Off to a fast start

Windows 10 Wallpaper

Just prior to the New Year, the unofficial word on the web was that Windows 10 had extended its reach to over 200 million devices. Well, that figure is now official, as Microsoft on Monday provided an update with some interesting side data.

First, let’s dispel the myth that Microsoft’s figure is inflated by counting users who upgraded to Windows 10 and then rolled back to Windows 8/8.1 or Windows 7. That’s isn’t the case. In no uncertain terms, Microsoft says that “as of today, there are more than 200 million monthly active devices around the world running Windows 10.”

One could argue that a monthly active count is a snapshot that could still be off by downgrades that wouldn’t be factored in until the next month, but those would be offset by upgrades (at least partially).

To the point, Windows 10 is gaining ground without any number counting shenanigans. To drive the point home, Microsoft says that engagement on Windows 10 is the highest of any Windows version ever, with Windows 10 users logging over 11 billions hours in December.

What’s also promising for Microsoft is that the upgrades are spread out.

“Windows 10 adoption is accelerating, with more than 40 percent of new Windows 10 devices becoming active since Black Friday,” Microsoft states. “In fact, Windows continues to be on the fastest growth trajectory of any version of Windows — ever — outpacing Windows 7 by nearly 140 percent and Windows 8 by nearly 400 percent.”

Microsoft also provided some stats on how people are using Windows 10. For example, Cortana has fielded over 2.5 billion questions since the OS launched, while Bing search queries on Windows 10 are 30 percent higher compared to previous versions of Windows.

Let’s not forget about gaming. According to Microsoft, gamers have spent more than 4 billion hours playing PC titles on Windows 10 in 2015, and streamed more than 6.6 million hours of Xbox One games to Windows 10 PCs. That latter point is interesting because it ties in with Microsoft’s plan to connect devices from different categories under a single ecosystem.

The adoption rate has also been good for the Windows Store, which has seen the number of paid transactions from PC and tablet customers double during the holiday season. In December, Windows 10 generated more than four and a half times the revenue per device compared to Windows 8.

It’s a lot of braggadocios stats, though the underlying point is that Microsoft is executing on its strategy.

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