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Windows 10 is running on 600 million devices (kind of)

by Eric Frederiksen | November 30, 2017November 30, 2017 7:00 am PST

Windows 10 is running on over 600 million active devices, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced at a shareholders meeting this week, just over two years into its lifespan.

That’s a lot, right? Let’s look at the how we got to that number. That number isn’t just PCs with Windows 10 installed, but any device running Windows 10. That includes PCs of course, but also tablets, Xbox One consoles, and even the much smaller crowds of phones, HoloLens headsets, and Surface Hub devices. Even so, it’s still a pretty big number.

VentureBeat notes that Windows 7 managed around 525 million computers in the same time frame, so Windows 10 seems to have a lead. But that number includes a full year of free upgrades from Windows 7 to Windows 10, which was a first for the OS, and there are simply just more computers in the world than there were when Windows 7 hit, and more new devices.

It’s important to take that into account when we remember that Microsoft had initially aimed for 1 billion devices running Windows 10 by 2018 and has since scaled back from that. Its new numbers appear to be much more realistic, with the Verge noting that Microsoft was aiming for 575 million in September, putting 600 million right in line.

You may have heard that PC gamers were dropping Windows 7 to play PlayerUnknown‘s Battlegrounds, but there was actually another reason for that – the huge influx of Chinese players joining Steam for the first time to play the ultra-successful shooter. It doesn’t sound like many people are switching back at this point, especially as more software takes advantage of modern hardware in ways Microsoft’s eight-year-old Windows 7 can’t.

How many devices in your home fall under the Windows 10 banner and figure into Microsoft’s 600-million figure?

Eric Frederiksen

Eric Frederiksen has been a gamer since someone made the mistake of letting him play their Nintendo many years ago, pushing him to beg for his own,...