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Windows 10 Adoption Growth

Tracking Windows 10 adoptions is an interesting proposition. That’s because the widespread Insider Program that launched in October 2014 preceded the official release date of July 29, 2015, by nine months. This makes calculating Windows 10 adoption growth something of a black art. I’ve been thinking about these numbers lately, though, and would like to present a future growth scenario that now has 10 months of post-release figures to draw on, as well as a good baseline from which to calculate month-over-month growth from August, 2015 through June, 2016.

My most current data point comes from the June 29 “Anniversary UpdateWindows Experience blog post that announces its release date as August 2, 2016. It declares that “…over 350 million devices [are] now running Windows 10…” My starting data point, which I’ll use to calculate Windows 10’s recent month-over-month growth date comes from August 2015, from the same person (MS Corporate VP for the Windows and Devices Group Yusuf Mehdi) in a tweet quoted in Forbes. It states that “…more than 75 million devices [are] running Windows 10…”

From Windows 10 Adoption Growth to Month-over-Month Rates

That means over the past 10 months, the number has increased by 275 million. Thus, this translates into a monthly growth figure of 27.5 million Windows 10 users per month. With 650 million left to go to hit 1 billion, that means if the growth rate stays the same going forward, it will take almost 24 months to reach that number. This means Microsoft will hit its stated goal at the outside of the range of 2-3 years in which it wanted to reach that “magic number.”

The question now becomes: “Can Microsoft keep month-over-month growth at or over 27.5M once the free upgrade period ends?” To my way of thinking this comes down to three potential factors:

  1. How many users who didn’t exercise the free upgrade will turn around to buy an upgrade after July 29?
  2. How many licenses will Microsoft sell through its volume licensing programs into the business/enterprise, government, and higher education programs?
  3. How many licenses will OEMs buy to pre-install for sales of new desktops, laptops, and tablets?

Taken together, can these three numbers sustain the monthly “nut” of 27.5M or better? I don’t know but it will be interesting to find out!

Where Does Windows 10 Adoption Growth Stand Right Now?

In writing this story, I turned to one of my go-to resources for Windows 10 desktop share. This morning’s figures from NetMarketShare.com reflect status as of June 30, 2015, and paint the following picture:

Windows 10 adoption growth

As Windows 7 drops below majority, Windows 10 share continues to surge.
[Source:NetMarketShare.com/Desktop OS 7/1/16]

This pie chart shows that the Windows 7 slice continues to decrease, and has now dropped below 50% for the first time ever. At the same time, Windows 10’s share now almost matches the combined shares for XP, 8, and 8.1 (19.14% for Win10 vs. 20.24% for the other 3 combined). If 19.14% equates to roughly 350 million Windows 10 users, 49.05% equates to almost 897M Windows 7 users. If Windows 10 is to hit the goal of 1 B in 2018, converting roughly three-quarters of the Windows 7 installed base by that time would do the trick nicely. Maybe MS really can reach this goal: that doesn’t sound impossible to me!

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