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Microsoft extends the stipulated time limit for its “1 Billion Windows 10 devices” goal

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When Microsoft first released Windows 10, we were ofcourse overawed by what we saw. The combination of the best features from 7 and 8 had truly led to the pinnacle of the Windows platform. However, when Microsoft began talking about installing it into a billion devices within three years, even the skeptics raised many an eyebrow….and in some cases even made flippant remarks about the company being too pleased with itself.

Well, 2016 is half gone and Microsoft is significantly less than halfway towards its goal of 1 billion installs. What’s more, with the initial excitement surrounding the release dying down, the company is going to have a harder time selling it. Ah….and selling, selling is likely to prove yet another major roadblock along Microsoft’s path to a billion.

The company has hitherto offered the Windows 10 update as a free product. However, that is about to change as the company kicks into selling mode, soon. Well, i can’t imagine customers lining up to buy something that they didn’t care to install when it was being offered to them on a platter. Much less for the hefty $119 sum Windows 10 will likely sell for come July the 30th.

The company has also somewhat slowed down its aggressive campaigning — thank god! — that included cross buttons that meant update instead of close and other irritating stuff.

In face of all these huge difficulties, Microsoft is extending the deadline it had initially announced for reaching the 1 Billion milestone, amid the fanfare surrounding the Windows 10 release. 

Speaking on the topic to ZDNet, Windows Marketing head Yusef Medhi said that the poor performance of mobile devices is to blame.

Windows 10 is off to the hottest start in history with over 350 million monthly active devices, with record customer satisfaction and engagement​

We’re pleased with our progress to date, but due to the focusing of our phone hardware business, it will take longer than FY18 for us to reach our goal of 1 billion monthly active devices. In the year ahead, we are excited about usage growth coming from commercial deployments and new devices – andincreasing customer delight with Windows

And the performance of the Windows platform in the smartphone segment is decidedly poor, make no mistake about it. More so because the company is slowly but surely diverting its resources and attention elsewhere — leading to yet further slips. 

As per a Gartner report, Windows share in the smartphone segment reached a new low when it dipped below 1 percent. Well, ever since its quarterly report saw a 57 percent year-over-year sales drop, Microsoft appears to have accepted that smartphones are not its chief forte, slowing down research and production.

Which is also a contributor behind the extended deadline. However, its not like it will take Microsoft a decade or so to hit one billion devices. Smartphones have never really been the chief Windows market. Besides, Windows 10 has exhibited a good growth rate since its inception into the public, and has already managed to cross the 350 million devices mark.

While putting a $119 price tag on it is quite likely to put some off from buying it, many others will continue purchasing it. And lets not forget enterprise customers, who form a huge chunk of Microsoft’s consumer base. Also, considering that Microsoft has put Windows 10 forward as a continuosly improving service rather than a platform, we may see sales spiking after one or other of its all too regular, feature packed updates. 

Well, when you count a billion chickens before they hatch, some slight hitch is only to be expected. So yes, Microsoft is still certain of reaching its goal. However, it may just take it a year or two longer than its initial projections to get there.

A bibliophile and a business enthusiast.

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