Windows 10 subscriptions aren't happening. Here's why

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  1. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 34,529
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 18290
       06 Feb 2016 #1

    Windows 10 subscriptions aren't happening. Here's why

    One of the most persistent questions I hear about Windows 10 involves what happens when the free upgrade offer ends. Is Microsoft going to start charging subscription fees? After a close look at the company's financials, I'm convinced the answer is an emphatic no.

    We've had this advice drummed into our heads for years: If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

    That guideline is usually correct, which probably explains why I continue to hear from skeptics convinced that Microsoft's free Windows 10 offer is a trap. Here's how the argument typically goes, as expressed in this actual excerpt from the comments to a recent post here:

    Windows as a service, to me, means that they will eventually charge a subscription or something similar, to actually use your computer. [Microsoft] will make a very basic functionality free, but if you want to do anything of consequence, you will have to pay a subscription fee. That is the master plan, if MS can get away with it.
    That sounds logical, if you believe that Microsoft is giving away something (a major upgrade) for which it could have collected revenue.

    But that's the flaw in this argument. Windows upgrades have never been a major source of revenue for Microsoft, and the company's shift to the cloud has made that fact even more apparent. I wrote about this phenomenon last year, in "Microsoft's transition from traditional software to the cloud is picking up steam." Here's an updated version of the chart from that post, covering Microsoft's full fiscal year 2015, which ended a month before Microsoft's free Windows 10 upgrade offer began...

    Read more: Windows 10 subscriptions aren't happening. Here's why | ZDNet
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  2.    07 Feb 2016 #1

    If they started to charge, people would desert Windows 10 like rats leaving a sinking ship, and go back to old OS.

    It is possible 'premium' features could be introduced at an additional cost (one off or leased). This is a common model by many software companies.
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  3. hTconeM9user's Avatar
    Posts : 2,687
    Windows 10x64 Home Version 1803 (Build 17134) 471
       07 Feb 2016 #2

    Brink you beat me to posting about this
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  4.    07 Feb 2016 #3

    If they started to charge, a large percentage of users would complain. Only a small percentage would go back to their old OS. IMHO, I can see MS charging for upgrades. Updates should be remain free. The way it's been if you wanted to upgrade to a newer OS you had to buy it. I wouldn't have a problem with it as long as they only charge for upgrades and they let you choose if you want to install it or not.
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  5. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 15,251
    Windows 10 Pro
       07 Feb 2016 #4

    cereberus said: View Post
    If they started to charge, people would desert Windows 10 like rats leaving a sinking ship, and go back to old OS.
    I would subscribe Windows as soon as it were possible! I welcome the subscription model with open arms, especially after several years of Office 365 subscription and seeing / experiencing how well it works.

    I hope that the article is wrong, I hope we will get a subscription based Windows, at least as an alternative to the classic "pay once use forever" model.

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  6. DMGrier's Avatar
    Posts : 44
    Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit Build 1803
       07 Feb 2016 #5

    I am curious in the future how this is going to work. Personally I think Windows 10 home should be free, reason being Microsoft should focus it's revenue on App store purchases and the use of Cortana which gives the end result of Bing search engine usage. This is not uncommon when you think about it as this is the model of Android. I don't have to use Google services but a majority of people on those systems do which in the end results in the benefit of Google.

    Now on the subject of Windows 10 Pro I feel differently, at this point most people like myself who use Pro are using a lot of the administrative functions of Windows 10 and therefore should have to pay for those features. Subscription I don't think will happen and honestly at this point I am sure that Microsoft will probably continue with the same licensing model for desktop as before.

    The free upgrade I believe was done to help boast the success of Windows 10, if memory serves me right Windows 10 upgrades after the first few months out sold Windows 8 within a 12 month period. IF you want people to write code for you then you have to have a successful product which I am confident to say Windows 10 has been a huge success to this free offering accomplished the goal if that is what it was.
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  7. Posts : 470
    Win 10 Pro (x64), OSX 10.11
       07 Feb 2016 #6

    This is an interesting development!

    Just take a back seat and look at what Apple did with OS X.
    Many upgrades ago, they just charge $29 for an OS X upgrade but for the last three or four upgrades it is Free! But they are marketing the AppleCare product for their hardware and software. Grant you that MS is not involved in the hardware area.

    MS needs to build a massive base then they will charge for the upgrade at a very low price! Will they charge for $39, $49, $59 or $69, I simply don't know. Does $29 x 1,000,000,000 sounds attractive to a company's financial statement?
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  8.    07 Feb 2016 #7

    Hi there

    I have problems with most subscription models

    I've given up for example a Mobile phone subscription - why pay around 60 EUR a month which often include a load of extra minutes / texts which you don't want or use --a Pay as you go works out (at least in Europe) much cheaper if you don't make a huge amount of calls and even if you buy up front an expensive new smart phone after about 16 months you are in profit. 99% of the time I'm using the phone on Wifi.

    Then if you add up all the other odd bits of direct debits and subscriptions which just creep up on you - after all people say add this it's only say 30 USD or whatever you suddenly find there's say nearly 1000 USD a month going out of your Bank account before you even look at it.

    Once you become a pensioner you need to keep track on this sort of stuff -- I'd keep my old OS if subscription came in - plus Linux too. I'd imagine the current version of W10 and Office 2016 would still be working properly long after I was in the grave.

    As far as OS'es are concerned there's not a lot that could conceiveably added for a laptop / typical computer -- possibly better and better graphics, genuine Virtual reality and Holographic projection - and apart from better graphics a device like a laptop isn't the ideal device for those last two anyway.

    Gamers might be better served IMO by a dedicated OS to that platform with with say an embedded Windows Virtual Machine for the times when these Gamers need to use "Classic Windows".

    Office 2010 BTW still works perfectly and while Office 2016 has added some features I certainly wouldn't pay a subscription for a marginal improvement from Office 2010. I got Office 2016 from Work so that is me covered for the foreseeable future.

    I've cut down on Monthly subscriptions now to EVERYTHING except Cable / ISP and Energy (utility) bills as these can't be paid for (at least where I am) by any other method. Mortgage is paid off and I pay any credit card bills completely at the end of each month.

    I'm believe it or not nearly 1100 EUR a month better off by chucking everything out --amazing how many direct debits / subscriptions I'd had for a long time - long after I didn't need or use the services.

    OK this isn't a Debt / Finance managing Forum - but it's just amazing how much you might find yourself paying - and this isn't due to any scams / other tricks.

    In any case Ms gets most of its profit from Cloud and server services and a future Windows will probably be cloud based anyway so the whole subscription deal is a moot point.

    From the technical press :

    ......................Instead Microsoft has said it won't be releasing a Windows 11. Instead, it'll be upgrading desktop Windows right up to the point where most of you will be running Windows from the cloud where, in turn, your Windows instances will be running within Ubuntu-powered open-source containers..................................................

    Last edited by jimbo45; 07 Feb 2016 at 11:55.
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  9.    07 Feb 2016 #8

    I'm fine with a subscription as long as there is the buy once as an option. I have no interest in the subscription model but if that's what others want, so be it. I don't see it happening though. Not unless they change the current "free for the life of the device" model. If you buy a new Windows device its already licensed, for the life of the device. Even so why pay a subscription if you can just do a one time payment? I really don't get why someone would do that unless the subscription was good for several devices. Say up to 5 devices, and any 5 devices. Remove and add from that number at will, or something. Even then, that really only applies to people that build their own desktop PC, or buy a device that isn't running Windows, and they want Windows on it.
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  10.    07 Feb 2016 #9

    Kari said: View Post
    I would subscribe Windows as soon as it were possible! I welcome the subscription model with open arms, especially after several years of Office 365 subscription and seeing / experiencing how well it works.

    I hope that the article is wrong, I hope we will get a subscription based Windows, at least as an alternative to the classic "pay once use forever" model.

    Really?? I wouldn't like to have to pay for a 10 subscription..
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