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Microsoft Confirms Windows 10 Now On 200M Devices

Microsoft's announcement of updated Windows 10 activation numbers includes the mention that more than three-quarters of the company's enterprise customers are running an active pilot of the operating system.

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Microsoft has provided the world with an update on current Windows 10 activation numbers and how the company is tracking toward its goal of seeing the latest incarnation of its operating system active on more than 1 billion devices.

That 1 billion device goal hasn't been reached yet. But Microsoft confirmed in a blog post Monday that Windows 10 is currently active on 200 million devices now around the world, with 40% of those new Windows 10 devices active since Black Friday, Nov. 27, 2015. Windows 10 devices can include more than just the traditional PC, of course. Microsoft's Xbox One, SurfacePro, Surface Book, and Windows 10 phones are all included in the company's figures.

According to Microsoft, Windows 10 continues to be on the fastest growth trajectory of any version of Windows ever, outpacing Windows 7 by nearly 140% and Windows 8 by nearly 400%.

[Are you ready for a potential software audit? Read How to Survive a Software Licensing Audit.]

(Image: MichalPuchala/iStockphoto)

(Image: MichalPuchala/iStockphoto)

Microsoft also noted that more than 76% of the company's enterprise customers are in active pilots of Windows 10. There are more than 22 million devices running Windows 10 across enterprise and education customers, according to Microsoft.

Forrester Research's David Johnson, principal analyst for infrastructure and operations, told InformationWeek in an interview that Windows 7 and Windows 10 have become the standard for enterprises today.

"Microsoft has a very popular OS in Windows 10," he said. "It's one that our enterprise clients see as correcting some of the shortcomings of Windows 8."

According to research conducted by Forrester in 2015, 49% of enterprises plan to upgrade to Windows 10 by the end of 2016, with 41% of US enterprises indicating a plan to upgrade by year-end. Those numbers, while not quite as optimistic as Microsoft's "active pilots" number, still showcase the momentum of Windows 10 -- an OS that has absolutely been more favorably received than its predecessor, Windows 8.

Forrester's numbers are based on a survey of 3,592 IT decision makers from the US, UK, New Zealand, India, Germany, France, China, Canada, Brazil, and Australia. The average company size was $1.95 billion in annual revenue and 12,500 employees.

Still, even with the warm welcome, it's no small task migrating an entire enterprise from one operating system to another. Such a migration is a big project for most IT organizations, Johnson said. Enterprises face logistics challenges with different independent software vendors that aren't ready to support the new OS yet, licensing issues, browser compatibility issues, and other problems. It's a major project for enterprises to migrate fleets of PCs.

Tablets are another piece of the Windows 10 market. While Microsoft did not provide numbers on Windows 10 device activations from tablets in its blog post, IDC's most recent Quarterly Tablet Tracker forecast calls for Microsoft's Windows OS to steadily gain marketshare in that form factor in the years to come. IDC predicts Microsoft's tablet OS marketshare for 2015 to come in at 8.5% and to grow to 17.8% by 2019. It will take most of that share from Android, which will see its 67% share in 2015 go down to 56.5% by 2019. Meanwhile iOS remains relatively steady, with 24.5% in 2015 and 25.7% predicted by 2019.

Johnson told InformationWeek that the picture is a little different for business users. Of enterprise IT tablet users polled in 2015, 9% said they use a Windows 10 tablet. When asked what they would like for their next tablet, 14% said they wanted Windows 10, 48% said they wanted iOS or iPad, and 23% said they wanted Android. The Forrester data was based on a survey of 7,267 employees at companies with an average of 29,500 workers. Companies were based in the US, UK, New Zealand, India, Germany, France, China, Canada, Brazil, and Australia.

Microsoft also announced in its blog post Monday that the first Windows 10 phones, the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL are now available worldwide.

Additionally, Microsoft provided updates on the geographic spread of its mobile devices. The company said that its Surface Book recently became available for pre-order in China and Hong Kong, and will soon be available in a total of 10 new markets including Austria, Australia, the UK, France, Germany Switzerland, New Zealand, and Japan. The Surface Pro will be released in India in the coming weeks, the company said.

Microsoft also noted that 2015 was the biggest year in Xbox history, with Xbox One setting records in global engagements and sales. The Xbox App on Windows 10 PCs saw strong engagement, with more than 6.6 million hours of games streamed. Microsoft also said that in the six months since Windows 10 launched, it has become the second most popular OS on the Steam gaming network, behind Windows 7.

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Jessica Davis has spent a career covering the intersection of business and technology at titles including IDG's Infoworld, Ziff Davis Enterprise's eWeek and Channel Insider, and Penton Technology's MSPmentor. She's passionate about the practical use of business intelligence, ... View Full Bio

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tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
2/18/2016 | 5:40:38 AM
Re: MS-Presentation
The download took close to an hour. MS had been asking me since last July to upgrade to 10 but i balked and did not pre-download the files because i wanted to wait to see how others did. I am surprised that MS changed the migration tools after all this time for a third party that is not as good. Agree with you that Win 10 is better than 8 in every respect. 8 was not intuitive at all, especially if you did not have a touch screen. And the Metro set up was messy and busy. Have not used Cortana yet. Then again I never use Siri on my Apple devices!
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
2/17/2016 | 8:34:00 AM
Re: MS-Presentation
Ah, you're factoring the download into the total upgrade time.  That makes sense.  A lot of people have the upgrade automatically downloaded.  On the corporate side there is one thing that I find really annoying, the migration tools that have existed for almost as long as Windows has existed are gone and in their place is the offer for a free version of a third party tool that doesn't do everything the old migration tools did.   Everything else about Win 10 I have to say I like better than 8 now that I'm not constantly reaching for the Charms bar.  Cortana is nice replacement for the search bar but I can't bring myself to talk to Cortana instead I start typing what I'm looking for which are usually control panel objects rather than navigating to them through the start menu.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
2/16/2016 | 9:40:24 AM
Re: MS-Presentation
While my home desktop is 4 years old, i do have fast internet. It did not take long to download the 2.3 gigs of files for the upgrade, but it was the 3 step process afterwards that took some time. That was probably more to do with the processor and RAM. MS did a great job in keeping all my userid's, passwords and other settings exactly the same. Even my wallpaper was the same so when the process finally ended, you had to really look hard to notice the difference. Plus i think the performance improved. 

I agree with you that Win 10 should have been the next step up from Win 7. The Metro interface is not all that great but it is much easier to deal with popping up from the Start button than the unintuitive ways of Win 8.x
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
2/16/2016 | 8:30:22 AM
Re: MS-Presentation
Luckily I haven't seen a 3 hour upgrade yet, but I could see that holding back upgrades for larger companies.  The MS IDs aren't so much of a problem if you plan on moving to Office 365 and have everything in place to do so.  Syncing your AD means you keep logging in with your current network credentials.   It's a little bit of work for the IT team but it is a fairly smooth transition.   What frustrates me about Win 10 is that it what Win 8 should have been, I feel like they tried to force the Modern/Metro UI and it blew up in their faces. 
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
2/15/2016 | 5:52:16 AM
Re: MS-Presentation
Very true. I upgraded to Win 10 because of my conversations with you and others on this forum. You guys were spot on about how good it is (thanks). It is like a combination of Win 7 and Win 8.x - if you want to use those features. Corporations nowadays also are much more bureacratic when it comes to upgrading workstation software from applications to operating systems. The good news is that the upgrades i have done on home computers worked flawlessly even if they took almost 3 hours per workstation. In a corporate environment this will be tough but also users now have to use MS ID's to log in which will complicate things.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
1/7/2016 | 10:42:28 AM
Re: MS-Presentation
This is a very important point.  It's not that people are running out to buy Win 10 because it is amazing, honestly it's more like Win 8.5 as far as the users are concerned.  The "free" and nearly forced upgrades are the reason that its adoption rate is so high not any incredible new feature.  Microsoft is marketing Win 10 much better than it did with Win 7 or Win 8 but on the enterprise side marketing doesn't mean much and that's where they are stalling. 
rradina
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rradina,
User Rank: Ninja
1/6/2016 | 11:07:44 AM
Define Activated
Can we get a clear definition of what activated means?  Does that mean 200M folks are actually using a device that is running Windows 10 or is it a combination of folks who are actually using Windows 10 and devices in the channel that have been loaded with Windows 10 but not yet sold to a customer?
mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
1/6/2016 | 1:04:35 AM
migrating
it's no small task migrating an entire enterprise from one operating system to another.

I'm in the process of upgrading to 10 on my boxes. I did just one, and it was a pain... well, you know where! I can't possible imaging what the IT team will go thru, if they have to upgrade several or even thousands of computers. No wonder the process is slow.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
1/5/2016 | 12:36:53 PM
MS-Presentation
MS is presenting this as a rush to Win 10 because it is so great. The fact is that they are offering the upgrade for free and being aggressive about it. While this is good insofar as it gets people off obsolete or soon to be discontinued platforms, it is misleading. Gone are the days where people rushed to upgrade to the next DOS release or Windows release. After Vista and Win 8.x people are cautious. Even if they are getting the upgrade for free. I am one of them!
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