When Microsoft first launched Windows 10, it had grand plans to have the OS installed on over a billion devices within two to three years. Those were to include PCs, phones, Xbox consoles, HoloLens, and more; however, with the demise of Windows 10 Mobile among other factors, these ambitions were abandoned.
Now, Microsoft touts that Windows 10 is installed on 600 million monthly active devices. Of course, we don't know exactly how many of them are PCs, although it's safe to assume that PCs account for the bulk of it. According to StatCounter today, Windows 10 has hit another milestone though, as it's finally installed on more active devices than Windows 7.
"This is a breakthrough for Microsoft," commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter. "Windows 10 was launched at the end of July 2015 and Microsoft will be pleased to have put its Windows 8 experience behind it. However, Windows 7 retains loyalty especially amongst business users. Microsoft will be hoping that it can replace it a lot quicker than XP, launched back in August 2001, which only fell below 5% usage worldwide in June of 2017."
As far as regional market share goes, Windows 10 has been ahead of Windows 7 in North America and Europe for some time. In South America, Windows 10 is just about to take over for Windows 7 as the leading OS.
On the other hand, we can see that Windows 10 still has significant strides to make in Africa and Asia, regions where piracy of Windows can be common.
Obviously, this was all bound to happen sooner or later. Just a few years ago, Windows XP was the beast that would never die. As time goes on, fewer and fewer people will use older operating systems as they upgrade either their hardware or their software.
Initially, the upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 was free, and that lasted for a year. Microsoft extended that for those who use assistive technologies, although that ended last month. Despite all of that, users can still upgrade their operating system if they just have a retail product key for Windows 7 or 8.1 lying around, and use it to install Windows 10.