Microsoft has finally admitted that reaching 1 billion Windows 10 users by 2018 was an insurmountable task. They have conceded defeat, humbly, if I must say.
Recall that in 2015, the executive vice president in charge of operating systems claimed that Windows 10 would have hit the 1 billion device mark within two or three years, but they have realized how quixotic the task was. Now, they have re-issued a statement which reads:
… 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.
From the statement, it is clear that Microsoft is blaming its own decision to scale back its smartphone business over the last year.
Currently, Microsoft says Windows 10 is running on more than 350 million PCs and other devices, thanks to the free upgrade, but their decision to end the free upgrade would likely have a negative impact on the existing growth rate.
Furthermore, when you look at the decline in PC sales and Windows mobile challenges, it is clear that Microsoft would need longer than 3 years to hit the 1-billion mark. 5 years, perhaps?