big picture: Windows is no longer the driving force behind Microsoft’s vision of a software-driven world. Instead, it became a simple means of selling subscriptions to the company’s services, including a subscription to run Windows itself in the cloud. Since further growth in the PC market is not guaranteed, the focus now is on making the most of the existing user base.

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Over the past few years, Windows faded into the background at Microsoft, with cash cows like Office 365, Azureand Xbox climb to the top of the priority list. As the PC market becomes a mature market with little room for growth, the Redmond-based giant has gradually focused on making its software and services available on as many platforms as possible to overcome this limitation.

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When the pandemic forced many to work and study at home, Microsoft decommissioned its plans for a lightweight, cloud-first operating system, Windows 10X. Instead, the company built it into full Windows and added a few Microsoft Teams to it for all your video conferencing needs. Thus Windows 11 was born as an updated Windows interface adapted to the new realities of hybrid work.

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Before the launch of Windows 11, the PC market was slight rise after several years of declining sales. This new operating system allowed us to refocus on the core features of Windows and make the PC interesting again. However, Microsoft’s promotion of Windows 11 was never about bringing those things back into the spotlight, but instead was about weaving Windows and Office 365 more closely together.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella confirmed as much during a conversation with an investor when asked about his opinion on the strength of the PC market and the role that Windows plays in it. Nadella noted that “from a commercial standpoint, I think everyone understands that Windows is the socket for Microsoft 365.” In other words, the value of Windows is directly related to its ability to act as a vehicle to sell more subscriptions to Microsoft services.

With Windows 10 and now Windows 11 released as free updates, Microsoft only cares about making sure users buy services like Office 365 or Xbox Game Pass. For business clients, the company even pushing Windows as a service with Windows 365. Consumers are paying a lot of attention manufacturing Edge is their access to everything connected to the Internet. These efforts have shifted the needle to some extent in terms of general usage, but not enough to seriously challenge Google Chrome.

At the same time, Nadella believes that the PC is alive and well, and there are no signs that this will change in the foreseeable future.

“PCs remain a very important category in people’s lives, as we found during the pandemic, and if anything, the intensity of use has increased,” notes the CEO. “There will be cyclical demand that we will survive, but the number of use cases will definitely, I think, increase structurally.”

In terms of pure numbers, Microsoft claims that over 100 million PCs have been shipped in the last two years, and that consumers and businesses are gradually moving to Windows 11. disagreement between market analysts, but Microsoft really tried to lead by example with internal roll out Windows 11 on over 190,000 devices. As for Office 365, the company advertises 58.4 million consumer subscribers and 348 million paying jobs.

Otherwise, Microsoft’s business generated significant revenue in the first three months of 2022, with significant growth across all product categories. Revenue was $49.4 billion, up 18 percent from the first quarter of 2021. Profit was $16.7 billion, up 8 percent from last year. It’s also worth noting that Microsoft’s cybersecurity business is currently generating $15 billion, outpacing all other products in terms of growth.