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Microsoft's Day 1 Success: 14M Windows 10 Downloads - Analyst Blog

Zacks Equity Research

Microsoft Corporation’s MSFT release of the latest version of its flagship operating system (OS), Windows 10, was a huge success: 14 million downloads within the first 24 hours.

According to Yusuf Mehdi, Windows’ marketing head, the initial response has been overwhelming with enormous demand for the OS and positive reviews and customer feedback. Mehdi stated that Windows 10 is being released in phases to ensure a smooth downloading experience.

Last week, Microsoft officially released the Windows 10 across 190 countries in 111 languages. The new OS runs on many devices such as desktops, laptops, phones and tablets, “Internet of Things” devices as well as the virtual reality headset, Hololens. However, Windows 10 is now available only for desktops, laptops and tablets, with the mobile version scheduled to be launched later this year.

Microsoft is offering Windows 10 upgrades to current Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users for free for the first year which, in our opinion, boosted the rate of adoption.

Windows is still an integral part of Microsoft's business and leads the desktop computing space. However, due to the increase in smartphones and tablets, only 14% of the devices worldwide use the Windows OS. A large section of consumers prefer Apple's iOS and Google's Android.

With Windows 10, Microsoft expects to encourage customers to own computers, tablets and smartphones powered with the Windows OS. The company's goal is to repair the damage done by Windows 8 while convincing consumers that the upgrade is worth their time and effort.

Though Windows 10 has got a great initial adoption, the company's goal of getting Windows 10 into a billion devices within three years is still a far cry. It is too early to decide the success of Windows 10 as the key for Microsoft is not actually Windows 10 being operated on PCs. Instead, the company plans to launch versions of the software for its phones which will apparently drive the company’s “Hololens” virtual-reality device.

The success of Windows 10 will depend on how well it can encourage people to buy Microsoft’s other products. The company is emphasizing on its Office 365 program, a subscription service that allows users to access cloud-based storage and software programs. Also, it will be important for Microsoft to incorporate Windows 10 as it expands the Internet of Things product line.

So only time will tell whether Windows 10 can ensure a solid business model for the software giant based on its applications, services and subscriptions after the disappointing performance of Windows 8.

Microsoft currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the sector are ACI Worldwide, Inc. ACIW, Dassault Systemes SA. DASTY and Cadence Design Systems CDNS, all carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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