Businesses’ adoption of Windows 10 is ‘on track’ for Microsoft’s one billion devices goal

Kellogg Brengel

At last year’s Build conference, before Windows 10 had even launched, Microsoft laid out the company’s goal for its newest operating system. Windows 10 will run on one billion devices within three years of its launch. Fast forward to today and Windows 10 is running on 200 million devices, 20% of the way to the company’s goal. In the face of such realities as declining PC sales and Windows phone having a paltry market share, it seems a lofty goal. But it is a necessary goal to remain competitive as Apple recently announced it has one billion active devices and Alphabet revealed seven of its Google services, like Gmail, have 1 billion users.

Build 2015
Satya Nadella making his keynote address at Build 2015

One of the key ways for Microsoft to achieve this goal was highlighted in a report by Spiceworks last year. As we reported, Spiceworks believes businesses’ adoption of Windows 10 could be a significant part of how Microsoft reaches its goal. Now, six months after Windows 10’s launch, Spiceworks has released new data that shows Windows 10 adoption in businesses is “nearly right on track” for Microsoft’s one billion devices goal.

The new data is meant as an update to their report from last year. And so far the data confirms the report’s predictions. Previously, they surveyed 500 IT pros and found that 73% of businesses are planning to deploy Windows 10 at some point. Spiceworks noted there is pent up demand for businesses to upgrade as most skipped out on Windows 8. And Windows 10 brings back popular features from previous editions of Windows such as the Start menu and the traditional desktop, which many business as well as personal users sorely missed. Importantly too, many companies will have the ability to upgrade to Windows 10 for free “at no additional charge through the Software Assurance Program, even after the free offer period expires” in July.

Windows 8's Start button-less interface.
Windows 8’s Start button-less interface.

Spicework’s new data confirms that businesses’ adoption of Windows 10 is robust and on track to help Microsoft reach its goal. In their latest report, Spiceworks found that Windows 10 has reached a penetration rate of 18% of businesses in the six months since its launch. This number is nearly double what Windows 8 achieved in businesses six months after its release. Spiceworks’ Peter Tsai concludes “this is well on track to reach the 40% figure IT pros predicted by the end of July 2016.” Tsai also notes the 200 million device usage mark that Windows 10 has accomplished in six months, took one year for Windows 7 to achieve, and 15 months for Windows 8 to reach.

Their data also reveals that companies are moving past the initial testing phase of their adoption curve. By their estimates “approximately 40% [of businesses counted in the Windows 10 penetration statistic] have three or more Windows 10 devices.” This shows that many companies have moved past the initial testing phase of just running Windows 10 on one or two computers.

Windows 10
Windows 10

Spiceworks concludes they are confident Windows 10 is “living up to the lofty pre-launch adoption predictions IT pros made last year” and is on track to their goal of one billion devices running Windows 10. The numbers six months after launch, and their initial report that 64% of business are planning to take advantage of Microsoft’s free upgrade offer, lead them to believe Windows 10’s momentum is where it needs to be to hit its goal.

To read more about the new report, and to dive into the data to see specifics like which types and sizes of companies are adopting Windows 10 the most, you can access it here.