ó Microsoft, a company built on getting people to pay
for software, is reaping the benefits of free. Four
weeks after its debut, the new Windows 10 operating
system now powers more than 75 million devices, Yusuf
Mehdi, the Microsoft executive overseeing Windows
marketing, said Wednesday.
of that momentum, analysts say, is because Microsoft is
offering Windows 10 free to the majority of home users
of the prior two major Windows releases. Microsoft has
said the offer will extend at least through next July.
pretty impressive," said Steve Kleynhans, an
analyst with researcher Gartner. "I donít think
any other operating system achieved that in less than
Windows 10, Microsoft is trying to rebound from the
lackluster market performance of Windows 8, the previous
touch-focused interface of Windows 8 dumped the
traditional start menu, confusing many users. Many
businesses and home users remained with its
well-regarded predecessor, Windows 7, which still
accounts for more than half of Windows users.
10 now powers 5.7 percent of personal computers and
tablets worldwide, according to Web analytics company
the same point after the release of Windows 8, that
software was running just 1 percent of devices. Windows
7 held a 4 percent share at its four-week mark.
it remains to be seen whether Windows 10 will revive the
beleaguered PC market.
Microsoft has pitched Windows 10 as a product designed
to work well on devices of all types, the operating
system is heavily dependent on a PC market that has
declined as consumers gravitated toward smartphones and
tablets. Windows runs about nine out of every 10 laptop
and desktop computers, but has a single-digit share of
tablets and smartphones.
tracker IDC said Wednesday it expected global PC sales
to decline by 8.7 percent this year, and fall 1.1
percent in 2016. Microsoft hasnít announced a release
date for Windows 10ís smartphone editions.
to be determined is how businesses, which Microsoft
depends on for the majority of its profit, will react to
Windows 10. Businesses, which typically get
operating-system upgrades at no added charge as part of
long-term technical support, arenít eligible for
consumersí free-upgrade offer.
starting to see people ask questions, but certainly itís
not at the point where weíre seeing businesses talking
about big deployments yet," said Eric Berg, chief
product officer of Okta, a San Francisco software
company that makes tools for businesses to manage
employee access to Web-accessed software.
typically cautious in embracing new software, also await
the addition of some features that werenít ready when
Windows 10 was released.
basic functionality is wired into the operating system,
but not all of it is exposed in a way that you can use
it yet," Kleynhans said. "A lot of tools have
to be updated so (information-technology departments)
can make it work."
of Oktaís products, a tool that creates a single login
page for office workersí multiple Web services,
operates as an add-on on top of Web browsers. Edge, the
new browser Microsoft debuted with Windows 10, doesnít
support the add-on technology Okta would need to run its
is working to remedy that (and has promised Edge will
soon support browser plug-ins). The company has released
four major updates to the software since its release. An
update last week included features that automate
large-scale software installation and remote oversight
of programs, Kleynhans said. Microsoft has said Windows
10 will receive more-regular updates than previous
releases, and that its release on different platforms
would be staggered. That gave the company the
flexibility to release the software earlier and without
the bells and whistles it would ultimately include,
this new update, you can float in features any time you
want," Thomas Koll, chief executive of Laplink, a
Bellevue company that migrates files between computers
and operating systems.
a former Microsoft executive, said one of Laplinkís
customers, a large software vendor, planned to shift to
Windows 10 in November after the expected arrival of a
business-focused update to the software.