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Windows 10 Use Reaches Microsoft's 1 Billion Goal at Last

Microsoft announced on Monday that Windows 10 is now on more than 1 billion "monthly active devices."

The 1 billion number is noteworthy for being a goal that Microsoft had set for itself back in 2015, when Terry Myerson, then-executive vice president for Windows, had predicted it would reach that number by Microsoft's fiscal-year 2018. The last month and year for meeting that goal would have been June 2017 (Microsoft's fiscal years start in July).

In essence, Microsoft missed its initial goal, and then took almost three more years to finally reach the 1 billion mark with Windows 10.

Microsoft explained back in 2015 that its count would be based not just on Windows 10 PCs, but also Windows 10 on tablets, Xbox gaming consoles, HoloLens devices and phones. Microsoft somewhat quietly let Windows 10 Mobile expire in December 2019, though, since it became clear it couldn't compete with Android and iOS, so a Windows 10 phone-based numbers bump up never happened.

Microsoft's announcement touted that Windows 10 is now used around the globe by one in seven people. All of the Fortune 500 companies use it, too. Windows 10 is on 80,000 models of "laptops and 2-in-1s from over 1,000 different manufacturers," it added.

The announcement also noted that the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser is "decoupled" from Windows 10. Edge browser upgrades now happen independently of the Windows 10 upgrade cadence. During Microsoft's antitrust days in the late 1990s, company officials had argued that Internet Explorer was inseparable from Windows.

Microsoft also made it known that its Windows Insider Program for volunteer software testers "now has over 17.8 million Insiders." Conceptually, this program is a major support element of Microsoft's faster Windows 10 upgrade releases. Microsoft depends on volunteer testers to find software flaws to a large degree.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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