LAS VEGAS — Windows 10 looks to be the hit Microsoft was hoping for.
Microsoft’s latest operating system, which officially launched less than six months ago, is now active on more than 200 million devices globally, or one-fifth the way towards the company’s goal of seeing Windows 10 active on 1 billion devices. The impressive sum largely speaks to the positive response that Windows 10 has received from customers and critics, certainly compared to its oft-maligned predecessor Windows 8.
Indeed, Windows 10 has the fastest growth trajectory of any version of Windows, Microsoft says, outpacing Windows 7 by nearly 140% and Windows 8 by almost 400%. More than 40% of the new Windows 10 devices went active post Black Friday.
Moreover, customers are spending lots of time with the new Windows, to the tune of 11 billion-plus hours in December alone.
Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President for the Windows and Devices Group, heralded such milestones in a company blog post released just ahead of the CES trade show that kicks off here this week.
“We continue to be excited — and humbled — by the incredible response to Windows 10,” Mehdi wrote in his post.
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Microsoft no longer has a big time presence at the tech industry’s largest trade show. There’s no longer a humongous Microsoft booth at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Nor is Microsoft’s top boss Satya Nadella delivering a CES keynote address, as his predecessors Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates frequently did. And though virtual and augmented reality will be among the major themes during CES, Microsoft is not expected to publicly showcase its Windows 10-based HoloLens holographic computing system during the event.
Of course, Microsoft’s many hardware partners will be in attendance, showing off their latest Windows 10 PCs computers.
Mehdi says Microsoft’s own new Windows 10-based Surface Book laptop, will soon be available in 10 new global markets: Australia, Austria, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland and the UK.
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Mehdi pointed to other positive momentum for Windows 10.
— Folks spent more than 44.5 billion minutes in the Microsoft Edge browser across Windows 10 devices last month.
— The Cortana personal assistant has been asked more than 2.5 billion questions since launch.
— There’ve been around 30% more Bing search queries per Windows 10 device compared to prior versions of Windows.
— More than 82 billion photos have been viewed in the Windows 10 Photo app.
— Gamers spent more than 4 billion hours playing PC games on Windows 10 computers, and streamed more than 6.6 million hours of Xbox One games to Windows 10 PCs.
Speaking of Xbox One, which also runs Windows 10, Microsoft reports that its gaming console had its best holiday season ever. On Dec. 28th, in fact, more fans logged onto Xbox Live than any other day in Xbox history.
Meantime, paid transactions for PCs and tablets in the new Windows Store doubled this holiday season. And Windows 10 generated four-and-a-half times the revenue per devices, as compared to Windows 8.
Given such news, perhaps Nadella regrets not being a CES keynoter after all.