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  • Yes, Microsoft says Win10 has hit 800 million active devices

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Yes, Microsoft says Win10 has hit 800 million active devices

    This topic contains 31 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  OscarCP 10 months, 3 weeks ago.

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    • #339134 Reply

      Da Boss

      Gregg Keizer has a solid – and suitably skeptical – summary in Computerworld: Microsoft on Thursday said that 800 million devices are now running Wind
      [See the full post at: Yes, Microsoft says Win10 has hit 800 million active devices]

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #339143 Reply

      Da Boss

      800 million “devices” is misleading. You can’t compare apples and oranges. It also includes phones, XBoxes, IoTs. The subtle “implication” is PCs to compare to MacOS computers(which numbers only use the latest version – and iOS on phones are a different thing) and Linux (without considering all the different distros).

      If you use all the versions of Win10 on computers, you should use all the versions of MacOS on computers and all the versions of Linux on computers.

      Marketing hogwash.

      6 users thanked author for this post.
      • #339164 Reply

        AskWoody Plus

        Who did a comparison with MacOS/Linux?

        Microsoft Edge, Win 10 Pro 1909: Group ASAP (pioneer)

      • #339169 Reply


        And what about Linux on non-PC “devices?”

        The Linux kernel runs all Android phones, if I may bring up the most groan-inducingly trite example.  It’s not Linux in the sense of a Linux distro or GNU/Linux (which Android is decidedly not), but if we’re talking “devices,” which includes all kinds of things that are not traditional PCs, then we have to first nail down the definitions before we talk about anything.

        There is a presentation by Bryan Lunduke entitled “Linux is Freaking Weird.”  There may have been another word in the title at some point, but he explains why he censored it early on.  He goes into all kinds of things that run Linux that are definitely not what we’d call computers, but that do run Linux. A few highlights include a crock pot, gasoline pumps, inflight entertainment systems in airplanes, and tsunami sensors in the middle of the ocean.

        It’s on a ton of things, and there’s no doubt that Microsoft is going for that same market with embedded Windows (those would be some of the things that MS actually does think are candidates for LTSB).  They’re not PCs, but they are “devices,” and if MS has Windows 10 running on any such things, I’d bet they’re in the 800 million.

        None of that shows up in the 2% desktop market share that runs Linux, because they’re not in desktops.  If MS is counting those things in their total, I’d think that at least one ought to count the Android phones for Linux, even if it isn’t GNU/Linux.  I’ve rooted my tablet and gone and looked around in the file system… it’s quite familiar!

        Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.5).

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #339193 Reply

          AskWoody Plus

          And Linux in computer servers in server farms that keep the Web going, and those running search engines that can figure out what is that one really wants to know, or can translate from one language to another on the fly, all in spite of one’s spelling mistakes and, or vague use of keywords.

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W + Mac&Lx

        • #339260 Reply

          AskWoody Plus

          Microsoft definitely wants to expand in this space. They just announced “Windows Server IoT 2019”, which is the full Server 2019 product with a 10 year support lifecycle, but licensed a lot more cheaply for single-purpose, pre-packaged devices.

        • #339279 Reply


          The Linux kernel runs all Android phones

          And also BSD runs on all Apple phones, since Darwin is a BSD implementation.

        • #339580 Reply

          AskWoody Plus

          The “Linux” kernel rules the world.
          If the world will wake up one morning and find out that Windows OS has been wiped out, nothing will happen (example : Sony’s network hack that took down all Windows PCs/Servers. People fired up their Mac,iPad,iPhone.. and continued their work for weeks.

          If the world will wake up one morning and find out that “Linux” has been wiped out, the world will collapse in a heart beat and never recover.

          “Linux” runs MacOS, iOS, Android, every router, runs communication switches, SmartTVs, set-top boxes, streamers, server/web servers, traffic light, stock exchange, …..

          • #339930 Reply

            AskWoody Lounger

            Well not quite, MacOS isn’t Linux. MacOS is sort of a BSD.

            A lot of the networking gear is also from the BSD lineage (JunOS is quite a bit like MacOS in that regard, for example).

            But yeah, a whole lot of the others are indeed Linux.

            • #340040 Reply

              AskWoody Plus

              Could we say: UNIX-like? Son of UNIX? UNIX for PCs? In that way, maybe one could refer equally well to BSD, FreeBSD, LINUX, macOS (formerly OS X and, much earlier, when Jobs left Apple to start NEXT, his UNIX-based OS NeXTSTEP that was the origin of OS X), etc.



              Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W + Mac&Lx

              1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #339192 Reply


      Other view is I know of large corporate and government that has recently moved to Win 10.

      Still it would be good to see the details of the calculation.

    • #339255 Reply

      AskWoody Plus

      800 million “devices” is misleading. You can’t compare apples and oranges. It also includes phones, XBoxes, IoTs.

      Well yeah, of course.  But consider:

      • Total lifetime XBox One sales is currently in the ~42 million range.
      • Windows 10 Mobile device shipments reached 5 million during its short life.
      • Windows 10 IoT replaces Windows 8 Embedded.

      So even if we’re extremely generous on the Windows 10 IoT front and say there’s 40 million devices out there, that leaves 700+ million desktop / laptop / tablet devices and VMs running the full Windows 10 OS.

      It’s still a big number.

    • #339268 Reply


      it is a big number. It is a number big enough it should not need inflating. It is a number big enough it should not need defending. It is a number big enough that it should not require every tech user under the sun agree that it is the best thing ever.

      There is room for different opinions. There are options for users bitten by bad experience. Heck, I can even diversify and use more than one system.

      What I don’t get is the hammering that dissenting views receive. When the product you love is so good, let people who disagree just go their own way. When the numbers are authentic let them speak for you. Unless you are just stirring up traffic and getting the juices flowing.

      • #339280 Reply


        @ anonymous #339268

        The bigger question is, ……. 800 million Win 10 devices out of how many billion devices in the world.? 8 billion.?

        Last count was; there are about 2 billion desktops/laptops, about 3 billion smartphones/tablets and maybe about 3 billion other devices.

        If 800 million out of 8 billion devices, that’s only 10%.

        • #339288 Reply


          I think Microsoft has stretched numbers enough. We don’t need to be so creative with an alternative set just to be argumentative. The next ten months will tell a story. The year following will be interesting as well. I’m patient enough to see what actually happens instead of guessing at it.

          Some of my comment #post-339268 might have been more appropriate to the highest-customer-satisfaction topic. Several threads seem to be echoing the company line, and ran together in my reading today.

        • #339582 Reply

          AskWoody Plus

          Microsoft admitted a couple of years ago that Windows has about 14% OS market share.
          Since than the smartphone/tablet/smartTV/smart loudspeakers.. (Linux) market has grown ~x10 than Windows PC. So, 10% market share for Windows OS is about right and it will decline each year.

    • #339287 Reply

      Chronocidal Guy
      AskWoody Lounger

      Here’s a fun thought.

      What if the numbers cited for this statistic are based on how many times Windows is installed on a device, and phones home for the “first” time?

      Would that mean that every single time someone has to reinstall the OS from scratch (which as of late seems to be the go to solution for pretty much every single problem from failure to boot to a broken wallpaper), Microsoft marks another notch on their lipstick case?

      I almost wouldn’t believe that being the case, but I’m hitting the point where nothing would surprise me.

      On the other hand, I also get the impression that if that were the case, 800 million would actually be an underestimate of how many times in total Windows 10 has required a complete reinstall, over the actual total of machines it’s running on.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #339342 Reply

        AskWoody Lounger

        That might be the case, but installs on one device really are only counted on the first activation. If you reinstall its just verifying the device was already activated. Its just basically reaffirming that its valid. I doubt its counting each time you reinstall a fresh copy.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #339615 Reply

        Noel Carboni

        Just this past Friday morning a co-worker reinstalled his Windows 10 OS.

        Hours wasted. But he worked on his Mac while the PC was doing nothing useful.

        Have we forgotten that an OS really is supposed to part of the computer, not cheap paint on the outside that has to be re-coated regularly?


        2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #339339 Reply

      AskWoody Lounger

      Really no choice now, if you can’t dump Windows your going to have to adopt Windows 10 or foolishly upgrade to the dreaded Win 8.1 until 2023. Might buy you some time, or simply pay Microsoft increasing dollars to stick with a very old Win 7. I don’t see many jumping the Windows ship altogether and using a Linux distro, or Mac OS or even Chrome OS. I’m sure you’ll read wonderful stories of this happening and how its not so hard to dump Windows these days. I just don’t see many really doing this in any sort of notable numbers.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #339358 Reply

        AskWoody Plus

        Windows 8.1 is “dreaded”?  There are some folks around here who love it.  They can’t all be wrong, can they?

        I think you’ll also find there are people out there who prefer Windows 8.1’s tablet interface to Windows 10.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #339416 Reply

          AskWoody Plus

          Just wanted to clarify that 8.1, unlike 8, detects the UI (mouse/keyboard or tablet/touch) and boots into the correct one every time.

          In maths terms, 8.1 <> 8 and 8.1 >> 8. 🙂

          Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #339636 Reply


          Windows 8.1 is “dreaded”? There are some folks around here who love it. They can’t all be wrong, can they?

          Since loving something is a matter of opinion, it’s not possible for any of them to be wrong.  It doesn’t mean that Windows 8.1 isn’t dreaded by a significant numbers of others.  Wrongly, IMO, if they don’t mind installing some aftermarket things to de-weird the interface, like Classic Shell or whatever it is called these days, Old New Explorer, and a bunch of others.  I was using most of them anyway in Windows 7, to make a mostly good interface into a really good one, so why not use them to make a mostly bad interface into a really good one?  Suitably modified, Windows 8.1 was good enough for me to ditch Windows 7, and I am a stickler when it comes to demanding a good desktop UI.  I’ve experienced something akin to excellence, and I won’t accept anything less!

          Even Woody’s been one who has written that if you’re using 8.1, you have no reason not to upgrade to 10 immediately (in contrast with 7), which I strongly disagree with.  I did not evaluate and upgrade to 8.1, having found it suitable, until after I had evaluated and rejected Windows 10!

          Woody’s not alone, though; lots of people have made comments just like that.  Even now, enough people remember how much they disliked 8.x to still shun 8.1 and legitimately call it “dreaded.”  It’s unfortunate that a lot of people don’t realize that 8.1 can still be a good alternative to 10 for some hardware, but like Vista before it, the Windows 8 (including 8.1) brand is so tainted that there was little hope to redeem it– which is presumably why MS morphed what would have been the 8.2 update, “Threshold,” into the first Windows 10 release instead.  Once people think they know a product, they won’t give it a second try if they’ve already rejected it.  Very few people realized that Vista actually became a decent OS after its initial poor reception.  Their perception of what it was would always be cemented in time, based on that initial impression.

          Obviously, though, popularity of any given idea doesn’t in any way indicate that it is is wrong or not.  People once believed a lot of incorrect ideas over the years, and if one were to ask, “Can they all be wrong?” the answer could only be, “Yes, they all were.”

          Even if popularity did reliably indicate quality, Windows 8.1, with its nearly zero market share, wouldn’t be on the winning end of such a comparison.

          I really wish that the plans to keep improving 8 would have continued rather than what happened instead.  Windows 10 was only a slight improvement over 8.1 in UI terms, as I see it.  Win 8.1 had the option to boot straight to the desktop, which was one thing much missed in 8.  A fullscreen tiled start menu isn’t a whole lot different from a part-screen one to me, and both versions feature a File Explorer encumbered with the ribbon (if one enables it) instead of the good old File, Edit… menu bar of the Windows Explorer of previous versions.

          I’m not concerned enough with Metro/Modern apps or UWP apps to even consider the differences in how they’re handled in 8.1 or 10, as I would never use them on any platform, and the first thing I did with any Windows installation is remove them all anyway (requiring “unsupported” means, of course).  It’s true that 10 thankfully does away with the Charms, and if I didn’t have Metro Killer and Classic Shell to disable that, it would be an improvement not to have it inadvertently popping up from time to time.

          To me, Windows 10 is not as desktop oriented as the tech previews of 8.2 in the press indicated it would have been, with a return to Aero effects as an option and a full Win 7 start menu, addressing two of the main complaints people had with 8.1 and still have with 10 four years later.  There were even suggestions of separate SKUs for desktop and tablet versions, which would have been very much appreciated by many of us who thought they never should have been combined in the first place.

          A further-improved 8.1 probably would not have been part of “WaaS,” and it wouldn’t have contained all the other stuff that has pushed long-time Windows die-hards like me off the platform.  No need to rehash what those things are here; we all know what the things are, even if we don’t all agree on whether they are problems.

          That didn’t happen, though, and so here we are.

          Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.5).

          4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #339393 Reply


        I’m sure you’ll read wonderful stories of this happening and how its not so hard to dump Windows these days.

        It is for each user to assess their situation as to whether the Exodus to a GNU/Linux kernel based operating system is a good trade.

        Windows 8.0 was like Vista, the Windows 8.1* interface is as though it had been added by Picasso himself. The key supporting components are okay. For now Windows 8.1 with added tools is a good lateral move until they can choose, but those users won’t be waiting to long…

        *Applies to Windows 10.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #339614 Reply

        Noel Carboni

        I respectfully disagree… Windows 8.1, suitably tweaked (now a reasonably well-known quantity), is anything but “dreaded”.

        On good hardware it is mature enough that it can be a really nice desktop system – like a better, more functional Windows 7 – it doesn’t glitch or do unexpected things.

        From my experience it’s really nice to see what Windows can grow up to be if nurtured – a solid, productive, reliable OS. But that’s just not the Microsoft way forward.


        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #339842 Reply


        I have one laptop that’s getting the “Update” to windows 8(From an OEM Recovery DVD that has the proper AMD Discrete Mobile GPU drivers. It’s a Legacy AMD Pre GCN vintage GPU on my ProBook laptop) . So My ProBook came with a Windows 8 Pro license but was Pre dowgraded By HP to windows 7 Pro, Using The Pro Windows version downgrade rights. So I’ll still have windows 8/8.1(Upgrade) Rights and security updates until 2023 for the laptop.

        There are on laptops mostly OEM customed Graphics drivers so my ProBook comes with Intel Integrated Graphics(Ivy Bridge generation) and AMD Discrete Mobile Pre GCN(TeraScale) GPU/Graphics and both the Intel and the AMD drvers are customizied by HP/AMD to work with AMD’s switchable Graphics IP that allows one to chose between Integrated Intel or Discrete Mobile AMD graphics on a by the application basis. And it’s not B****y Likely that the OEM Graphics Drivers are going to work properly under windows 10.

        The laptop is however vetted/certified to work with Windows 8’s Windows Display Driver Model(WDDM) and Windows 7’s WDDM. but the laptop is not vetted/certified for  Window 10’s WDDM.

        Maybe now is the time for some Computerworld articles on How to upgrade in place a Windows 8 install to Windows 8.1 without using the Microsoft Store. Or some articles on where the Graphics Drivers reside on Recovery DVD’s so I can just Install Windows 8.1 from a downloaded ISO image and point the Windows 8.1 OS to the proper DVD directory where the OEM Laptop’s GPU drivers reside on the Recovery DVD when it asks for drivers for the AMD discrete mobile GPU on the laptop.

        That and a step by step guide on how to slipstream a DVD recovery Disk or ISO image with all the Drivers and Updates(Security Only) added since the OS was released.

        What I would really prefer is that Microsoft be forced to sell consumers the same extended Windows 7 support that Microsoft is selling to the Enterprise and Volume Licensing customers(Until 2023) and $100 dollars per year is fine by me as I’d galdly pay $300 to continue using windows 7 Pro until 2023 and avoid windows 10/its ecosystem for 3 more years.

        There are millions of Business Grade laptops sold to consumers at the time of Windows 8 that came with Windows 8 Pro Licenses where the OEM’s, in order to sell the laptop, had to excersize that Windows 8 Pro Downgrade to Windows 7 Pro option. This was because Wimdows 8 was not very popular at that time and the Laptop, and PC, OEMs were really losing sales because of Windows 8.

        So actually how many of that: “Computerworld recently forecast that nearly 41% of all Windows PCs will be running Windows 7 at the moment it falls off Microsoft’s support list.” actually are running Windows 7 Pro, via downgrade rights, under a Windows 8 Pro License. There are probably Millions and they all have windows 8/8.1 licensing rights. I really think that there needs to be more assistance from the Technology Press in getting some articles published that will aid some users in getting 8 installed and then the 8.1 upgrade process completed. 8.1 appears to be somewhat fine to use with some installed Third Party softwae that makes the 8.1’s UI act more like Windows 7’s UI.

    • #339612 Reply

      Noel Carboni

      There’s “booting from” then there’s “running on”.

      If I choose to run Windows 10 in a VM on a system that boots Windows 8.1, I imagine that would be considered by Microsoft to be “running on” the device. Fair enough, though it’s not really the OS of choice.

      I’d sure love it if Windows 10 could grow up to be “the OS of choice”.

      Admittedly, v1809 has moved a bit in the right direction. It’s actually more or less acceptable for use – but here we are just about to get a whole ‘nother version. Sigh.


    • #339654 Reply


      Fooder for the pessimists:

      When we take this for granted this also says “Windows 10 running on 800 million devices”

      it means it is up and running – so no startup issues
      users have not blocked their devices telemetry completely
      devices are not firewalled perhaps

      Microsoft knows this but I rather would like to know if the figures include business devices at all, and also what OS build they are running and which SKU.

      this would be very interesting.

      Just recently Michael Niehaus asked on Twitter, whether companies buy devices without SSDs and if so why.

      I comment that they better don’t, as Windows 10 is not made for HDDs! The performance is sluggish due to the design of tiworker, wsappx and others running at the same time killing the few IOPS of a HDD, causing fragmentation galore – I’ve seen W10 clients with 18% fragmentation – you notice a degradation at 3%.

      However – just yesterday I resurrected a users laptop Intel Dual Core from 2009 –

      cleaned coolers and replaced thermal grease – equipped with a new SSD and upgraded the existing buggy Win7 to Win10 1809 in a free upgrade – runs like a champ. User is so happy about all the new features including MS ToDo, contact sync etc pp.

    • #339894 Reply


      “800 million on Windows 10” is not an honest statistic. In the past, “Windows 10” would have only referred to Windows 10-1809. Now, however, it refers to seven versions of Windows:
      1507, 1511, 1607, 1703, 1709, 1803, and 1809.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
    • #339918 Reply

      AskWoody Plus

      I think the claim of “800 million” is mostly to impress investors. To users on foot (like Yours Truly) this number makes no difference and I think it shouldn’t matter one bit. MS’ path is now firmly set and going to be followed regardless of what YT may like or dislike about it. Now there are just two options: either get with the program, or get out of the way. (For users like YT, choosing to stay with Win 7 for ever after EOL is also to get out of MS way as, most likely, they don’t see why they should care about that, as individual users are clearly not their main concern.)

      Circumstances beyond my control have caused an unrecoverable problem in Windows 7 on  my PC and so both forced me out of the way and relieved me from having to get with the program, and can’t really say I regret any of it.

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W + Mac&Lx

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