As of yesterday, Windows 10 has been installed on 67 million devices

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I’ve read some interesting guestimates on the number of Windows 10 downloads lately. One blog plucks a figure out of the air -- "50 million sound fair to you?" -- another blog inflates the number -- "Let’s go with 53 million!" -- and then a whole bunch of other blogs and sites that should know better run with these numbers as if they are real.

The only way we’ll actually know how many Windows 10 downloads there have been to date is if Microsoft releases numbers (and even then, they probably need to be taken with a slight pinch of salt), but we can get a rough, and reasonably accurate idea of Windows 10’s usage share and, from there, the number of downloads to date.

The likes of NetMarketShare and StatCounter monitor millions of websites and look at which operating systems and browsers visitors to those sites use. From there they can work out the usage share. It’s not exact -- there can be variations for all sorts of reasons -- so figures are released at the end of the month, providing an average, and painting a picture of the general increasing and decreasing of popularity.

At the start of September we’ll have a good idea of how well Windows 10 is doing. The new OS was released at the end of July, but on a staggered roll out. When the next set of figures from NetMarketShare/StatCounter arrive, it will show the first full month of Windows 10, and that will give us a proper idea of how well, or otherwise, the new OS is doing.

But while we’re waiting for that we can get an indication of how things are progressing because StatCounter provides daily figures. This allows us to follow Windows 10’s share from pre-launch until now (well, yesterday). And also filter the share by country.

Looking at the numbers, when Windows 10 launched on July 29, the new OS had 0.53 percent of the global market. By yesterday, that had risen to 5.84 percent. Not bad.

In the US alone, share went from 0.5 percent to 6.8 percent. In Europe it stands at an even more impressive 7.8 percent.

If we want to guess at download numbers, we can. Microsoft announced on the 30 July that Windows 10 had been downloaded onto 14 million devices. StatCounter says that on that date, Windows 10’s usage share was 1.22 percent. With a simple bit of math, we can work out that the share increase -- 1.22 percent then, to 5.84 percent now -- means globally, Windows 10 is running on 67 million devices.

(The same math says Windows 8.x is on 195 million devices, globally).

Of course the figures aren’t exact -- share yesterday (and on the 30 July) could have been significantly higher or lower than share on a day either side -- and the 14 million that Microsoft announced could have been rounded up, rounded down, and so on. Other operating systems could have gained or lost share, causing Windows 10's share to alter. Also, while downloads and installs are pretty much the same thing in the case of Windows 10 there's nothing to say that those 14 million downloads were in use on 30 July, and it's usage share that StatCounter measures.

But even so this does still provide a rough idea of the state of play, and shows Windows 10 is progressing steadily.

So is Windows 10 really on 67 million devices? Maybe, maybe not. But right now that’s as good a guess (probably better) as any others you’ll find on the web.

Photo Credit: Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock

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