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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Comment by stabbyjones
by stabbyjones on Fri 25th Apr 2014 11:03 UTC
Member since:

Big business already subscribes. We pay per server and per user in license agreements that could essentially called subscriptions.
Home users will have to start subscribing to office 365 (hahahaha) before I'd even think of people subscribing to Windows.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by stabbyjones
by Nelson on Fri 25th Apr 2014 11:38 in reply to "Comment by stabbyjones"
Nelson Member since:

Check Microsoft's financials. Office 365 Home added 1M subscribers last quarter.

Reply Parent Score: 2