tax.

  14. ECJ said on May 27, 2023 at 4:10 pm

    Erm, Windows has had over a billion users for a long time… About 1.4 billion monthly active devices.

    Windows 10 alone reached over a billion users in 2020. Windows 11 doesn’t have one billion users though – the majority of Windows devices are still running Windows 10.

  15. boris said on May 27, 2023 at 3:37 pm

    And I do not believe any of this.

    1. boris said on May 27, 2023 at 9:18 pm

      I want to clarify my statement. I have no doubt that there are 1 Billion of Microsoft PCs. But all those dozens improvements listed I do not believe in.

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