Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 24th Apr 2014 23:12 UTC

Peter Bright making the case for subscription-based Windows.

Microsoft has already made Windows free to OEMs for tablets with screens below a certain size. Making it free to everyone but without the desktop would be a logical extension of this. It gives Microsoft the tools to compete with both Android on tablets and Chrome OS on laptops, while still not cutting it out of the revenue loop entirely. Desktop-less Windows should provide Microsoft with some amount of revenue through applications bought in the Store.

To this, add a couple of levels of unlocks: one tier for regular Windows desktop features (offering parity with the feature set of Windows 8.1 today), and a second, higher tier for Windows corporate features (offering parity with Windows 8.1 Pro). These could be both persistent unlocks or periodic subscriptions. Microsoft has already had persistent operating system unlocks since Windows Vista's Anytime Upgrade feature, so none of this would be hugely different from what's gone before.

The facts and rumours do line up, but honestly - free/subscription-based Windows is right up there with a TV from Apple when it comes to long-running, always-returning but never materialising rumours.

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I don't mind windows, but it's just the OS. For me it'S not that important, and I don't feel like I bought it... it is the computer as much as the screen or keyboard.

What I would hate, and what I would not do, is pay for things that I could do before for free, or for all intents and purposes, for free already.

I haven't used the store to buy any apps except cut the rope for my children.

I hate going there, there are promoted apps, and crap produced in bulk by people hoping to make money from adverts. I like the idea that you can go to just one place for apps, but the arguments that it makes users safer is crap. Just look at all the android apps that were recently found to contain bitcoin miners.

I have no use for the crap in the store and never will. Maybe it will be different for my kids who will grow up knowing nothing else, but I just can't see much use for it. The only good thing about it is that if I get a new windows pc I can sync it and have all the same ad laced crap on my new pc.

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