Microsoft ballyhoos 270M Windows 10 active users

Microsoft today said that 270 million "active users" are running Windows 10, the first update to the metric in almost four months.

The refreshed figure was offered up by Terry Myerson, the executive who runs Microsoft's devices and operating systems, during the keynote that kicked off Build, the Redmond, Wash. company's annual developers conference.

Like January's 200 million, today's figure was expressed in a software-as-a-service style, measuring not installations or daily activity, but the number of people who ran Windows 10 at least once in the past 30 days.

Microsoft's Windows 10 claim included not only personal computers, but also tablets, phones and Xbox game consoles. Microsoft's telemetric technologies in Windows 10 let it "see" when those devices were turned on and used by customers.

Analysts earlier this week had stressed that Microsoft had to show progress in Windows 10 adoption, since that pool of people is a crucial factor in attracting developers, the audience Myerson addressed today.

Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research and Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy both forecast Microsoft's number: Dawson pegged it at 250 million, while Moorhead tapped 275 million.

Myerson also revealed Microsoft's name for its next major upgrade to Windows 10 and a general release timetable: He labeled it "Anniversary Update" and said it would ship "this summer."

Windows 10 launched July 29, 2015; if Microsoft strictly interpreted the update's name, it would debut that date this year.

Not surprisingly, Myerson said nothing about additional upgrades in 2016, but reports have circulated that the company will, in fact, issue just one this calendar year, holding the next until the spring of 2017.

Although Microsoft once pledged to upgrade Windows 10 three times each year, not long after the OS's official release it hinted at a slower cadence by repeatedly referring to the frequency as "two to three" times a year rather than the former formal standard of three.

Earlier this month, Gartner analyst Steve Kleynhans noted the mismatch between previous promises and the real-world execution, and explained it as Microsoft trying to work out how much it was able to do and what customers, especially large corporations, were willing to accept.

IDG Insider


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