Microsoft said in the early summer of 2015 that it wanted to have Windows 10 installed on one billion devices within two to three years. It's an ambitious, if not particularly precise, goal—but one that is well on the way to being achieved: Win10 was released to the public on July 29 of last year and Microsoft announced yesterday that it's already running on more than 200 million systems.
You could argue that the impressive rate of adoption is driven by the fact that Windows 10 is effectively free—I have a 2016 calendar hanging on my wall that I have absolutely zero interest in or use for, but hey, it was free—but the statement also notes that more than 40 percent of new Windows 10 devices “became active” after Black Friday, that being November 27, which was just over a month ago. Furthermore, its “growth trajectory” is dramatically outpacing both Windows 7, by 140 percent, and Windows 8, by 400 percent.
Windows 10 is also hauling some serious ass over on Steam, a platform that's rather more up our alley. In August, the new OS was installed on more than 16 percent of PCs running Steam; by December, that number had effectively doubled, to more than 32 percent counting both 32 and 64-bit versions. Windows 8.1 usage continues to tail off and now sits at 15 percent (Windows 8 is at two percent), and the venerable Windows 7 is slowly slipping away too. The 64-bit version of Win7 is still top dog at a little under 35 percent of users, but it likely won't hold that position for much longer.
It's kind of sad, in a way. I'm still running Windows 7 and it's been great to me over the years, but those years are piling up. Windows 10 seems solid, its gaming performance is good, and of course at some point it will become mandatory if you want to keep up with this gaming-on-your-PC business. As the lady famously said, it's not the end of the world—but you can see it from here.