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Windows 10 is off to a good start

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NEW YORK — Microsoft’s Windows 10 is off to the fastest start in Windows history.

Five months after its release, more than 200 million PCs, tablets and phones are currently running Windows 10, according to new numbers that Microsoft reported on Monday. That’s 140% faster than the pace at which Windows 7 was adopted after its first five months on the market and 400% faster than Windows 8.

The super-quick adoption of Windows 10 isn’t all that surprising: Microsoft is giving away Windows 10 for free to most consumers with Windows 7 or 8 running on their PCs.

But some of the electric growth is coming from businesses too: Microsoft said 76% of its corporate customers are testing out Windows 10. More than 10% (22 million) of Windows 10 devices are being run by businesses and schools.

All that Windows 10 usage has led to some eye-popping statistics: People have spent more than 44.5 billion minutes using Microsoft Edge — the default Windows 10 browser that replaced Internet Explorer. And customers have asked Windows 10’s virtual assistant Cortana 2.5 billion questions.

One question Microsoft investors have frequently asked is how the company plans on making money off of Windows 10. Microsoft began to answer that question Monday by demonstrating that Windows 10 customers are spending more time — and money — on Microsoft products than ever before.

For example, Bing searches are 30% higher on Windows 10 PCs than on computers running other versions of Windows. That’s likely due to the fact that Microsoft placed a big, fat Bing search box in the Windows 10 task bar that says “Ask me anything.” Microsoft sells ad space on Bing.com.

Windows 10 customers have also spent 4.5 times as much on apps, movies, songs and other items from the Windows Store as Windows 8 customers purchased.

“We continue to be excited — and humbled — by the incredible response to Windows 10,” said Yusuf Mehdi, vice president of Microsoft’s Windows division. “We are even more excited that these customers are loving Windows 10.”

Mehdi said Windows 10 has the highest customer satisfaction rating of any past version of Windows. He said the gap in satisfaction between Windows 10 and previous versions is “significant.”