Windows 10 and Windows 11 are now installed on a total of 1.4 billion monthly active devices, Microsoft confirmed. That’s an increase of around 100 million from Windows 10’s figure last April, shortly before its successor was announced.
This cements Windows’ position as the world’s most popular desktop operating system. Apple’s macOS is far behind, accounting for around 15% of all devices according to StatCounter. This gap is only growing, with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella also revealing that Windows increased its market share in Q4 2021.
However, it’s unclear how many of the 1.4 billion PCs are running Windows 11. Microsoft has encouraged people to make the switch, with all compatible Windows 10 devices now eligible for the free upgrade.
Nadella declined to reveal a specific Windows 11 figure, simply saying that Microsoft is “thrilled with the response” to the new operating system. He went on to say that “we are seeing greater intensity of use and better quality than previous versions of our operating system”, a statement that lacks any real substance.
As our November article explained, there are several reasons why the number of Windows 11 users could be relatively low. Most significant is the existing software support, with Windows 10 still supported through October and a 2022 feature update on the way.
But Windows 11’s tough new hardware requirements, some wholesale design changes, and the fact that the update has yet to ship to most devices are all factors here. Hopefully Microsoft will be more transparent with its numbers in the future.
Good news for Surface
These Windows figures were released alongside Microsoft’s official results for the fourth quarter of 2021 (also known as FY22 Q2). Total profit rose 20% year-on-year to $51.7 billion, driven in part by growth in Microsoft Office, cloud services and Xbox.
But it was also a good quarter for Surface, after Microsoft announced five new devices in September. Revenue rose 8% from the same period in 2020, despite the company’s warning of downside potential.
Despite the introduction of new hardware, April Surface Laptop 4 sales were expected to be a key driver of this growth. It’s also worth noting that the Surface Laptop Studio isn’t yet available outside of the US, which should further boost revenue.
Again, it would be interesting to see sales broken down by device here, but don’t expect that any time soon.
2022 is shaping up to be a big year for Surface, marking 10 years since the first device hit the market. But Microsoft will do well to beat the good numbers posted at the end of last year.