Windows 11 has reached 400 million active installs

Windows 11 adoption surpasses expectations even though it's slower than the previous version.

Windows 11 Surface laptop
Windows 11 Surface laptop / Image: Mauro Huculak
  • Microsoft internal data says that Windows 11 has reached 400 million active installs.
  • The stats surpass the company’s expectations, but the adoption is slower than Windows 10.

Windows 11 is reportedly installed on over 400 million computers, surpassing Microsoft expectations but at a much lower pace than Windows 10. According to a new report from Windows Central, internal data from the company reveals that the active usage of Windows 11 is over 400 million and is on track to reach 500 million sometime in 2024.

Although active usage of the operating system is more than what the company was expecting, the data shows a slower adoption than the previous version. In perspective, when the original version of Windows 10 became available, the operating system reached 400 million active installs in a little over a year. On the other hand, it has taken Microsoft two years to achieve the same result with Windows 11.

However, the difference between the adoption rate of Windows 10 and 11 comes down to availability. When Windows 10 was originally introduced in 2015, Microsoft made it a free upgrade for devices already running Windows 7 and 8.1. The company also used various marketing tactics to lure users into upgrading, including advertising it as a free upgrade for a limited time, which pressured users to upgrade more quickly.

Windows 11 was a different story. When it first became available in 2021, the company also introduced a new set of hardware requirements that only supported computers with modern hardware because of the new TPM (Trusted Platform Module) and Secure Boot requirements to increase the security of the operating system. This approach limited many devices with older hardware (mostly those running devices that were previously upgraded to Windows 10 from 7 and 8.1) from upgrading to Windows 11, thus slowing down the adoption.

Since Microsoft was aware that this would happen, it set lower expectations, but the company appears to have surpassed its initial goal, making it even more successful than previously anticipated.

One of the factors currently helping is the introduction of “moment updates,” which allows the software giant to release new features faster through Windows Update and Microsoft Store without completely reinstalling the operating system. The latest moment update was made available on October 10, which introduced many interesting additions, including the new Copilot AI, a redesigned version of File Explorer, a new Windows Backup app, new features like Dynamic Lighting, and more.

Although Windows 11 has a slower adoption rate due to the new hardware requirements and other factors, the operating system is doing well. However, according to Statcounter, Windows 11 has a market share of close to 24 percent. In comparison, Windows 10 has close to 72 percent market share, meaning that the company still has much convincing to do to get more businesses and consumers to switch, especially when knowing that the end of support for Windows 10 is on October 14, 2025. After this date, devices will stop receiving security updates, fixes, and improvements.

Also, in 2024, Microsoft is expected to launch the next version of its operating system (currently known as “Windows 12”), which, according to the report, will include a new system platform known as “Germanium” that will focus on features powered by AI and the cloud.

In addition, Windows 12 is likely to introduce a number of changes to the desktop interface, such as a top bar and a floating Taskbar, among some other visual changes that are typically expected during a new version.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 15 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 21 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].