Microsoft's CVP of Modern Life, Search & Devices, Yusuf Mehdi, has announced that Windows 10 now powers a billion active devices. Mehdi reckons the adoption numbers are so high as people "are choosing and loving Windows 10," and this continues as the customer satisfaction of Windows 10 users has been seen to grow with every new build. It must be mentioned though, that reaching a billion active devices now is somewhat behind schedule. Microsoft originally aimed to hit this magic number "in two to three years". Windows 10 launched in July 2015.
One of the big changes to the OS delivery model with Windows 10 was to change from releasing a new version every three years to releasing multiple versions per year, write Mehdi in his Windows Experience blog post. He goes on to asserts that new Windows 10 features and security updates "are now delivered faster than ever before." Furthermore, the recent decoupling of the new Chromium-based Edge browser means it can be updated outside of the OS release schedule, as required.
Interestingly, Microsoft has 17.8 million Insiders working on various test versions of its OS, which help to catch a lot of bugs and iron out wrinkles in the code before Windows 10 updates hit prime time. Mehdi also credits the Windows Accessibility team for its work on human-centred design in helping make the OS what it is today.
There are a lot of innovative new personal computers with Windows 10 available, for a multitude of niches. Later this year the likes of Windows 10, Windows IoT, Windows Server, Windows Mixed Reality and Windows 10S will be joined by Windows 10X to popularise dual-screen portable computing.
Microsoft ended Windows 7 support earlier this year and it precipitated a surge in Windows 10 upgrades. However, the latest figures show that the surge was basically a smallish wave, as the rate of change slowed back down. At the time of writing, about a quarter of Windows users are sticking with Windows 7, despite its age and impending unpatched vulnerabilities.
The last time we had an update in Windows 10 user numbers was back in September, when the reported active user figure was >900m. For perspective, Android is installed on approx 2.5 billion active devices.