Microsoft's progress towards having Windows 10 on 1 billion devices is about to get a shot in the arm next month as Microsoft has revealed they will roll out the Windows 10 based version of the Xbox One console software to its next generation entertainment console on 12 November.
You may recall that Microsoft laid out an ambitious goal several months ago to get Windows 10 on 1 billion devices in the first two to three years of its availability and at the last official count, announced in early October at their big NYC hardware event, was at 110 million installed and activated Windows 10 systems.
At that time the average number of daily installs of Windows 10 since its release in late July was 1.4 million. If that pace has been maintained over the last three weeks then the installed base for Windows 10 should be approaching 140 million. However, it is more likely that the pace has continued to drop off as it did from 29 July to 06 October and that count is probably closer to 135 million.
Even with the drop off, these are still very impressive numbers and make Windows 10 the biggest OS launch ever for Microsoft.
The next step in the launch is Windows 10 on the Xbox One console which has been in a limited preview over the last several weeks. Recently the number of consoles running the new Xbox One experience, NXOE as it is commonly referred to, has increased as the company pushed the update out to all opted in consoles enrolled in the Xbox One Preview program.
I have personally been using the NXOE interface on my console for the last three weeks and it is so much faster than its predecessor.
For instance, I used to avoid watching TV through my console because the OneGuide was so slow to come up on screen, but now the guide is just one or two seconds away for easy navigation to see what is available to watch.
There are several other improvements in the NXOE with Windows 10 provides at its core:
- Party invites, messaging and notifications just one button push away
- Game Hubs are also one click away and allow you to track the most recent info about your games.
- New Community section lets you see what your friends are up to on their consoles. Game developers can also share content in this area about your favorite games.
- The Xbox One Store has been optimized into four key areas (Games, Apps, Movies & TV and Music). Lots of curated content is now laid out for fast access.
- The new OneGuide is not only faster but it is now the main portal for not only TV but for content in movies and video apps as well.
- The NXOE also includes the continued Xbox 360 Backwards Compatibility introduced earlier this year. This includes being able to use advanced console based capabilities like Game DVR, screenshots and streaming to your other Windows 10 devices via the Xbox app.
Just how much of a boost in the overall Windows 10 installed base this upgrade to the Xbox One will be is hard to predict because Microsoft has never released total Xbox One console sales numbers since its release nearly two years ago.
However, I expect Microsoft will update their official momentum numbers for Windows 10 shortly after this upgrade rolls out next month in order to show the continued progress towards their goal of 1 billion devices running Windows 10 over the next 2-3 years.