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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RE[3]: No Thanks
by unclefester on Fri 25th Apr 2014 06:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No Thanks"
Member since:

And why do you reckon that would be?

Currently a whitebox buyer pays at least $50 more than a major OEM (eg Dell) to purchase an OEM Windows licence due to volume discounts.

An ongoing licence fee would make a whitebox more cost competitive if licence fees were equal for all users.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: No Thanks
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Fri 25th Apr 2014 14:27 in reply to "RE[3]: No Thanks"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:

I understand the economic theory you're presenting. And If this was toasters we were talking about, I'd agree.

But whitebox PC's appeal to a certain sort of people. I don't know anyone right now who doesn't buy one because of the extra $50 windows fee, who would if that fee didn't exist.

I would never recommend a whitebox to a non techy friend. That's an invitation to become their personal lifelong IT support...

When something goes wrong with a Dell, they blame Dell. When something goes wrong with a whitebox I recommended, well then they blame me.

Edited 2014-04-25 14:28 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[5]: No Thanks
by unclefester on Fri 25th Apr 2014 23:53 in reply to "RE[4]: No Thanks"
unclefester Member since:

Australian home users have always used whiteboxes. Virtually every suburb and small town has at least one whitebox builder. Brands like Dell and HP have never been very popular or widely available outside the corporate market.

I've never had the least bit of bother with any whitebox I've built because I've aways used high quality components.

Reply Parent Score: 4