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windows10Less than six months after its release, Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system is running on more than 200 million devices, outpacing Windows 8’s growth by nearly 400 percent and Windows 7 by 140 percent.

Yusuf Mehdi
Yusuf Mehdi

Microsoft announced the new numbers this morning, showing new momentum for its flagship operating system as the tech world gathers for the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The company is trying to keep Windows in the conversation even as Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS maintain a firm grip on smartphones and tablets.

“Overall, we are seeing significantly higher customer satisfaction with Windows 10 than any prior version of Windows,” said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president in Microsoft’s Windows and Devices Group, in a post this morning announcing the new growth stats. Adoption is accelerating, he said, “with more than 40% of new Windows 10 devices becoming active since Black Friday.”

The numbers appear to put Microsoft on pace to reach its goal of 1 billion Windows 10 devices within two or three years of launch. It’s the first update on the numbers since October, when Microsoft said more than 110 million devices had upgraded to Windows 10.

Continuing its effort to court app developers to its universal app platform, Microsoft this morning also cited progress in its Windows Store, including double the number of paid transactions on PCs and tablets during the holidays, and a 4.5x increase in revenue per device.

Unlike its predecessors, Windows 10 has the advantage of being a free upgrade to existing Windows 7 and Windows 8 users. The company still has plenty of existing users to convert: The latest numbers from Net Applications show Windows 10 with slightly less than 10 percent market share as of December, compared with more than 55 percent market share for Windows 7, and 13 percent combined for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.

screenshot_1054That compares with more than 60 percent for Windows 7 in July, and about 16 percent for Windows 8.x at the time.

Windows 10 also has the advantage of running on more types of devices, including Microsoft’s Xbox One as of the console’s fall update. After delays, Windows Mobile 10 is expected to start rolling out to many Windows Phone users soon.  Microsoft said its own Surface Book laptop will soon be available in 10 additional international markets, including Austria, Australia, the UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, New Zealand and Japan.

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