Windows 10 powering 270M devices; anniversary update coming for free
Windows 10 powering 270M devices; anniversary update coming for freeREUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

Microsoft's annual gathering for developers – Build 2016 – was held in San Francisco Wednesday and the company's Executive Vice President Terry Myerson took the opportunity to announce some updates and achievements of its flagship Windows 10 platform. Myerson said Windows 10 has 270 million active users in just eight months after the launch and the company is aiming to have it installed it on one billion devices in the next few years. 

The milestone achieved by Windows 10 as a platform has outpaced one of its most popular OS, Windows 7, and aided the loss of its predecessor, Windows 8. The number of active users on Windows 10 represents a 145 percent increase compared to Windows 7 over the same time-frame, the company said. 

"People are spending more time on Windows than ever before – over 75 billion hours – with the highest customer satisfaction of any version of Windows. We are on track to reach our ambitious goal of one billion Windows 10 devices in the next few years," Myerson wrote Wednesday in the company's official Windows blog

In the wake of the achievement, Microsoft also announced that a new anniversary update is coming for PCs, tablets, smartphones, Xbox One, Microsoft HoloLens and IoT running Windows 10 OS for free. Some key highlights of the upcoming update include login to apps and secure features using Windows Hello, significantly improved stylus support, Cortana and background music and Cortana integration in to Xbox One. 

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update is expected to arrive this summer. 

Microsoft did not break down the type of devices that run Windows 10. According to technology research firm IDC, Android leads the mobile OS market with 83 percent share and Apple's iOS accounts for 15 percent. As for Windows-powered smartphones, only 1.6 percent share is expected in Microsoft's favour this year, Reuters reported. 

Microsoft did not move away from the core essence of its Build conference as it announced new Universal Windows Platform apps for developers. A series of developer-centric updates for the platform were announced during Wednesday's gathering. 

During the conference, Microsoft also announced that its HoloLens AR tech wearable starts shipping to developers Wednesday. The HoloLens Developer Kits are limited to developers who are part of Windows Insider Programme in the U.S. and Canada. The wearable is priced at $3,000.