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Microsoft

Windows 10 activation accelerates past 200 million devices

Microsoft has been tracking user activity with Windows 10, so it knows how many devices are running the OS now--and how fast the adoption rate is growing.

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Image: Microsoft News

According to a January 4, 2016, post to the Windows Blog by Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft Windows 10 reached the major milestone of 200 million active devices in less time than any other version of Windows—ever. It appears the company's stated goal of 1 billion active devices is achievable.

But what does this fast and still accelerating adoption rate mean for enterprise business customers and general consumers?

Just the facts

The blog post revealed two interesting facts:

First, on the consumer side, it appears that more than 40% of new Windows 10 devices became active since Black Friday 2015. Could this be an indication that the new Surface Pro was a popular holiday gift?

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Image: Microsoft News

Second, on the enterprise side, the blog post reports that more than 76% of Microsoft's enterprise customers are in active pilots of Windows 10, and that there are now more than 22 million devices running Windows 10. Apparently, enterprises are not dragging their collective feet when it comes to implementing this version of Windows.

So what?

No matter how you slice it, Microsoft Windows 10 is quickly replacing previous versions of Windows in the enterprise. The speed of this transition to Windows 10 is moving faster than any previous version and is actually picking up speed. If your enterprise has not at least started its own Windows 10 transition, it is falling behind the curve at an accelerating rate.

How does Microsoft know?

I know this is going to freak some of you out, but Microsoft can calculate these numbers because Windows 10 tracks you. Well, it doesn't really track you specifically, but it does track Windows 10 activity. Microsoft calls this "engagement."

When you turn on your Windows 10 device, the operating system sends a message to Microsoft to let it know that someone is using Windows 10. And if I am reading the quote from the blog post correctly, Windows 10 also knows when you log off:

"One of the ways we measure our progress with Windows 10 is looking at how people are using Windows. Recently we reached another milestone - people have spent over 11 billion hours on Windows 10 in December alone, spending more time on Windows than ever before."

The only way Microsoft would know people spent 11 billion hours on Windows 10 in December, is if they tracked and measured it—right?

Now, Microsoft tracking the time my PC is logged in does not bother me in the least, but I realize it may bother you. That being said, the question arises: What other activity is Windows 10 and Microsoft measuring? Does Microsoft know that I binged watched Jessica Jones in December?

Bottom line

Looking at the company's reported numbers, Microsoft Windows 10 is being adopted at an unprecedented rate. Within a few years, all the previous Windows versions will be relegated to history. If your enterprise is stubbornly clinging to Windows 7 or 8, it is time to do some serious catching up.

And if your enterprise is still using XP, all I can say is good luck with that.

Also read...

Your thoughts

How close are you to fully implementing Windows 10 in your enterprise? Have you discovered major problems with it?

About

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.

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