Microsoft hit its goal of installing Windows 10 on 1 billion devices

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft is celebrating an achievement it originally anticipated reaching two years ago: one billion active Windows 10 devices. Better late than never, though, right?

This was always going to happen—the only question was when exactly Microsoft would reach its goal. Back at its Build 2015 conference, Microsoft's former executive vice president, Terry Myerson, confidently predicted Windows 10 would reach one billion active devices "in two to three years." So at the latest, Microsoft originally conceived hitting this mark by July 2018.

Windows 10 launched in July 2015, a few months after Build 2015. To help get things going, Microsoft promoted a free upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 users for the first year. That resulted in a flurry of upgrades to Windows 10 in the early going, but as things settled down, it became clear that hitting one billion active installs would take longer than expected.

As it turns out, two to three years longer, to be precise. That figure includes a variety of devices, including desktops PCs, laptops, Xbox One consoles, HoloLens devices running Windows 10, and IoT devices.

"Not only is Windows 10 the most popular PC gaming platform on the planet, but it also powers the entire Xbox family of consoles, including the fastest and most powerful Xbox Series X, which will be available later this year," Microsoft says.

One reason it took a bit longer than expected is because Windows 7 held strong for so long. When general support for Windows 7 ended a few months ago, it was still installed on hundreds of millions of PCs.

Interestingly, Microsoft says every Fortune 500 company uses Windows 10 devices, though I imagine not exclusively. Still, it's an interesting stat.

"As companies transition from Windows 7 to Windows 10, they are making a commitment to running their business more efficiently, more securely, and positioning themselves to offer better products, services and solutions to their customers," Microsoft says.

Microsoft is about to push out another major update to Windows 10 (20H1). Of interest to gamers, the upcoming update will add a GPU temp monitor in the Task Manager and a frames per second counter in the Xbox Game Bar.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).