8 Staggering Facts About Windows

Windows has been around for 30 years this month.
In that time frame, it’s been purchased and used by hundreds of millions of people and powered computers numbering in the billions.

It’s also brought in billions in revenue for Microsoft — in fact, Microsoft would nab pretty high spot on the Fortune 500 with Windows alone.

We’ve rounded up the best numbers and comparisons for getting an idea of just how big Windows really is.

According to the latest usage data, there are roughly 1.36 billion active Windows users today. That's nearly one and a half times as many people as in all of North and South America combined.

Windows 95 was a smash hit upon release, selling 40 million copies in its first year. Windows 8 sold 100 million licenses in half the time.

A 1% drop in usage share for Windows means Microsoft losing more active users than there are residents in the state of Illinois.

Since 2009, Windows 7 and Windows 8 have together sold more units than there are people in all of Europe.

Microsoft is ranked 35 on the Fortune 500. If Microsoft only brought in revenue from Windows, it would be ranked 150 or 151, making it about the same size as Kraft Foods -- another company with over 90% market share.

First introduced in late 1983, Windows has been on the tech scene longer than any other graphical operating system.

During the Windows XP era, Microsoft had near-complete domination of the PC operating system market. Amazingly, those numbers didn't even include a huge portion of Windows users. 24 million gamers purchased Windows devices in the form of the original Xbox, which ran a modified version of the Windows NT kernel from Windows 2000.

iOS gets a lot of credit for having a wide range of apps available -- approximately 1 million in total. That doesn't even come close to Windows. At CES 2010, Steve Ballmer announced that there were over 4 million applications available on the Windows platform.

Windows has changed a lot over the years...

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