Microsoft admits that Windows 10 won't hit 1 billion downloads as soon as expected

Unsurprisingly, Windows Phones are the bottleneck holding the OS back from wider saturation.


Microsoft was so confident that Windows 10 would take off like a rocket that it predicted the OS would be installed on 1 billion devices by the start of fiscal year 2018 next March. Last Friday, the manufacturer dialed back its prognostications just a tad.

A Microsoft PR rep explained to ZDNET (via GameSpot) how recent internal efforts and trends caused the company to recalibrate expectations. "Windows 10 is off to the hottest start in history with over 350m monthly active devices, with record customer satisfaction and engagement. We're pleased with our progress to date, but due to the focusing of our phone hardware business, it will take longer than FY18 for us to reach our goal of 1 billion monthly active devices. In the year ahead, we are excited about usage growth coming from commercial deployments and new devices—and increasing customer delight with Windows."

Terry Myerson, head of Microsoft's Windows and Devices group, made his prediction back in April 2015, approximately three months before Windows 10 became available on July 29. Myerson's claim encompasses all Microsoft devices: tablets, HoloLens, Xbox One consoles, Windows Phones, PCs in all shapes and sizes. (Xbox One has been considered a Windows 10 device since November 2015's New Xbox One Experience upgrade rolled out.)

However, the Windows Phone market isn't faring well, leading Microsoft to shift its focus to other platforms and projects in 2016.

Microsoft's offer to upgrade to Windows 10 for free expires in less than two weeks after Friday, July 29.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

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