Technology

Windows 10: Microsoft Collecting Much More Data Than It Should

Ever since the release of Windows 10, privacy advocates have accused Microsoft of collecting more user data than it should. The company claims that it collects data only to enhance the user experience, but it has not been transparent about the extent of data collection. On Monday, Microsoft’s Corporate VP for Windows & Devices Group Yusuf Mehdi said in a blog post that Windows 10 now runs more than 200 million devices.

Windows 10: Microsoft Collecting Much More Data Than It Should

Yusuf Mehdi highlights key milestones

It is the fastest adoption rate for any of Microsoft’s operating systems. Of course, giving it away for free was a critical part of Windows 10’s success. But Yusuf Mehdi probably got a little too enthusiastic about the popularity of Windows 10. He shared some key milestones that are unlikely to go down well with privacy advocates:

  • Users spent over 11 billion hours on Windows 10 in December alone
  • In December, people spent 44.5 billion minutes in Edge browser across devices
  • Since the launch of the new OS on July 29, more than 2.5 billion questions have been asked of Cortana
  • The number of Bing search queries on Windows 10 is 30% higher than on previous versions of Windows
  • More than 82 billion photos viewed in the Photos app
  • Gamers spent a whopping 4 billion hours playing games on Windows 10 PCs
  • Gamers streamed over 6.5 million hours of Xbox One games to PCs running the new OS

Windows 10 collecting more data than initially thought

As Martin Brinkmann of GHacks points out, the statistics suggest that Microsoft is collecting more data than you thought. While the Redmond-based company doesn’t mention exactly what data is collected, one thing is clear that it collects information about individuals apps and programs “at the very least.” Is Microsoft collecting information about what you do in the Edge browser or the questions you ask Cortana? Unfortunately, there is no easy way to find out what data is being collected and how to turn it off.

Talking about the Windows 10 adoption rate, FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives said it was “white hot adoption out of the gate.” Much of the new installations are coming from retail consumers. But the eventual success of Microsoft’s newest OS will depend on the take-up rate among enterprises.