The past two years have had a profound and lasting impact on the way we live our lives, with the PC playing a bigger role than ever. Recently, a friend said he never expected his eight-year-old son to master Teams and OneNote or his seventy-two-year-old mother to become an Instacart convert. New behaviors born of necessity have turned into habits as people and organizations reevaluate their priorities through a new lens.
A new hybrid infrastructure now exists – across work, school and life – allowing more flexibility in where and how people spend their time. And the PC is the hub. This ushers in a new era of PC usage, with a sustained increase in the number of minutes spent and an increase in the number of PCs per household.
As we reflect on what is driving this structural shift in PC demand and use, we see three persistent trends: the rise of hybrid working and learning, changes in entertainment habits, and patterns distribution, and changing consumer habits for daily tasks.
The rise of blended working and learning. The pandemic has been a forcing function to accelerate technology and organizational infrastructure to enable people to work and learn remotely. In the future, many people who have had the opportunity to work remotely want to continue, and most educators believe that remote learning will continue to play a role. We see these same trends reflected in the way people use Windows. Over the past two years, Windows has increased the number of people using communication and collaboration apps such as Cisco WebEx, Slack, Microsoft Teams and Zoom by a factor of 6.
Changes in entertainment habits and distribution models. The way content is produced, distributed and consumed has changed dramatically – think of the fact that many blockbuster films are released in theaters and via streaming on the same day. Since the start of the pandemic, 70% more people have streamed content on Hulu, Netflix and YouTube on Windows and monthly play minutes have increased by more than 35%. There are now as many gamers as people watching television. More than ever, people expect to control what, when and where they watch, play, stream and publish – and increasingly, it’s all happening on the PC.
Changing consumption habits for daily tasks. Everyday tasks like grocery shopping, doctor appointments, going to the gym, and even eating out have evolved with the rise of online ordering and delivery and appointments and workouts virtual. Telemedicine has increased threefold and the number of people looking to buy online to pick up in store has increased by more than 500% compared to two years ago. On Windows, 2x more people use their PC to shop, spending 40% more time shopping. Even as we resume some daily errands in person, people show no signs of giving up the convenience of online tasks altogether.
The PC market saw its strongest growth in a decade with Windows overtaking the market
The PC market has seen the strongest growth in a decade. Global PC shipments exceeded 340 million in 2021, and according to Canalys, this growth is 27% higher than in 2019. Windows now powers more than 1.4 billion monthly active devices with global time spent on Windows up 10% from pre-pandemic levels. This quarter, Windows took part, because through our customer research, we saw nearly 50% growth in the number of people who plan to use their PC for creativity, gaming, or work. We continue to see people across organizations, schools and homes recognizing the benefits of a PC for every person.
To address ongoing supply challenges, for the launch of Windows 11, we engaged an entire industry across silicon, OEMs, retailers and other partners to ensure that as many people as possible who wanted a new PC on vacation can buy one, including inventory for commercial and education customers to order.
Windows 11 is a catalyst for engagement and growth
Since the launch of Windows 11 in October, we’ve seen strong demand and preference for Windows 11, with people accepting the Windows 11 upgrade offer at twice the rate of Windows 10. Windows 11 also boasts the highest quality and product satisfaction scores of any version of Windows we’ve ever shipped. Product quality was a priority for the team, and we took a deliberate and phased approach to rolling out the upgrade. Today, we’re excited to share that the Windows 11 upgrade offer is beginning to enter its final phase of availability, which puts us ahead of our original mid-2022 plan.1. Windows 11 is driving increased engagement with people spending 40% more time on their Windows 11 PC compared to Windows 10. The multitasking and productivity benefits of the Windows PC are being used more than ever with nearly half of Windows 11 users using the new Snap layouts.
Windows 11 also helps drive 3x more traffic to the newly redesigned Microsoft Store. Building on our open platform, last year we announced new store policies to create greater economic opportunities for creators and developers, paving the way not only for new apps, but for new ones. new storefronts like Amazon and Epic Games. We are energized by feedback from our customers and partners about the new Microsoft Store.
The Windows ecosystem is more vibrant than ever
One of the incredible benefits of the Windows platform is that it provides a large and open ecosystem that gives users choice. Today, the ecosystem is stronger than it has ever been across hardware, software, apps, peripherals and more.
Since launch, our OEM and silicon partners have introduced a dynamic offering of new Windows 11 PCs, and Surface has released the biggest update to their portfolio ever. Most recently at CES, our partners Acer, AMD, ASUS, Dell, HP, Intel, Lenovo, Qualcomm, and Razer demonstrated incredible PC and silicon innovations, and AMD and Lenovo announced the first Microsoft Pluto device. available, providing even more security and choice for our customers.
Building for the future
As a team, we feel immense gratitude and pride in delivering a product that is increasingly part of people’s daily lives, and we know we’re not done. As we look to the future, this year and beyond, we will continue to invest in delivering Windows experiences that enrich and inspire people’s lives.
We continue to adapt Windows to meet the changing needs of our customers. With Windows 365, we’re moving Windows to the cloud, where employees can securely stream their Windows experience to any device. With Windows 11 SE, schools have a simple, distraction-free environment that meets the unique needs of K-8 students.
Next month we’ll be bringing new experiences to Windows that include a public preview of how you can use AndroidMT apps on Windows 11 through the Microsoft Store and our partnerships with Amazon and Intel, taskbar improvements with disabling and disabling calls, easier window sharing, and setting up weather in the bar Tasks, as well as the introduction of two new redesigned apps, Notepad and Media Player.
Windows will continue to be the backbone of innovation, a destination for games, creativity, and exploration, and a gateway to the metaverse.
2021 has been an amazing year for Windows, and in 2022 we’ll continue our journey to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more.
1Devices that have a Microsoft account (an MSA for Home edition) and have eligible versions and compatibility (see Windows Release Health for more information https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/release-health/)
Android is a trademark of Google LLC