Microsoft confirms Windows 10 now active on over 200 million devices monthly

Although they have changed the way they are officially counting Windows 10 users the active users stat is a more accurate representation of OS usage.

Richard Hay, Senior Content Producer

January 4, 2016

3 Min Read
Microsoft confirms Windows 10 now active on over 200 million devices monthly

As most everyone is returning to work today after the holidays and beginning the new year we are finally seeing our first Windows 10 related numbers since the last official update on 06 October 2015.

Back in October 2015, at their New York City hardware event, Microsoft revealed that Windows 10 was installed on over 110 million devices worldwide.

The numbers shared today from the Redmond company cover a lot of ground but they are also being reported using a new measurement.

In the past, whenever official Windows 10 numbers were reported, they were shared as how many installs had been done of the new operating system. This latest update for the Windows 10 base is now being shared as the number of monthly active devices.

Just to make sure I understood what Microsoft is reporting, I asked them what the term monthly active devices meant. According to a Microsoft spokesperson that number is how many devices have been active within the last 28 days. They also clarified for me that devices are only counted once per cycle.

That means if someone installed Windows 10 and then reverted back to their previous OS it will no longer be counted as an active Windows 10 device. I know many readers had previously asked this same question about the momentum of Windows 10 so it is good to understand what is being counted.

In the long run active devices is a better measurement of Windows 10 engagement and adoption because it more accurately reflects devices running Windows 10 that are being used.

Speaking of being counted, this new data includes Xbox One consoles since they now run their own core version of Windows 10. That likely accounts for around 30 million devices in this total.

Last week I did report on some speculated numbers for Windows 10 installs, 200 million at that time, and the math showed it was solid momentum since the last official stats we received in early October. It also showed that if this momentum is maintained then the company will easily reach their goal of 1 billion devices running Windows 10 within 2-3 years of its availability.

So while we wait to learn why they are using different phrasing when it comes to the momentum of Windows 10, let’s take a look at some of the highlights shared earlier today by Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s Corporate VP for the Windows and Devices group.

  • Since Black Friday, November 27th, active Windows 10 devices increased by 40% overall.

  • The number of Windows 10 PCs on store shelves increased by nearly 30% since Black Friday.

  • Windows 10 adoption is outpacing Windows 7 (140%) and Windows 8 (400%) – the fastest for any Windows OS.

  • More than 76% of Microsoft enterprise customers are testing Windows 10 and more than 22 million enterprise/education customers are already running the OS.

  • In December users spent 11 billion hours in Windows 10.

  • More than 44.5 billion minutes were spent using the new Microsoft Edge Browser on Windows 10 devices in the last month.

  • In 2015 gamers spent 4 billion hours playing PC games on Windows 10 and streamed over 6.6 million hours of Xbox One games to Windows 10 devices.

In the Windows Store, which there has been a solid influx of big name Universal Windows Platform apps in the last few weeks, there are also signs of growth for the OS.

  • During the holiday season there were two times as many paid transactions from PC and tablet users.

  • In December 60% of the paying customers were new to Windows Store.

  • When comparing Windows 10 to Windows 8 there was a 4.5 time increase in revenue per device from the Store.

Yusuf also reports that demand for the Lumia 950 and 950 XL has been so strong that many stores are unable to keep up with the demand so the company is busy restocking stores.

Overall, these are very positive numbers to kick of 2016 as Windows 10 enters its sixth full month of availability.

But, wait...there's probably more so be sure to follow me on Twitter and Google+.

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About the Author(s)

Richard Hay

Senior Content Producer, IT Pro Today (Informa Tech)

I served for 29 plus years in the U.S. Navy and retired as a Master Chief Petty Officer in November 2011. My work background in the Navy was telecommunications related so my hobby of computers fit well with what I did for the Navy. I consider myself a tech geek and enjoy most things in that arena.

My first website – – came online in 1995. Back then I used GeoCities Web Hosting for it and is the result of the work I have done on that site since 1995.

In January 2010 my community contributions were recognized by Microsoft when I received my first Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award for the Windows Operating System. Since then I have been renewed as a Microsoft MVP each subsequent year since that initial award. I am also a member of the inaugural group of Windows Insider MVPs which began in 2016.

I previously hosted the Observed Tech PODCAST for 10 years and 317 episodes and now host a new podcast called Faith, Tech, and Space. 

I began contributing to Penton Technology websites in January 2015 and in April 2017 I was hired as the Senior Content Producer for Penton Technology which is now Informa Tech. In that role, I contribute to ITPro Today and cover operating systems, enterprise technology, and productivity.

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