back to article No, Microsoft: Your one-billion Windows 10 goal is just sad ... really sad

Targeting one million of anything is no longer cool, according to Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg. Only one billion will do. It's not surprising, therefore, that Microsoft has set itself a billion-device goal for Windows 10. What is surprising is just how unambitious that goal is, given the computing giant's aspirations. Indeed, …

Anonymous Coward

Linux quietly trumped that number a long time ago but of course doesn't have Microsoft's advertising/lobbying and marketing budget to ram it down your throat like an unwanted act of fellatio.

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Anonymous Coward

Correct, that's why fanbois were invented.

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Anonymous Coward

Or paid shills champions

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Linux didn't have to sell to actual end users. The only case where it's made a success there is in Android - which has a seriously pared down Linux that's almost nothing but kernel... and no one buys an Android device for the Linux... they buy it for Android.

Heck most people don't even know there's a Linux IN there. They think Android IS the OS.

So yeah - Linux is a real winner. As long as no one ever has to actually *use* it directly for anything.

Congrats.

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Silver badge
Facepalm

Bears n Woods

In the first edition of Bill Gates 1994 book,"The Road Ahead", the word "internet" appeared 4 times.

Being so late to mobile they can't catch up is nothing new at all - just look at search, cloud, ads etc

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"...unwanted act of fellatio..." -- AC

<pedant_mode>

ITYM 'irrumatio' -- an unwanted act of fellatio would be something else: "Hey! I *really* didn't want you to wake me up like that ... etc"

</pedant_mode>

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Hey Jeff Lewis you appear to be a home computer user

http://www.tecmint.com/big-companies-and-devices-running-on-gnulinux/

In business Linux rules so yes people do see it.

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If any normal user "wants" an operating system, that operating system is broken. An operating system shouldn't be a "product" as such. It is simply the way to get things done. Most people don't book a holiday on an Airbus 380, they book a Holiday in Thailand or Skegness with appropriate transport. Linux is a HUGE success because everyone uses it, many many times a day, and neither know nor care that they do.

When does anyone notice Windows? When it changes in a way that stops you working or it crashes or it costs you money.

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Re: Bears n Woods

Being late to the party is not always a bad thing. The first arrivals all have to show what they are wearing and if you and crafty enough you can look at these and design something better and be the star.

Unfortunately Microsoft just cobbled together some bits and bobs that had been hanging around and decided that it would be good enough. It wasn't.

It always amazes me that with all the good points in fruity and penguiny systems it still manages to design a boring catch up well behind the cutting edge and then pack it into a monster download. Compare the W10 download with Mint 17.2 download and the former does not even include the programs that the latter does.

I'll stick with W7 Pro, it is more than good enough as a back up to Mint 17.2

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>Most people don't book a holiday on an Airbus 380

Quite. And most users don't care about the OS as long as they can launch the app they want to use and it works. Which is why they are attracted to a familiar desktop.

The problem with a bunch of Register readers discussing this stuff is that we are very different from the average PC user, and the average user represents the vast bulk of the market.

So, talk to the average user about Linux or windows or whatever and they will switch off because they are only interested in getting to their email etc.

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Anonymous Coward

Oh

Does it?

Must have missed that one. And open source software rules too! Yeah!

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Anonymous Coward

Same

Linux is unnoticeable except when it crashes too. Not sure I follow your point.

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Windows

Time, stages and granularity

Time...

https://regmedia.co.uk/2015/07/24/share_time_spent_by_platform_comscore.jpg

I actually filled in the form and downloaded the slides.

Still could not find a methodology or definition of what or how 'time' was measured on each of the devices. My Blackberry Bold (does that even count as a smartphone these days?) is on 24/7. But I'm interacting with it in short fractally distributed bursts.

This laptop is on for a tenth of the time of the phone, but it gets an hour at a time of concentrated attention.

Stages...

Phone -> Laptop may be a coming of age thing? As one grows out of School / College the proportion of one's time spent on 'social' may decrease in favour of focussed activity. Just wondering about the underlying assumption in this research that what 18 - 34 age group do *now* will be the same going forward. Could it be that as the tasks associated with each stage of life change then the tools we overgrown chimps use may change as well.

Granularity...

18 - 34 covers a *huge* set of transitions in a life path - major differentiation of roles &c.

This needs to be split 18-24 ish then 25-35 ish at the very least.

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Goodness.

Erm, hang on "El Reg".

A month ago you were sneering at the idea Microsoft could achieve a billion installs with Windows 10 and now you're saying that not only is the number not enough, you're calling out various iterations of the damn thing as not even "counting" towards it!

Sort yourselves out. You're a mess.

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Re: Goodness.

You beat me to it! Have an up vote...

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Re: Goodness.

I agree, the bitching about Windows 10 out of the writers here is getting very old. I've been using it for two months and have had no problems. The one thing I'll agree with is Mozilla's complaint about changing default programs, it is kind of a pain in the ass and its not just for browsers.

And keep in mind what they're not telling you about Matt Asay's background, he's a FOSS evangelist, which they used to make very clear on his articles when he was a regular writer here. So much for disclosure anymore, eh?

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Goodness.

"Sort yourselves out. You're a mess"

It's an opinion piece - it's the opinion of the writer. We have dozens of writers - some staff, some freelance - and we do disagree with each other.

The Reg is a broad church. Would you prefer us all parrot the same thing, or provide a range of opinion and analysis?

Tedious. Post less.

C.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Re: Goodness.

"the bitching about Windows 10 out of the writers here is getting very old"

Consider it an antidote to the acres of arse-licking in the "tech" "press" over Windows 10.

If you want 100% praise for all things Microsoft, CNN is that way --------->

C.

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Re: Goodness.

Reg has to be contrarian. Since everyone else seems to like Win10 and is cheering its success - a few sites like this one and PCWorld (weirdly) are working overtime to deflate the parade.

Ah well.

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Re: Goodness.

"Consider it an antidote to the acres of arse-licking"

That's an inane argument.

"Puppy saves boy!"

"Damn puppy - probably has fleas!"

"That seems meanspirited..."

"Yeah but someone has to counterbalance all the lame-os who think puppies are cute..."

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Re: Goodness.

Bollocks.

There is more than likely a whole series of vast improvements in windows 10 over windows 7 (and 8,but its not hard improving 8, taking a dump on the screen would improve that pile of poo)

But m$ have decided to hide all the extra goodness in win10 under a layer of giltzy crap.

Updates? sending data back to homebase?, a UI that takes the best from classic windows and the best(hah) from windows 8 and tries to shoe horn it together.

And then they make it free for current m$ victi.. sorry customers to upgrade.

Which says to me they're either desperate for the customer base to move to win10 and lock them in, or m$ themselves dont think win10 is actually worth paying for.

And if I'm getting an OS for free, I'm installing linux mint

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Coat

Re: Goodness. @JL

When you've defleaed w10 and got it to save someone give me a ring.

In the meantime ... Thanks - the one with the Puppy cd in the pocket ...

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Re: Goodness.

He's been more of a hindrance than a help to FOSS for years.

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DJV
Alert

"A billion ain't what it used to be"

Too right - on this side of the pond (UK) it used to be 1,000,000,000,000!

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Re: "A billion ain't what it used to be"

"Too right - on this side of the pond (UK) it used to be 1,000,000,000,000!"

~40-50 YEARS AGO !

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DJV
Unhappy

Re: "A billion ain't what it used to be"

Aye ~40-50 years ago - and you try and tell the young people of today that ..... they won't believe you.

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Re: "A billion ain't what it used to be"

Wasn't the reduction in value because some people in the US wanted to appear better off, or were they scared by all the zeros?

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Re: "A billion ain't what it used to be"

No, it was because our politicians were so much in bed with US politicians that they decreed that when talking finance 'a billion' would mean a thousand million rather than the more generally used million million. I'm with our Continetal chums on this one - if you want a name for 'a thousand million' there's the perfectly good milliard.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "A billion ain't what it used to be"

Yeah, but who wants to go around calling themselves a "milliardaire"?

"Billionaire" has a nice ring to it.

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Cue mad cackle when even that "sad" one billion will fail to materialise.

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Windows phone

That boat has sailed, I don't think they are ever going to catch that up, they missed the boat.

They really need to concentrate now on making our other os devices work seamlessly with their desktop environment so they don't lose even more seats.

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Re: Windows phone

Some see that different. I actually ditched a Samsung "Security Leaks" Not2 for a Lumnia 535 and despite the lack of a stylus (I still do not like touch) the overall useability of my smartphone has VASTLY improved for me. No more "Reboot tut gut" random reboots, a considerably better voice capability, smoother UI, useable offline navigation, a decend chance to get updates and bugfixes and as a bonus an integration to the company Exchange (and a company paid data card).

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Anonymous Coward

Beg to differ

"There's a reason that most (90 per cent!) people happily prefer Windows to Mac OS X, and buy Windows machines. They're comfortable with the experience."

WRONG!

It's because most people won't pay for overpriced product that's essentially a standard PC (architecturally), and 'standard' PCs come with Windoze so no real choice.

Me, I'm a Linux convert, the spread of which being held back however by lack of apps that run only on Windows - chicken & egg scenario.

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Gimp

Re: Beg to differ

Really? I always thought it was because people found it easier to justify being cheap instead of evaluating a platform to see if it would meet their needs *, and the power in numbers just ensured that maximum compatibility would fall to Windows long after its genuine enthusiasts had given up hope for it.

But I could be wrong.

You might consider a Mac, BTW. Well-built, quiet machines that run more generally-available commercial software. UI is also far more polished and uniform, and the tools are better certified. You can build or run your FLOSS apps on it too, or run Linux or Windows on them. Yeah, a bit less control under OS X, but much sweeter than Windows, and none of the attendant nonsense.

* I accept that Apple's pricing is disagreeable. But there, you gets what you pays for ...

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Re: Beg to differ

The cost of entry into Mac OS X may be higher in the short term but it pays off in the longer term. I used to run nothing but Linux and every year I would trot down to PC World and hand over another chunk of cash to replace the smashed laptop from the previous year. Gradually I bumped the money up hoping to get a longer life, first starting with a Samsung for £600, then a Compaq at £1000 and finally a Toshiba for £1500. Like the previous machines that Toshiba was dead after 12 months of lugging it around the world. The keys would fly off when I typed, the case had a large crack down the back of the screen and the backlight was intermittent so I would have to bang it to get it on some times, and the corner of the body broke off early in the life. Plus it looked like hell because the silver finish on the palm rest rubbed off leaving two black hand prints. £1500. Think about that for a moment, and then look at the G4 iBook I replaced it with for £1000 in 2003 which still works to this day having served as my primary machine for three years and then another three with my wife and then until just a couple of years back as my iTunes server. I replaced it with a MacBook Pro in 2006 which I ran for 6 years. I fell off my motorcycle with that in my backpack and it got dented but still works.

When I look at the money I spent on regular PC laptops versus the Macs I've had over the years the cost of a Mac looks like a very good investment. I don't think Apple's pricing is disagreeable at all when I need a machine which can take a beating and still come back kicking. Sure, there are PCs that can take the same treatment but they also cost a lot and I don't get a fully supported UNIX like I do with a Mac. Where I work they stopped buying PCs and get everyone Macs now because they last longer. People can choose whatever OS they want but everyone gets a Mac. It just makes financial sense and we had the numbers to prove it which won the finance guy over.

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Bronze badge

Re: Beg to differ

The cost of entry into Mac OS X may be higher in the short term but it pays off in the longer term.

Well there is the problem, staring you in the face ... all democratic governments, almost all corporations, and most people, are insanely short term.

And most people I encounter have no grasp of the concept of Windows or an OS. They genreally think Windows means Word, and assume the UI is a function of the vendor, same way that phone vendors have custom skins on Android phones.

When friends and family bring me their malware infested XP machines, they mostly say "it is sick, make it better" and I put Linux on it. Two years later, they bring it back for an upgrade. (Since I do not give them the ability to Sudo). No complaints.

If they say "but I want Windows" I say "well take it back where you got it from - they are the Windows people". The machine normally goes in a cupboard somewhere, and they may buy a new one. Or get a tablet.

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Re: Beg to differ

What has kept Mac ownership down amongst folk I know is quite simply price. Those that have seen and experienced them seem to think they're rather nice, but simply can't afford them. I know that buying refrubed kit or using second-hand kit gifted them by a wealthier friend that's just bought new is common.

And over the years, every now and then someone asks me to set up a Linux box for them (I'm in the process of doing so now, as it happens). All I've ever done is make sure that friends are at least aware that an alternative, in the form of Linux exists, and if they;'e expressed interest in seeing it, I've shown them what it's like. Every now and then one of 'em takes the plunge, finds it isn;t so scary after all and happily joins the penguinistas. But I wouldn;t be at all surprised if they came into some money if they went and bought themselves some Apple kit, whereas the only reason any would have for buying Windows again (and it's a reason that's growing less forceful by the year) is to play games on. And not that many people (amongst those i know) play the kinds of games that need the lastest Windows kit.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Beg to differ

"Me, I'm a loud-mouthed and boorish Linux convert..."

TFTFY

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Re: Beg to differ

I always assumed it was just that most people historically didn't give a shit about computers. Windows won the workplace and because they had one at work, they got one at home.

Possibly less true now than it was 15 years ago, but there's still got to be a shit-ton of older people who are only using Windows because it's what they were forced to use the first time out and never cared enough to switch.

I'm comfortably OS agnostic since my first computer was a Vic20, when I was at high school it was all Acorn RISC machines, a brief flirtation with iMacs (the CRT ones) at college, and then it's been Windows everywhere I've worked from then on. My desktop now runs Debian, but then I'm a sysadmin, so hardly typical.

If you didn't grow up through all that and your first exposure to personal computing was at work some time in the Win 9x era - which a quick staff room, coffee break, chat around here seems to suggest a lot of people's was - then why would you know or care about your OS? You just go with the "brand" that you've heard of and are unlikely to change unless forced to.

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Re: Beg to differ

The cost of entry into Mac OS X may be higher in the short term but it pays off in the longer term. I used to run nothing but Linux and every year I would trot down to PC World and hand over another chunk of cash to replace the smashed laptop from the previous year.

First of all, wtf were you doing to keep smashing laptops each year? Lugging computers around isn't unusual for laptops of most varieties but I have yet to see a really badly damaged machine (apart from a Toshiba Lifebook that I got back from one user which was coming apart at the hinge, though the machine in question was over ten years old!)

Second, why were you buying them from PC World? Goodness knows there are better value machines out there!

Sure, there are PCs that can take the same treatment but they also cost a lot and I don't get a fully supported UNIX like I do with a Mac.

No, you don't. You can, however, find Unix out there if you need it.

http://www.thelinuxlink.net/lvlinux/resources/presentations/freeunix/freeunix.html

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Re: Beg to differ

The cost of entry into Mac OS X may be higher in the short term but it pays off in the longer term

Not for my family, it hasn't. We've spent much, much more on the various Macs and other Apple gear my wife and daughter use than we have on the Thinkpads I use - and I cart those Thinkpads all over the place, knock them over, drop them, etc. The Dell laptops my employer buys aren't my favorite machines, but they too have consistently lasted longer without problems than the Macs.

Many of my Mac-using friends have had (expensive) difficulties with their machines, too, but I can't vouch for how they take care of them.

Oh, is my anecdotal experience not convincing? Neither is yours.

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Re: Beg to differ

More to the point, most people over a certain age only learned to use W95+. Before then, most people did not own a computer at home and may not have used one at work. The Internet was the game changer; you need an Internet capable device to use it. Back ~20 years ago that meant a PC.

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Re: at work some time in the Win 9x era

My first exposure at work, before I'd ever owned a PC, was Solaris and HPUX, so I was happy to put Slackware on my first PC because I found Windows 95 a bit confusing (we'd only done DOS at college).

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Re: Beg to differ

> The Internet was the game changer; you need an Internet capable device to use it. Back ~20 years ago that meant a PC.

20 years ago (in two weeks time) retail Windows 95 was _NOT_ an "Internet capable device". It was released only capable of accessing the original MSN, an attempt by Microsoft to replace the Internet by its own network. Later, the Plus Pack gave proper Internet access as did OSR2.

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Pirate

One Billion devices running Windows 10?

Wow, Windows 11, 12, and 13 must have really sucked to have a billion people sticking with Windows 10.

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Phones and tablets are not PCs

The assumption in this article is that MS has to succeed in the phone space.Yes the decline in the PC market is partly due to a certain class of PC user finding a new class of device that fits their needs better. This is a fragmentation of the sector into two markets. Just because people used to use horses for travel and the plough does not mean the future belongs to a unified tractor-car hybrid. Tractors and cars might be made by the same company and use the same basic technology but its not the same product. Apple does ok making a phone and computer the same way Honda does ok making tractors and cars but they are different products. Not every car/tractor manufacturer has to make both and nobody succeeds with a unified solution even if some of the parts are the same. In fact market fragmentation is better for business because apple can sell you a phone and a laptop if you need both.

Phone/music-player/camera combination seems to work as a combination because they are all portable devices you want to carry around and separate devices would compete with each other for pocket space.

Microsoft can't seem to do phones. Apple have never done much in the games console space they both compete in the PC space. Once upon a time Microsoft managed to expand their market by making windows a server as well as a desktop OS and this has resulted in a fetish for using windows as a solution to every problem. Its not.

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Re: Phones and tablets are not PCs

Your analogy is apt. MS needs to concentrate on keeping their current, some what rebellious customers loyal. A friend who is considering Linux found two PCs for <$300 with Linux installed - one from Best Buy and the other from Walmart. If these two retailers are offering modestly priced Linux boxes MS really needs to worry.

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Re: Phones and tablets are not PCs

For me both their tablet pc (Surface/3, Surface/Pro) and phones are just fine. Using a full sized OS with a full sized CPU solves a lot of problems I had with Android tablets including "Wannabee", the Not10.1 "I want to be a tablet pc". Even the Atom powered Surface/3 (heck, even the old Samsung Ativ 500) where a lot better in handling complex documents (and more than one of them). Where the No10.1 was desperatly pedaling with all its poor lil cores the Intel units always seemed a bit bored and task manager seemed to ask "that's all".

Same with Lumnia Phones. For my use I have all the apps I need on a stable platform with good offline navigation (useful in the border region I live in) that does not reboot itself twice weekly. That the 99€ L535 even feels a lot sturdier than the Not2 is another strike against VEB Plaste and Elaste Korea with their Confederated Airpuck.

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Re: Phones and tablets are not PCs

Excellent analogy. One of my pet-peeves with Windows 8 and by extension Windows 10 is that programs are called "apps". I always believed that was the case so that people would think they had to buy their programs from Microsoft's app store, thus Microsoft gets their cut.

I also believe that Microsoft kept trying to unify the platforms because they believe analysts who said the PC was dying. Unify the platforms, people get used to Metro UI, as the PC dies they will be so familiar with Metro that they will want a tablet with one too. The problem with all that is analysts get paid to make predictions, not to be right; generally speaking, they couldn't predict 12:30 at 12 noon. The PC will not die because tablets are not acceptable tools for real computer work. For instance, all day typing can be done on a tablet, but it is much better on a laptop or desktop. The PC is not dying, Microsoft did not need to unify.

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Re: Phones and tablets are not PCs

> The PC is not dying,

No, but PC _sales_ are dying because they became 'good enough' 10 years ago. In the 90s new PCs were 10 times faster than the one they bought 3 years ago. New versions of Windows had to add more bloat to slow them down so that a new even faster machine was needed. Vista was the high point of that. Every machine since then has been fast enough to keep until it breaks completely (with iPads and smart phones supplementing usage).

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