Microsoft Lumia  Microsoft
Lumia 950 failed to perform well

New Windows usage stats have been released by advertising network AdDuplex. Their tracking for Windows 10 devices shows that the Anniversary Update is taking hold and illustrates the popularity of Microsoft´s Surface Pro 4.

The AdDuplex data also shows some of the challenges Microsoft faces while trying to increase OEM support for Windows 10 Mobile.

It is worth understanding how AdDuplex gathers the data. The company monitors Windows 10 usage across its network over a 24-hour capture/snapshot. For its latest stats, the 24-hours timeframe run through December 19, 2016. The method offers an accurate take on the current amount of Windows devices being used.

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update is now on 86.3% of Windows 10 PCs and computing machines. The feature update was launched in August, but Microsoft rolled it out in stages. Four months on from the release, the Anniversary Update is now running on 86.6% of Windows 10 machines. The number represents a sharp increase from 77% in October.

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While Microsoft’s Windows Insider Program has been a success, it remains a preserve for power users. AdDuplex shows less than 1% of currently used Windows 10 PCs are running Windows Insider preview builds.

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Of course, Windows 10 is also running on Microsoft’s own products these days. The latest data shows that the Surface Pro 4 is the most popular of the company’s Surface range. 37.4% of all Surface devices running Windows 10 are the current generation Pro 4. The Surface Book is more of a niche product it seems and it represents 6% of Microsoft’s PCs.

Windows 10 Mobile has a hardware problem

Usage stats for Windows 10 Mobile show some of the challenges Microsoft faces with its mobile platform. Those are mainly to get the build onto devices and somehow convincing customers to move away from its own Lumia brand and to other OEMs.

Upgrading is a particular problem for the company. Just 16% of all Windows phones are running Windows 10 Mobile. Doing the simple math, 84% of all Windows handsets are running older generation builds. Yes, December’s data shows an increase from October, when the number of Windows 10 Mobile device stood at 13.7%, but it is not enough.

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A big factor for the low market share of Windows 10 Mobile is that many of the older Windows Phone devices are ineligible for the update. Windows 10 Mobile as a platform is also suffering from the lack of high-end devices that could improve brand awareness and reputation. While speculations about a Surface Phone are heating up again recently, it is not sure if Microsoft is really going to present an impressive high-end device anytime soon.

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Windows 10 Mobile: Lumia, Lumia, Lumia

Of the Windows 10 Mobile devices launched running the platform out of the box, the Lumia handsets eat the market. AdDuplex shows that 97.5% of all native Windows 10 Mobile devices are one of Microsoft’s Lumia smartphones.

The handsets in question are the Lumia 550, 650, 950, and 950 XL. Microsoft announced earlier in the year it is departing the mobile hardware industry for the time being to focus on pushing Windows 10 Mobile. Since then inventory of the Lumia 550, 650, 950, and 950 XL is being sold off. Soon the devices will not be available through retail.

Microsoft´s own Lumia handsets remain market dominant, which illustrates quite well the lack of successful 3rd party devices. The HP Elite x3 might be the most powerful Windows phone available right now, but its high price tag might make it unattractive for the masses.

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At the moment, OEM handsets are used by just 2.5% of users with a device on native Windows 10 Mobile. Microsoft has to first convince OEMs to keep making new devices and then must find a way to convince customers to buy them.