Microsoft has released stats regarding Windows 10 usage worldwide which proves the point that user privacy is a very real concern

Although, Windows 10 has been surrounded by controversies since its launch, it’s quickly becoming one of the most used operating systems today. The reason behind this increase in popularity is not the operating system itself but the free upgrade and discontinued support for the earlier versions i.e. Windows 7 and 8.1.

In a blog post on Monday, Microsoft laid down all the achievements its new operating system surpassed in a short period of time. Here is what they wrote:

1. People spent more than 11 billion hours on Windows 10 in December 2015.

2. 44.5 billion minutes were spent in Microsoft Edge across Windows 10 devices in December 2015 (0.71 billion hours).

3. Users asked Cortana more than 2.5 billion questions since launch.

4. More than 82 billion photos were viewed in the Windows 10 Photo application.

5. Windows 10 gamers spent over 4 billion hours playing PC games.

6. Gamers have streamed more than 6.6 million hours of Xbox One games to Windows 10 PCs.

7. About 30% more Bing search queries from Windows devices compared to previous versions of Windows.

All these facts are likely to come from user’s data, Microsoft has no other way of gathering all this on its own which gives rise to that same question again; Is Windows 10 a privacy concern for the users? Martin Brinkmann of Ghacks wrote:

“The statistics indicate that Microsoft may be collecting more data than initially thought,”. “While it is unclear what data is exactly collected, it is clear that the company is collecting information about the use of individual applications and programs on Windows at the very least.”

Although, Microsoft previously updated its privacy policy to clear all the queries on their data gathering, they have, with these statistics, unveiled the privacy policy update was possibly just a way to calm down angry users.

According to the Microsoft, all the data gathered is for the good of the users and is to improve Windows performance. This is somewhat acceptable but what the critics want from the operating system giant is to clearly disclose what data they gather and their purposes. Most importantly, allow users who don’t want to share their data with the company to turn off such access.

But, till now Microsoft has not disclosed anything like this or provided any options to users rather, with each day it’s span of gathering data is enlarging. Already there are over 200 million active devices which have Windows 10 installed so it would be interesting to see what Microsoft does to reply it’s critics as more and more people are getting alerted about these privacy issues and it won’t take long for the users to look for alternatives.


Agan Uzunovic

Agan Uzunovic is a Bosnian journalist who is working for the country's largest newspaper. He has a keen interest in reporting on activism and hacktivism. He is also a contributor at U.S based Revolution News media. Agan reports and writes for HackRead on IT security related topics.