At its Build 2015 developer conference today, Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s executive vice president of operating systems, set a huge goal for the company: Windows 10 on 1 billion devices “in two to three years.” This is a promise to developers that if they invest in Microsoft’s upcoming operating system, they will have access to a massive userbase.
The company points out this will be the first platform version in any ecosystem to be available on 1 billion devices. Myerson said current estimates on Google Play show that Android KitKat is on “a little over 500 million devices.” He also added that the latest version of iOS 8 is on fewer devices than that.
This builds on Microsoft’s announcement in January to offer Windows 10 upgrades for free. Windows 7, Windows 8.x, and Windows Phone 8 owners will have a year to take advantage of the deal.
In this same vein, Myerson announced carrier billing is coming to all Windows 10 devices. Microsoft already says it has the largest carrier billing footprint (90 carriers) compared to other ecosystems, but that’s just for smartphones. Now the company is bringing carrier billing to PCs and tablets too.
Microsoft also highlighted Windows Store for Business, which lets admins highlight apps for their employees, distribute select apps from the Windows Store, and private line-of-business apps to their employees. Developers will be able to target enterprises with business payments methods, and the platform will support different kinds of business payments, such as purchase orders.
To get developers on board, the company showed off apps from a slew of partners, including Disney, USA Today, Tencent (which develops WeChat), Viber, and Adidas.