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Microsoft shares vague details about Windows 11 rollout so far

Fri 28 Jan 2022

Microsoft says its Windows 11 operating system is starting its' final phase of availability' ahead of its planned rollout schedule, despite staying tight-lipped about exactly how many people have made the switch. 

According to Microsoft's Windows & devices chief product officer, Panos Panay, more than 1.4 billion monthly active devices now run on Windows systems. Still, we're left guessing about how many run Windows 11, almost four months after its launch.

Indeed, in this editor's household, only one of the four fully compatible Windows PCs has been offered the upgrade - let alone completed it - to be offered a lacklustre experience and an integrated Teams experience with limited capabilities. (The ability to use Snap Layouts to select different window sizes is excellent, though, it seems, is one of the most popular features).

So without Microsoft giving away figures on the actual number of devices running Windows 11, it's difficult to get an overall picture of how these stats line up with devices still running Windows 10 and older systems.

Panay says that people accept the Windows 11 upgrade offer at 'twice the rate' of Windows 10 (but doesn't provide further specifics). In addition, people are reporting the "highest quality scores and product satisfaction of any version of Windows". 

"Product quality was a huge focus for the team, and we took a deliberate and phased approach to how we rolled out the upgrade."

Perhaps that deliberate and phased approach is why Microsoft is reluctant to give numbers? Instead, Microsoft chooses to talk about the metric of how much time people spend on their Windows 11 devices compared to Windows 10. Panay says users spend 40% more time on Windows 11 than Windows 10, although once again, details are skint about why this is the case.

The Microsoft Store is also experiencing a threefold increase in traffic thanks to Windows 11 - possibly because creators and developers have an opportunity to create new apps and storefronts.

While PC shipments continue to be affected by supply chain issues this year, Microsoft did what it could to ramp up PC supply across silicon, OEM, retailers and partners to ensure PC availability to commercial, education, and consumer customers over the holiday period.

"Since launch, our OEM and silicon partners have introduced a vibrant offering of new Windows 11 PCs and Surface launched the largest update to their portfolio ever. Most recently at CES, our partners Acer, AMD, ASUS, Dell, HP, Intel, Lenovo, Qualcomm and Razer showcased incredible PC and silicon innovations, and AMD and Lenovo announced the first available Microsoft Pluton device," says Panay.

As for what's on the cards in Windows 11, Microsoft says that from next month users can expect to see a public preview of the much-touted ability to use Android apps on Windows 11, the result of a partnership with Amazon and Intel.

Other features will include call mute and unmute, easier window sharing, weather on the taskbar. Notepad and Media player have also been redesigned. 

"As a team, we feel an immense amount of gratitude and pride delivering a product that has increasingly become a part of people's daily lives, and we know we are not done. As we look to the future, this year and beyond we will continue to invest in delivering Windows experiences that enrich and inspire people's lives," Panay says.

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