back to article ONE BEELLION Windows 10 devices?! OH REALLY

Windows chief Terry Myerson in the thick of friendlies at Microsoft’s Build conference has predicted one billion devices will be running Windows 10 in its first two to three years. He reckons the big lift will come from a wave of Windows 7 users upgrading to Windows 10 and people buying 2-in-1s – laptops that double as tablets …

  1. Steve Knox

    How Myerson expects to hit that number -- also, maths, grammar, logic, etc.

    "people buying 2-in-1s – laptops that double as tablets."

    That's two devices in one -- take Gartner's 422,726,000, multiply it by 2 (they're 2 in one!!!) and you're at 845,452,000 -- 84% there in one year alone!

    "By Gartner’s numbers, Microsoft must double the 2015 number in 2016 and add it again to break the one-billion threshold within three years – 2017."

    It appears that the writer here has confused number shipped (Gartner's numbers) with number installed (what must increase by almost the initial amount year-on-year to break the 1 billion mark.)

    Even so, that estimation shows a considerable amount of rounding. In actuality, 422,726,000 units installed in year 1 would mean only 288,637,000 new units needed in each of years 2 and 3 -- significantly less than doubling and adding again. Put another way, if the number doubled in year 2, that would be 845,452,000 units, needing only 154,548,000 in year 3 -- just over 1/3 of what the writer claimed would be necessary.

    Number shipped would only need to remain constant year-on-year with up to 31% of it in years 2 and 3 being replacements of existing windows 10 units or offset by devices disposed of to reach one billion units installed*. Or if you prefer to think of it this way, starting at 422,726,000 new units shipped in year 1, net new units installed can decline by 22% year-on-year and Microsoft will still have 1 billion Windows 10 devices out there in three years.

    Not saying it's going to happen, but it's not quite as absurd as presented.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: How Myerson expects to hit that number -- also, maths, grammar, logic, etc.

      Your math is confusing, but then again, I'm REALLY confused...

      Y1: 423

      Y2: 846

      Y3: 1692

      T = 2941 ... Still short 59 million units, at least by how the article describes it with "add it again". I can't understand your math though, at least not the tally. You seem to be using exponential gains, permitting diminishing returns. O.K., but how did you get to 3 billion if you are just doubling AND permitting diminshing retuns? (P.S. I'm super tired == super confused)

  2. WP7Mango

    What if they DO hit 1 billion? And what if they hit half that, which is still 500 million? What if it becomes more popular than Windows 7? That's still a huge number of devices. So, if Microsoft makes it easy to port mobile apps, it actually gives the devs a massive target audience, and potential new inroads into enterprise too, with very little effort.

    1. Message From A Self-Destructing Turnip

      Mmmmm Mango flavour Koolaid...... tastes a bit like Umbongo.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Koolaid...? Microsoft calls it Fabuloso!!

  3. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

    Apple gets most of its customers to be on the latest OS release simply by not charging for it. Microsoft's policy of charging for major releases was why previous Windows releases didn't make headway until they accounted for the majority of PC sales.

    10 will be a freebie for existing 7 users, which should help its adoption rate, even without a surge in device sales.

    I'm still not sure about a billion, but 6~700 million is easily reached, and that number of real, active users is enough to make any platform worthwhile - that's about the size of iOS's active user base. Android may be bigger, but it's nowhere near as homogenous a target from a developer perspective as Windows 10 or iOS would be.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What reason is there to upgrade from Windows 7?

      The only thing that will push that is the 2020 date for EOL for Windows 7. Might as well wait for Windows 11, if it sucks the option of upgrading to Windows 10 is still available.

      1. Jonski

        Re: What reason is there to upgrade from Windows 7?

        Except that there won't be a Windows 11, as such. Microsoft says they'll just keep it up to date as time rolls on.

        Or something.

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: What reason is there to upgrade from Windows 7?

        From seeing the current Windows 10 Preview, there IS no reason to upgrade from Windows 7! or XP for that matter. The interface, for desktop users, is a complete JOKE, a bastardized attempt at integrating "the METRO" with the classic desktop. The 2D appearance, the monochromatic icons, the INABILITY to CUSTOMIZE [which can affect readability for many of us], and DO NOT FORGET, the proposed ADVERTISEMENT CHANNEL courtesy of the START MENU ITSELF, "recommending" Windows Store applications based on ANALYZING HOW YOU USE YOUR APPLICATIONS ON YOUR OWN COMPUTER, *ALL* of these things will no doubt FRIGHTEN people away from 'upgrading', as it should. And if you're better off with Windows 7, there's no need to 'drink the coolaid'. In its current incarnation, it's NOT an 'upgrade'! And Microsoft is highly unlikely to make any SERIOUS changes to this, since they have SAID SO.

        If you doubt what I say about the spyware/adware proposed to be an INTEGRAL PART OF WINDOWS 10's START MENU, just watch the keynote address made by Joe Belfiore, between 2 and 3 minutes into the video, and just see what he says to developers about your computer tracking you and sending the information "to the store":

        "on the client we know which apps you're launching, and which apps you're installing, and so we're able to communicate with the store and bring down suggestions that are personalized for ~you~"

        That's right, 'personalized for you' - ads based on BEHAVIOR TRACKING while you are ON YOUR OWN COMPUTER! And they'll appear IN! THE! START! MENU! ITSELF! Isn't that WONDERFUL? There's a special "area" just for this purpose. No kidding!

        This should FRIGHTEN *ANY* security-minded or privacy-minded person, because if this data is being slurped while you do things on your OWN computer, it can potentially be hijacked by any EVIL entity or government. So even if you WANT Microsoft to track you like this and advertise things from their store (like bundling Superfish - Hey Lenovo how did THAT work out for you?), there is the potential SPYWARE threat that can and most likely WILL happen at some point in time.

      3. Siv

        Re: What reason is there to upgrade from Windows 7?

        There is no new version of Windows after 10 as after that point you are on a continuous free upgrade path, you will just get the latest set of updates.

        Windows after 10 is a service as MS want to use it as a vehicle to sell their other products such as Bing, Azure, Office 365, etc.

        Also because in the first 12 months after release users of Windows 7, 8, 8.1 get a free upgrade to Windows 10 and then the continuous updates thereafter, why would you not upgrade. If you wait beyond the free upgrade Window of 12 months from W10 launch you will have to buy that last version of Windows. So I expect everyone on those three O/S versions will upgrade to 10 and it will only be the diehard XP and Vista users who really need to think about it. Don't forget also, each subsequent realease beyond Windows Vista has been much lighter weight than its predecessor so you won't suffer a slow PC if you upgrade, in fact it will run much better and will actually be much more secure.

        This is why they are predicting a billion Windows 10 users. Also XBox one will be automatically updated to Windows 10 so that will bring in additional users and all the Windows Phone base can upgrade as well to 10 so it will be easy to hit 1 billion.

    2. getHandle

      Urm, surely Apple make their money from hardware

      Whereas Microsoft make their money from android patent extortion?

  4. Sil

    Not that unreasonable

    It's really not that unreasonable.

    Assume 250m upgrades from Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 over 3 years, which seems very low + 3 x 250 shipment in the next 3 years and you get to 1 bn, just with PCs.

    Assume Windows 10 on IoT is a hit with enterprise clients, and you may have lots of Windows 10 devices devices on the market.

    It's also reasonable, if not definitely sure, that Windows Phone will still exist in 3 years.

    Will Microsoft reach the goal? No idea.

    Is it possible? I think it is.

    To me the real question really is: how good is the system to port apps? If iOS or Android dev can port their apps with minimal work and money, they may get motivated enough not to ignore the Windows market.

    Also if Windows users prove to be more iOS-like than Android-like, e.g. are more willing to purchase apps, this could be big, even for iOS devs, and they will get a much bigger share of revenues.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The world has changed

    The desktop has become like the family toaster, you buy a new when it breaks and you don't do much with it other than making toast.

    Mobile /The WEB is where the world has moved onto - and I don't see MS pulling a out a miracle in that front.

    P.S. I thought Gartner said MS would have 90+% of the mobile market by now.

    1. a_yank_lurker

      Re: The world has changed

      Gartner is notorious for being overly optimistic. I doubt MS will get 1b in 2-3 years. Too many are content with their current desktop/laptop to automatically buy a new one. Also, many users do not know how to update the OS no matter what it costs them.

  6. W. Anderson

    Dubious (and impossible) change of character

    It would be ludicrous for any ernest professional developers - not already loyal Microsofties - to take Microsoft seriously regarding "universality" of their new App development program when the company has always, repeat always had a "for Windows only" hard line, draconian policy for software development, and even punished any Windows developers defectors - attempting such platform agnostic development.

    Now they "love" every App platform? Nonsense. Not even desperation will persuade the company to think clearly and act sensibly. A snake will never become a vegetarian and stop eating small animals.

  7. Frank N. Stein

    Who's going to replace a perfectly working Windows 7 PC, just to get Windows 10? Not me. As for the upgrade, I'll be reading numerous reviews and checking compatibility before going down that road.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anyone upgrading from 7 going to get a nasty surprise when they see that shit interface.

  9. Gis Bun

    Errrr. these research companies generally over estimate things. They said that netbooks would sell in 2013. By January 1, 2013, no netbooks were in production.

    Although 1 billion sounds a bit high, I guess 750,000 would be more likely. Those with Win 8.x and Win 7 would upgrade in the first year for free. Others would come by dumping [finally] their XP and Vista systems]. Minimal amount from Surface and Win Phones. Big business would start in the second or this year.

  10. chivo243 Silver badge

    give me enough cash

    I'll spout the world is flat!, and the other 3 lies... One Billion? There must be an XP killswitch somewhere. lf M$ can't get people off of XP how can they expect One Billion? devices to be running Win10. I would be amused to see how much hardware out there still running XP can run 8.1 or

    Where do the poor unwashed masses get the cabbage to buy new kit?

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Installed Base You Live-In-The-Moment Millenials

    He didn't say he'd ship a gig of Win10 devices, he said he'd get a gig of Win10 installs. Considering there are an estimated 1.5 beellion PCs out there and the overwhelming majority run Windows, the only reason it will take 2-3 years is corporate certification and inertia. Fondleslabs would be icing on the cake.

  12. Tim Bergel

    Gartner expects 422,726 million units ...

    Errr ... that's a bit more than 422 billion which seems a tad overoptimistic - about fifty devices per person. 422,726 thousand perhaps?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Clarke classics!!

    Gavin omits to mention that most of the billion devices will be existing Win 7/8 machines utelising the free upgrade to Win 10. Did he miss that point deliberatly or accidentally? Answers on a postcard please.

    1. Siv

      Re: Clarke classics!!

      Here, here, the Apple fanbois bias in the register is diabolical!

  14. Davie Dee

    Some seem to underestimate the power of the word free.

    I couldn't care less what folk think on here on the matter as you and I are a tiny minority in the world of computers.

    The people out there love free, they will jump through hoops for free, and when they don't need to do anything to get free stuff they will lap it up.

    You think iOS users check what's on offer before updating? Do android users? Nope, they see a free update and jump all over it, even getting frustrated when someone else gets there's first an they have to wait.

    You may think win 10 looks crap, but what you an I think is irrelevant.

    People will update from win 7. The XP saga will not be allowed to happen again.

    The tricky bit is making sure every single 7 user gets to see there is a free update. As soon as they do the vast majority will click that button.

    1. Richard Plinston

      > The tricky bit is making sure every single 7 user gets to see there is a free update. As soon as they do the vast majority will click that button.

      The other part of the announcement that there would be a 'free' update is that W10 will be SAAS (as a service). This will be similar to Office-as-a-service - an annual or monthly fee to keep it updated and keep it running.

      W10 - the gift that keeps on taking !!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Working, as I do, for MS, I can confirm that you are 100% wrong with that assertion Richard. Free means free. For as long as you own the device it runs on. Which I think is pretty fair.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge

          Re: yeah....

          it's "pretty fair" for whom? Don't forget, the proposed spyware/adware in the Start Menu has NOT gone Un-NOTICED. So is Microsoft assuming that all windows 7/8/8.1 users are like 'Millenials' that don't care if they're spied on and targeted with advertising as long as it is FREE?

          Good luck getting THAT past any IT department with "a clue".

        2. Richard Plinston

          Re: yeah....

          > Working, as I do, for MS,

          I assume this 'working' is actually as a paid troll, or is it unpaid ?

          > Free means free. For as long as you own the device it runs on.

          Actually, Microsoft has qualified the 'free' as being for "the _supported_ life of the _device_". While they haven't explained this, and said that they will explain it later, it is _not_ 'for the supported life of the operating system'. Nor has Microsoft made any statement about ownership of the device.

          A _device_ is supported during its warranty period. For a new device the 'Windows-as-a-Service' cost may be covered for the warranty period by a part of the device's price. What happens with existing devices outside their warranty, after the first year, has not been explained but Microsoft have stated that they will explain that.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I've already received my marching order, no Windows 10. Figure out how to downgrade to 7. There are quite a few people that love free right up to the point you monkey with the UI then all bets are off. All the same here but my first UI involved punch cards and 132 Col printouts.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The tricky bit is making sure every single 7 user gets to see there is a free update. As soon as they do the vast majority will click that button.

      A lot of those Win 7 users are corporate. They'll never see any "free update" button, and wouldn't have admin rights to click on it if they did. Enterprises won't move off Win 7 until there's a compelling business case, such as the end of support.

  15. kend1

    An easy to hit number

    Just rename it to 'GoTSeasonVI' and drop it on TOR or any secure corporate HDD.

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