In brief: Though Windows 7 still retains a core of devoted users – despite Microsoft ending official support for the OS early last year. However, Windows 10 continues to grow bigger and bigger, reaching more users and devices every year. As of writing, Microsoft's latest desktop OS has spread to over 1.3 billion monthly active devices.
It has been a long journey for Windows 10. It got off to a rocky start (though arguably not as rocky as Windows 8's), and though the OS has improved dramatically over time courtesy of regular software updates, it's still had its fair share of controversies – the notorious bug that deleted user files is one good example.
Still, now that prior versions of the OS have been phased out, it's the only real option for consumers and corporations that want to stick to the familiarity of Windows. With that in mind, Windows 10's growth in recent years was perhaps inevitable – of course, the Covid-19 pandemic has probably boosted user numbers, as well.
Indeed, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella confirmed this in a statement. "Over a year into the pandemic, digital adoption curves aren't slowing down," the executive said. "They're accelerating, and it's just the beginning. We are building the cloud for the next decade, expanding our addressable market and innovating across every layer of the tech stack to help our customers be resilient and transform."
Microsoft had previously set a monthly active device target of one billion, but it surpassed that figure in March of 2021. That means the OS has accrued an additional 300 million device installations in just over a year – not bad.
This news comes from Microsoft's latest earnings report, where the company announced (fiscal year) Q3 2021 revenues of $41.7 billion; a 19 percent increase year-over-year. Microsoft attributes this to rising interest in its various cloud computing products.
It remains to be seen whether or not Microsoft will be able to maintain this growth. If it can, perhaps Windows 10 will reach two billion monthly active devices sooner rather than later – only time will tell.