Windows 10 Installs Have Likely Topped 25 Million

Somewhere out there Jimmy Hoffa's body is buried. Right next to him is a classified document detailing what really goes on at Area 51, and on top of that is a piece of paper with an official count of Windows 10 installs to date. That's to say, we simply don't know how many devices are running Windows 10, though there are a few figures floating around the web, the latest of which pegs the number 25 million.

Or it could be as high as 27 million, "sources" tell Neowin. So if going by those un-named sources, Windows 10 is installed on somewhere between 25 million and 27 million machines -- let's split the difference and call it 26 million, shall we?

That's a far more conservative estimate than the one provided by a supposed Microsoft employee, who last week told Windows Central that Windows 10 had found its way onto 67 million machines less than three full days after launch. It's a massive discrepancy, and not one that can be explained away with hanging chads.

Windows 10 Download

The last (and only) official count from Microsoft has Windows 10 sitting pretty on 14 million devices a day after launching. And just this morning, one of my PCs said it was ready to install Windows 10 (the one I'm typing on, in fact), so when I get around to upgrading it, that number jumps to 14 million and one, albeit unofficially (I don't work for Microsoft).

It's difficult to tell why the discrepancy is so massive. Perhaps the sources are working with data from two different time frames, or maybe the larger figure took into account downloads that began but were interrupted for whatever reason. In the end, it really doesn't matter because both estimates are impressive -- one just happens to be more impressive than the other.

What's more important than unofficial tallies is the response to Windows 10, and for the most part, it's been positive. Windows 10 is the OS that Windows 8 should have been, though because Windows 8 was such a disappointment, perhaps there's more appreciation for this latest release.

Once Microsoft finishes celebrating a successful launch, it will have to switch gears and figure out ways to keep users interested in Windows 10. Unless something changes, this is the last version of Windows, as Microsoft has moved to a Windows as a Service (Waas) model in which there will be frequent security and feature updates instead of a brand new version.

In other words, there will never be a Windows 11, though there will be more (lots more) Windows 10 installs.