Microsoft has just reported that its Windows 10 operating system has crossed another milestone. At the Build 2017 conference, which is going on right now, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 now has over 500 million monthly active users.
According to Microsoft, that number includes devices that have been active in the past month, and takes into account not only Windows 10 PCs and Windows 10 Mobile smartphones, but also Xbox One consoles (of which there are roughly 30 million in use around the globe).
One month after it summer 2015 release, Windows 10 was installed on over 75 million machines. By January 2016, that number had climbed to 200 million, and increased to 270 million by the end of March. One year after launch, Microsoft hit 350 million users, and reached 400 million in September 2016.
While 500 million is no doubt an impressive number as Windows 10 approaches its two-year anniversary, it is tracking well below Microsoft’s original projections. The company originally said that Windows 10 would be installed on over a billion devices by the summer of 2018. At this pace, it will be well into 2019 or perhaps even longer before Microsoft reaches that milestone.
Microsoft acknowledged this shortfall in Windows 10 adoption in July 2016, and primarily blamed miscalculations in demand for its failing Windows Phone division. “We're pleased with our progress to date, but due to the focusing of our phone hardware business, it will take longer than FY18 for us to reach our goal of 1 billion monthly active devices,” said Microsoft’s Yusuf Mehdi at the time. “In the year ahead, we are excited about usage growth coming from commercial deployments and new devices - and increasing customer delight with Windows.”
The 500 million announcement comes roughly a month after Microsoft released the Windows 10 Creators Update. Going forward, Microsoft is hard at work on the next iteration of its operating system: Redstone 3. Windows 10 Redstone 3 is expected to launch in late 2017, and will incorporate a number of new features like HomeHub, My People, and more streamlined update process for the Microsoft Edge browser.