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March 29, 2020

Windows 10 Hits 1B Monthly Active Devices


Hello all! I’m currently attending the MVP Summit 2020 online. As you might expect, MS is using this occasion to share some news with the world as well. Just saw a post on the Windows Insider Program blog entitled Windows 10: Powering the world with 1 billion monthly active devices.This has been a long time coming, and is about 3 years behind the original MS schedule, largely because of the withdrawal of mobile communications (phone) devices from the overall count. The official word reads as follows:

Today we’re delighted to announce that over one billion people have chosen Windows 10 across 200 countries resulting in more than one billion active Windows 10 devices. We couldn’t be more grateful to our customers, partners and employees for helping us get here.

OK, So We’ve Hit the 1B Mark. Now What?

The article is worth a quick once-over. It talks about how Windows 10 is used in various scenarios: especially business, large and small and personal/consumer. But what I’m thinking is the 2B mark, and whether or not that’s actually going to happen. It will be very interesting to gauge the impact and uptake of the new Microsoft Duo devices due out later this year. As a Windows-head, I’m planning to bit the bullet and adopt the device for my primary personal communications tool (I’ll probably run in parallel with my iPhone for a while, until I drop it completely). This could provide a bump in population size, if it gains traction with the global user community both inside business and personal/consumer spaces.

But PCs and tablets are kind of problematic in their growth potential, especially in light of this interesting new pandemic phenomenon. We know there’s a global recession starting up right now, but we don’t know how long it will last and how deep it will dive. It seems fairly sure that the modest growth of PC sales in 2018 and 2019 is unlikely to continue in 2020. Thus, I don’t see the appearance of lots of new PCs or Tablets running Windows 10 over and above the current levels of use happening any time soon. Seems like news PCs coming online are likely to be replacing elements in the 1B number just reported today, rather than adding to it.

You know, I hope I’m wrong about this. I’m also hopeful that the new Duo devices — and whatever kinds of similar devices may come from the big system platform providers (Lenovo, Dell, HP, the Japanese PC players, the Taiwanese tigers, and so forth) — will provide a population pick-me-up as it were. But in this current highly uncertain climate I’m reluctant to contemplate much growth until things stabilize and forecasts become more possible. It will be interesting, for sure, though. Stay tuned!

Author: Ed Tittel

Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran. He’s a Princeton and multiple University of Texas graduate who’s worked in IT since 1981 when he started his first programming job. Over the past three decades he’s also worked as a manager, technical evangelist, consultant, trainer, and an expert witness. See his professional bio for all the details.

4 Responses “Windows 10 Hits 1B Monthly Active Devices”

  1. CountMike
    March 16, 2020 at 16:32

    Not sure about those numbers but resistance is slowly declining. No more (as it was usual) people barging in any conversation saying that W10 sucks an 7 was perfect.
    At computer hardware enthusiast level (my crowd), saying “Windows” is same as saying W10.

  2. March 16, 2020 at 16:42

    As a diehard StarTrek fan I must ask “Why didn’t you say: ‘Resistance is futile?'” That said, and with tongue in cheek, I totally agree with you. Win10 is now the default Windows. I’d like to know how many of that 1B is Xbox and other non-PC devices that Microsoft is still counting. That’s probably why you’re not sure about those numbers, too. Thanks for the comment,
    –Ed–

  3. March 16, 2020 at 16:57

    From my point of view, this is good news.

  4. March 16, 2020 at 23:01

    From my point of view it is, too. I just can’t help but wonder how far this run will extend. Of course, we’ll see. People still need desktops at work, so they’re not going away any time soon (at least, not in any way that I can see). Thanks for your comment, sir.
    –Ed–

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