This article is more than 1 year old
Windows boss Panos Panay talks up 'new era of the PC' – translation: An era of new PCs
1.4 billion devices running Redmond's OS, Android apps coming, and more
In the wake of Microsoft's latest set of financial results, Windows boss Panos Panay today gave an update on what he's dubbed a "new era of the PC."
Or as we see it, an era of new PCs being bought that meet the requirements of Microsoft's latest OS.
Panay boasted of 1.4 billion monthly active devices (a figure less than half that of active Android kit numbers last year) running Redmond's operating systems, though stopped short of revealing what was actually running on what.
Instead, he said Microsoft had seen "people accepting the upgrade offer to Windows 11 at twice the rate we saw for Windows 10." Assuming, of course, they had hardware to actually handle the requirements of the new operating system.
"For the launch of Windows 11," said Panay, "we mobilized an entire industry across silicon, OEMs, retailers and other partners to ensure that as many people as possible who wanted a new PC at holiday could purchase one."
How kind. Oddly, Panay did not mention the swathes of silicon happily running Windows 10 that Microsoft had decided were not fit for its latest operating system edition. Despite the fact it had quietly seeded Windows 11 with its Insiders as far back as May 2021. It was still called Windows 10 back then, of course, and it ran on older hardware.
There were a good few weeks remaining before the hammer blow of hardware compatibility would fall. But hey: there was an entire industry to mobilize to flog new kit to punters. Panay said the PC market has seen its biggest growth spurt in years, and guess what OS he wants everyone to run?
Incidentally, you can get around the hardware blocks on older kit by manually installing Windows 11, though Microsoft doesn't guarantee support, stability, or security patches for such systems.
As for customers with a suitable PC, it looks like pretty much everyone who wants the Windows 11 upgrade will be able to do so, as Panay said the software was "beginning to enter its final phase of availability."
As a reminder, the company was extremely keen that users make the move to Windows 10, with files pushed out via Windows Update and nag screens urging users to accept Redmond's finest. Windows 11 has, thus far, been a little more subtle in its approach. Assuming that, when it sniffs your PC, it likes what it smells.
- Microsoft revenue up by a fifth as world shuffles through the pandemic into the metaverse
- How to polish the bottom line? Microsoft makes it really hard to claim expenses, say staffers
- Running Windows 10? Microsoft is preparing to fire up the update engines
- Saved by the Bill: What if... Microsoft had killed Windows 95?
Other nuggets in Panay's announcement today were a three-times increase in traffic to the new Microsoft Store (although he did not say if this was one customer getting a few pals to download something from the tumbleweed-strewn digital frontage or something more impressive).
A public preview of Android apps on Windows 11 through the Store should be coming next month, and we'll also see the taskbar improvements and refreshed Notepad and Media Player apps already in the hands of some Windows 11 Insiders. Oh, and there'll be weather on the taskbar too. While it might be chilly in Seattle, it is always sunny at Microsoft's Redmond HQ. ®