Almost everybody at Microsoft was using Windows 10 soon after the launch

The number of workers at Microsoft that are now using Windows 10 as their primary operating system is well over 95%, a mark hit in less than 10 weeks after the company launched it on July 29. Microsoft recently posted a research study on their deployment of Windows 10 in their business that shows how their in-place update system made the transition for their roughly 120,000 employees much faster compared to older Windows updates.

Windows deployment

When Windows 7 launched in 2009, it took a year for the update to reach 80% of Microsoft's employees, using a custom installation image. For Windows 8's launch in 2012, Microsoft created its own Windows Installer front-end application to speed up the update process for its workers, but it still took 8 months for the update to reach 85% of its team members.

The company piloted an in-place upgrade system for Windows 8.1's launch in 2013. The paper stated:

"Using the in-place upgrade eliminated the need to build a complex zero touch deployment image. Microsoft IT didn't have to create packages to deal with data migration or application reinstallation—everything just worked. The upgrade had a 97 percent success rate, and in the few instances that the upgrade failed, it simply rolled the computer back to its previous operating system. Microsoft IT saw a 35 percent reduction in help desk calls for setup, which was over the 10 percent reduction goal. Microsoft IT was able to deploy 95 percent of employees in three months by using the in-place upgrade and received user feedback that it was a great experience."

The in-place upgrade was also used for Windows 10 and it managed to complete the upgrade process for 85% of its employees in just four weeks and 95% inside of 10 weeks, which was the goal of the IT team. It was helped by the fact that prior to Windows 10's release, a large number of employees were already using Insider preview builds:

"Prior to product release, there were 38,000 users, roughly 40 percent of employees, internally running Windows 10. Microsoft IT used flighting (delivering pre-release builds of Windows 10 through Windows Update) to make sure that early adopters were running the latest builds as they became available."

Source: Microsoft (opens in new tab): Via: ZDNet

61 Comments
  • What about Windows 10 mobile?
  • Everyone is still on 8.1 because of all the issues with Window 10 Mobile (go head, look over the threads on the 950 and 950XL fourms)
  • My lumia 930 is asking what issues ?
  • Apparently, both the 950 models are littered with issues. The mobile version of the OS, seems to run better on the older models than on the newer ones.
  • no bigger issues here on my 950xl 
  • Rumors!  But it is understandable. There aren't going to be many threads started by folks who bought a 950(XL) and put there SIM in it and are so happy that they are unaware of any serious issue. I have a few things about my 950 that are not as good as my 1520. But the overall package is just a better more advanced phone. Period. Wickedly powerful.
  • @snakebitten, yup. Forums are fundamentally skewed towards the negative end of the spectrum. As generally posters are people who are looking for fixes, not people who just want to share the happy experiences. Plus there is the other element of acknowledgement, wanting to know they aren't the only one with a particular issue.
  • "Apparently", "A word I use when I have absolutely no factual basis except for selective reading that I conduct under social circumstances without any understanding of statistical models."  ​Win 10 Mobile's best experience is on new devices.   
  • He's talking about the employees of Microsoft.
  • My XL runs great. Better battery life than my 925. VVM was an issue, but with ISeeVM, problem solved.
    Liquid cooling must help too because my XL gets warm, whereas my 925 got HOT, even when using ie.
  • stop trolling, not everyone is getting issues, and you always generalize things like if the same issues happened to everyone. The only issue I Have with current W10M is not being able to install additional keyboards... that's it. Some people complain about Camera, but that depends on people opinion and the situation and how they set up everything auto vs manual. Stop being a troll, you are just ignorant and clueless about Windows and Mobile and Microsoft in general. you aren't helping the community, you are just making yourself look more and more like the clown you are.
  • Doesn't matter... Most of them use iPhones anyways :s
  • That is a good question. I'm following few Microsoft employees on twitter and so far i've noticed most of them are using iOS devices when it comes to mobile. But who could blame them, especially in US they would be missing so much app related content, paying options and all other stuff in everyday life. 
  • Probably 1% MS employees using W10 mobile lol
  • When I was there in April roughly 42% were using WP devices, 38% were using iPhones and the rest were Android phones (choosing strange numbers for WP and iOS to make it clear that there seemed to be a bit more WP users but not that much).
  • I am guessing that hardly anyone uses Windows mobile there otherwise WP would not be in the state it is
  • They all use iPhones :p
  • Everyone there have an iPhone.
  • In other news, the sky is blue. /s
  • THUNDER IS COMING IN REDSTONE...
  • yeah.. next year.. next year is the year of Windows on Smartphones!
  • Except for retail.
  • And at Apple everyone is using the latest version of iOS. What a shock... Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • So they use Ipad Pros to be productive? :) 
  • Yeah, but not LIKE A BOSS, EVERYWHERE THEY GO!
  • Can even iPad handle multiple APPs? not side by side gimmicky? And u forgot how the new iOs upgrades crashes the old iPhones/Ipads.
  • Yeah, in my experience with the iPhone 3GS and 4 a few years ago, updating was a nightmare. In fact, I managed to permanently brick an old phone I upgraded to the *official* new build (not a beta).
  • "Can even iPad handle multiple APPs? not side by side gimmicky?​" What exactly do you mean by that? You can run two apps side-by-side on the iPad Pro and iPad Air 2. Apps that are not in the foreground are suspended. It's no different on Windows. And as far as crashing updates are concerned, Windows has its issues there, too.
  •  "It's no different on Windows​" I think Mid West was talking about DJCBS's comparison to the adoption rate of Windows 10 desktop at Microsoft to iOS at Apple.  That comparison makes very little sense considering that the former is a full general purpose OS being used by employees to do work and the later is a mobile OS that would most likely not be used (even by most Apple employees) for ciritical workflow.  A comparison of adoption rates of Windows desktop to OSX would have made sense, but DJCBS didn't make that comparison.    The whole point of this article is that enterprise environments can probably transition to the latest version of Windows much more quickly and easily than was possible in the past with older deployment methods (full reimaging/redeployment of each PC).  DJCBS seems to think this article is about how quickly Windows 10 is picking up market share or something, but he is totally missing the point.  It's about a case study on enterprise deployment of upgrades.  
  • Your last paragraph in particular sounds very reasonable.
  • DJCBS and his hating. The bit you missed, is that a normal PC migration has to deal with users data, and apps (and all their plugins, middleware, 3rd party libraries) and rolling out Windows at scale is normally a massive project. The fact the did this many machines this quickly is impressive. iOS is for phones and tablets BTW. On Mac PCs which would be a direct comparison, they run OSX. So you are a whiner, and wrong one at that.
  • Yup, OSX would be fair comparison.
  • And this is news why...?
  • It's more about the rapid deployment of the OS within a business showing its an easier upgrade path for businesses with that custom image.
  • This is not about adoption rate.  This is about a case study related to large scale OS deployments within an enterprise environment.  The article could have made that a little more clear for those that don't really know how these things happen in the business/IT world.
  • Seeing the fact that Microsoft used a custom image for deploying Windows 7, it makes me wonder if there's an internal "Microsoft Edition" of Windows 7 somewhere.
  • Custom images are a common way to deploy across large organizations. It is not an exclusive thing only for internal Microsoft use.
  • I know. I was just wondering if Microsoft had something like a "Microsoft Edition," as a feature tier like the Professional editions of Windows.
  • I would say most likely, although I have no idea what the differences might be.
  • It would probably have no support for Open Source software. /s.
  • No, they don't. We all just used Windows 7 Enterprise (I was an MS employee from 2001-2014). It was a custom image for deployment as gerrymad mentioned.
  • Surprised their not running ws as a client workstation
  • Nope, they don't! The internally distributed builds of Windows (and most other products) are just customized versions of Windows 7 Enterprise with a few default links to internal websites (e.g. support), etc. and chained installers for Office and some other default products (e.g. VS for dev's). [Disclaimer - I worked at Microsoft from 2000 - 2010]
  • I'm not sure who to reply to, so I replied to "bitcrazed." The Microsoft Garage team or another team could experiment with modifying Windows to make a custom version that's just for fun and not seriously used. Of course, I could be incorrect.
  • Many teams experiment on various aspects of Windows for various scenarios (inc. research), but almost none get to broadly deploy customized versions of Windows across mainstream corporate dektops, laptops and tablets.
  • Microsoft "dog foods" most of their software.  That is developer talk for using/consuming your own products/output.  It is not in their best interest to use a product that is different from the one they are trying to sell/support.
  • We have about 650 PC's on the network and I am absolutely the decision maker for whether they get upgraded to W10. While we have updated many of the devices that do not require a lot of web browsing, we are holding off on the ones that do. I am convinced that Edge would get judged very harshly by the executives and web hounds. Other than that one issue, I see no show stopper for upgrading ALL of the network. By the way, I LOVE Edge! It is going to be a fantatstic browser. But it's a bit early to shove it down the throat of the unsuspecting. :)
  • Windows 10 ships with IE. Just turn off Edge.
  • Nutella was using ios.
  • Not sure if autocorrect or racial slur ...
  • LOL
  • I don't think it's a racial slur... I always thought it was a play on words nadella / nutella (or autocorrect as you said). I wouldn't take it too literally.
  • In other news, humans need oxygen to survive.
    I'm sorry but wpcentral seems pretty desperate for the lack of news to be posting such pointless articles.
  • Its only pointless for children like you. Grown ups find it interesting. Go play pokemon.
  • I and many others will take offence to that. Pokémon is -not- just for kids.
  • Funny, I am unsure of where the "child" comes into play in my said statement. It was an opinion based on years of following this website, and years of owning a windows phone. After those years, you notice the decline of quality of news articles. If anything,my opinion is backed by experience. It really seems like there's only one child that makes such replies to others' opinion. Oh, and I have never played Pokemon in my life.
    Learn to make educated replies.
    Cheers
  • It's no wonder that nobody at Microsoft seems to have any clue about the good things about Windows 8.1 that have all been ripped out in 10.  They deployed it late, and switched away from it early.
  • What ARE you talking about? There were 10's of thousands of Microsoft employees around the world actively using Windows 8 on a wide variety of hardware.
  • How many tried it on tablets then downgraded because it sucked?
  • and 95% were also troubleshooting their PC's
  • I had it immediately after starting in August. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android