Microsoft Finally Making Mobile Run

For reasons that remains mostly unknown (Ballmer’s braggadocio? Strategic shortsightedness born from bureaucracy?) Microsoft was extremely late to the mobile party. As a result, the mobile operating ecosystem is still dominated by Google’s Android and Apple.

Yet, under the stewardship of CEO Satya Nadella, the company that Bill Gates built is finally showing signs of mobile life.

There are now 110 million devices running Windows 10 designed to run seamlessly across platforms, Microsoft said this morning during its Windows 10 hardware event.

In part, the success of Windows 10 -- which has only been on the market for about 10 weeks -- can be attributed to Microsoft’s decision to make it a free upgrade for Windows 7 and 8 users. As a result, the company recorded roughly 75 million installs about a month after its launch.

Likely to accelerate that growth, Microsoft said new apps for Windows 10 will include universal apps for Facebook, Instagram, and Facebook’s popular Messenger service.

The deal is part of Microsoft’s broader efforts to encourage Windows 10 developers to create universal apps that span channels. It’s hardly the first time Microsoft and Facebook are working together, but the commitment shows that the social giant has faith in Microsoft’s mobile future.

And it should. Despite years of neglect and false starts, Microsoft certainly has the resources to redirect its massive operation squarely at mobile. As these latest figures suggest, the software giant is already well on its way.

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