Microsoft today announced on its Microsoft by the Numbers (opens in new tab) website that Windows 10 is running on more than 900 million devices.
That means Windows 10 is close to hitting 1 billion devices less than five years after launch, and it probably won't take much longer for it to reach that number. “Thanks to our customers, we added more new Windows 10 devices in the last 12 months than ever before," Microsoft corporate vice president Yusuf Mehdi tweeted today. "From PCs to HoloLens to Xbox to Surface Hub, Windows continues to power innovation—with more to come next week!”
Windows 10 does indeed appear to be growing in popularity slightly quicker than it did in previous years. Microsoft announced that the operating system had 700 million users in September 2018, then 800 million in March, 825 million in May and now 900 million in September. That means it grew nearly as much this summer as it did in the six-month gap between the September 2018 and March announcements.
Despite those claims of exponential growth, Microsoft isn't clear on what it counts as a device. The metric may include virtual machine installs, for example, even if VMs aren’t really systems unto themselves. It's also worth noting the distinctions between the versions of Windows 10 running on the hardware Yusuf listed. The version of Windows 10 on the Xbox One is unique to the Xbox, for example, and isn’t anything like Windows 10 on the PC.
But there could be something else driving up the 900 million figure: extended support for Windows 7 officially ends in January 2020. Businesses are likely moving away from Windows 7 to Windows 10 in large numbers to beat the support deadline.