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Microsoft’s fifth major free update to Windows 10, called the April 2018 Update, is coming on Monday. It will thus start to arrive (available for manual download on April 30, via Windows Update on May 8) three years and a day after Windows chief Terry Myerson declared that Microsoft was aiming for 1 billion devices running Windows 10 “in two to three years.”

A lot has happened since then. Windows 10 was released as a service. Four major free updates followed: November Update, Anniversary Update, Creators Update, and Fall Creators Update. Microsoft backpedaled on the 1 billion goal, blaming its failed phone business (1 billion is still the target, but it’s going to take a few more years). Oh, and Terry Myerson announced he is leaving Microsoft, as CEO Satya Nadella carved up his division to spread it across other leaders.

So where are we now? Windows 10 was on 600 million devices after 27 months, and a month ago, Myerson said Microsoft was “approaching 700 million active Windows 10 users.”


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Two major free updates a year is impressive, as is Windows 10 seeing faster adoption than its predecessors. But what the Windows 10 team should really be proud of is the adoption of the individual updates.

According to ad network AdDuplex, over 90 percent of Windows 10 users were on the most recent release, Fall Creators Update, in March, five months after rollout began. That’s crazy fast.

Microsoft won’t share exact adoption numbers for each Windows 10 update, so third-party estimates is all we’ve got. If the 90 percent figure in five months is anywhere close to official numbers, however, it means Windows 10 update adoption is faster than iOS update adoption. That’s a big if, of course, but it certainly puts the state of Windows into perspective.

All Microsoft has shared is that the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update was the fastest to reach 100 million devices. And the company is still working on improving the process by reducing how long the user can’t use their PC during an update’s installation.

Windows 10 may not be on 1 billion devices after three years, but Microsoft has achieved an even bigger feat. After three years, the overwhelming majority of Windows 10 users are on the latest update.

That’s something no previous Windows version has ever achieved.

ProBeat is a column in which Emil rants about whatever crosses him that week.

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