Microsoft has announced that 300 million active devices now have Windows 10 installed, just ten months after the OS was launched. This equates to roughly one quarter of global Windows traffic, versus Windows 7’s still-dominant share of well over 50 per cent. [This online tool provides real-time comparative analysis.]
Windows 10 has unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) capability at its core, and alongside traditional PCs it powers the company’s Surface tablets, Lumia smartphones, and a range of other devices, including the HoloLens. Microsoft aims to have one billion users on the new OS by 2018.
The popular Windows 7, meanwhile, has been at the centre of a number of reported problems recently, leading some commentators to allege that Microsoft may be using other means to push dyed-in-the-wool users towards a free upgrade.
However, the world’s largest software provider should be wary of seeing the Windows 10 statistics as an overwhelming vote in favour of the new OS: many of the upgrades have been automatic, or prompted by Microsoft’s notorious ‘nagware’ – an indication that the company still hasn’t learned to get out of customers’ way in their day-to-day usage of its products. The rate of upgrades also slowed in April, according to some reports.
Upgrading from Windows 7 or 8 is currently free, but from July 30 it will cost $119 for Windows 10 Home edition, and $199 for Pro. However, users with accessibility needs will still be able to upgrade for free.
Microsoft has also announced that users spent 63 billion minutes on its new Edge browser in March alone. But again, the statistics are less impressive when broken down: just seven minutes per device per day, assuming that the 300 million active Windows 10 devices figure is correct.
• Also this month, Microsoft has issued a demo of its ‘pre-touch’ technology, which senses and anticipates where the user’s fingers are in relation to a touchscreen, allowing a device to offer different controls at touch and pre-touch. But it remains to be seen whether the impressive demo translates into useful, user-centric applications – rather than features that are as intrusive as Microsoft’s nagware (not to mention the notorious paperclip of old).