Almost a year after the launch of Windows 10, the latest Microsoft operating system has been installed on some 300 million active devices around the globe, the company said today. That figure includes PCs, tablets, smartphones, Xbox consoles, and other devices. However, the opportunity for users to upgrade to the latest version of Windows for free will be ending soon.
“We’re pleased to see Windows 10 become one of the largest online services in less than a year,” Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Windows and Devices Group, wrote on the company’s blog. “Core to delivering our more personal computing vision, Windows 10 offers experiences that are familiar, safer and more secure, and more personal and productive -- enabling innovative new experiences.”
The 300 million device milestone is a significant jump over the 270 million Microsoft reported at the end of March, and an even larger increase over the 200 million install base reported just four months ago.
The decision to offer users running older versions of the Windows OS a chance to upgrade to 10 for free was a first for Microsoft. While upgrades to Apple’s Mac OS have been available at no cost for years, until last year Windows had managed to continually dominate the OS market while charging users a premium for the latest version.
The disastrous launch of Windows 8, however, appeared to have changed Microsoft’s thinking on the matter. With users turning up their noses at Windows 8 in favor of the far more popular Windows 7, or even the aging XP, the company was eager to get users to adopt Windows 10.
“The free upgrade offer to Windows 10 was a first for Microsoft, helping people upgrade faster than ever before,” Mehdi said. In addition to making the upgrade available to users at no charge, Microsoft has also been prodding users running older systems to upgrade with automated reminders.
The two-pronged attack appears to have worked, with the company saying that Windows 10 has received the highest user satisfaction rating of any Microsoft operating system to date.
Time Running Out
Nevertheless, the company seems determined that free upgrades for the world’s most widely used operating system will not become a regular occurrence. Indeed, today’s announcement comes with a pointed reminder that users who have not yet taken advantage of the free upgrade should do so now because time is running out.
The free upgrade period will end on July 29. After that, users running older versions of Windows will still be able to upgrade their devices to Windows 10, but they'll have to pay $119 to purchase a license for the full version of Windows 10 Home.
Given the failure of the Windows 8 launch and Microsoft’s full court press on Windows 10 adoption, there had been speculation that the company might extend the free upgrade period to bring more users up to date. Instead, Microsoft appears to be betting that further improvements, such as the upcoming Windows 10 Anniversary Update, will be enough to lure users to make the switch.
Image Credit: Windows 10 (pictured above) via Microsoft.
Image credit: Product shots by Microsoft; iStock Artist's concept.
Posted: 2016-05-06 @ 3:55pm PT
And just how many of those 300+ million wanted to or chose to upgrade from Windows 7 / 8?
Posted: 2016-05-06 @ 8:51am PT
Thanks for the information. I received a free Notebook from a family member with Windows 7, have downloaded the update 7 times, but its still not ready. What gives, do i need to reformat the HDD?