Breaking news: Windows 10 is doing... okay!

It's too early to know for sure, but new data from Microsoft suggests that giving your operating system away for free, might just be good for sales

Hold the front page! Windows 10 is more popular than Windows 8.

Okay, so this news is hardly worth stopping the press for given the near-universal loathing of the former flagship operating system; but nonetheless, Microsoft’s Yusuf Mehdi decided to include the non-revelation in a blog post, lauding the successes of Windows 10 to date.

Mehdi did reveal a few statistics that were of interest, although you wouldn’t need Woodward and Bernstein on your team to spot a few holes along the way. According to Microsoft, there are now more than 200 million monthly active devices around the world running Windows 10.


“Windows 10 adoption is accelerating, with more than 40% of new Windows 10 devices becoming active since Black Friday.”

Aside from the fact that 80 million devices were activated within the past five weeks, and therefore it’s impossible to accurately claim that they are active on a monthly basis, Windows 10 does seem to be gathering pace.

In fact, Microsoft says that Windows 10 is on the fastest growth trajectory of any version of Windows – ever.  It is outpacing Windows 7 by nearly 140% and Windows 8 (shock, horror) by nearly 400%.

The next interesting titbit, is that Microsoft is seeing the highest ever level of engagement on Windows, with over 11 billion hours spent on Windows 10 in December. While this sounds like a terribly impressive statistic, once you break it down, it averages out at about 1.77 hours per day per user. When you consider that Microsoft’s stats include Xbox users, many of whom game day and night, and smartphone users, many of whom watch cats playing pianos throughout the day, the statistic becomes decidedly less impressive.

The real area of interest for us is, of course, enterprise uptake - and Microsoft says the new operating system is making great strides in this area too.

“We are also seeing accelerating and unprecedented demand for Windows 10 among enterprise and education customers,” Mehdi proclaimed. “As of today, more than 76% of our enterprise customers are in active pilots of Windows 10, and we now have over 22 million devices running Windows 10 across enterprise and education customers.”

While this looks like a strong move in the right direction, Mehdi doesn't give any indication of the split between enterprise and education.

Then, out of the blue, the Windows VP went a little bit function creepy. He declared that users have spent over 44.5 billion minutes using Microsoft Edge, asked Cortana 2.5 billion questions and looked at 82 billion photos using the Windows 10 Photo app. Why on earth Microsoft thinks it's even remotely okay to monitor its users' photo browsing behaviour is a little beyond me.

I can only find solace in the utter uselessness of the data being gathered. For all the privacy nuts concerned about what exactly Microsoft is doing with all of our personal information – fear no more. It appears that the primary purpose behind all of the unsavoury snooping is really just to give the executive team something to blog about.


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