MacOS has not traditionally been free, although the latest version is. Not sure if the next version will be.
Regardless, MacOS is subsidized by the expensive Mac hardware. Microsoft makes no money from hardware sales other than Surface.
Well, they at least need to offer 10 as a free upgrade to 8.1 users. It seems as if they are with the Insider Program and the Technical Preview. But, I could be wrong. You never know! It would be silly to let users try out the TP, and then charge them for the upgrade.
I suppose Microsoft could give away everything they do but then they'd go broke and you'd end up with Apple. I don't know what they're going to do with 10, but if I have to pay, I'll pay like I've always done.
At the moment MS must spend a lot of money patching, fixing backwards compatibilty issues, issuing specialised security fixes, etc, for older versions of Windows.
The guy from Gartner must be looking at that, and I imagine it's an enormous expense, off their bottom line.
If they upgraded everyone to W10, they would have a level playing field, lose the nightmare of complaining XP users, and so on.
They could then remove a lot of the functionality, and put it into the app store. You would then pay for apps.
This would provide a revenue stream, just like MS Office does. Enterprise apps could be made more costly, or on subscription.
This seems workable to me, and it would please both users, and the Monopolies Commission etc.
Users would be happy, as they would not have to clutter up their systems with functionality they never use.
Apple make their own hardware, as has been said. They must save money by not having to worry about hardware compatibility issues.
Microsoft cannot do this, but they could avoid having to do it for several, different, OS versions.
GARTNER is absolute rubbish - anything they say could be predicted with the same accuracy by pure GUESSWORK -- I'm still surprised anybody is still listening to them.
Actually the FREE updates don't necessarily mean a loss of revenue for Ms --It has HUGE corporate continuing licenses and probably by offering an update FREE for consumers would wash away the ugly test (whether wrongly or rightly) that Windows 8 left in the mouths of many people.
Ms is going towards the idea of paid apps from the store, the cloud and above all subscription based software.
It's not a direction I personally like but others seem to be OK with it - and the Markets seem to agree with it. In spite of last week's carnage on Wall St the Ms stock is holding up reasonably well so they must be doing something right.
The Surface Pro 3 is doing quite well too -- It's almost impossible to find these at the moment in spite of their seemingly high price - but as an Apple user posted for similar grade equipment people can pay nearly 4,000 USD and there's still a market for THAT gear.
I don't think people should write off Ms just yet. There's plenty of life in it still. Also all those XP and W7 users need to be encouraged to move off those OS'es too.
Incidentally I notice Ms is actually offering the VHD's of W10 - so people can get an already pre configured VM to try without having to do the install. Ms is making it really easy now for people to try this.
MS is probably last large company in the world I would fear for it's continuing existence.
We buy Microsoft, because Apple is too expensive and I would say stingy with their computers. Also, a lot of people don't want to purchase a software upgrade to buy. Like smartphones, every computer should offer free software upgrades as well. All people want now a days is money.