I believe that MS was surprised at the number of people who took full advantage of the generous initial OneDrive offer.
When I was living in Arizona in the late 90s, the state had a subsidy program for alternative fuel vehicles. It ran out of money very quickly because too many people bought expensive SUVs that qualified because they did Flex Fuel. (I think that some of those people were state legislators.)
One of the things I like about Elon Musk for example is when media have tried portraying Tesla in a bad light in the past and carried out deceitful tricks such as the journalist running the car round and round in a car park in order to deliberately try and run the battery flat prematurely, he gets his facts together, takes the bull by the horns and corrects the misinformation head on. Whereas Microsoft just ignore it and leave it to their users to defend their products, or they come up with some meaningless wishy-washy corporate speak statement. The problem is, the lack of defending results in the "Microsoft XYZ product sux" rhetoric that spreads around the internet/social circles and people being as gullible as they generally are, will believe it as fact.
People questioning Microsoft in this very thread highlights a very real problem that Microsoft faces and will continue to face if they keep doing what they have been doing. People like myself can see what Microsoft do, are in tune with their way of thinking from an engineering perspective and get them (albeit they are moving too slow), but that means little if the masses don't. Apple CEO gets on stage, announces an over-priced, mediocre product and everyone goes crazy. Microsoft on the other-hand could announce they've invented a device that cures cancer and the media will accuse them of copying Apple, or spying on cancer patients, or something. Which will then be followed by a barrage of "Microsoft cancer cure sux!" comments in online comments sections and social media, some by astroturfers, some not. This is something Microsoft need to figure out how to overcome because I genuinely believe their intentions are good (even in spite of being a corporation), but what good is that if they can't get people to have more trust in them or see their products in the same way as they do, as Satya put it "from needing Windows, to choosing Windows, to loving Windows". It will be a constant uphill struggle, where only engineers in IT departments will have the understanding to cut through all the nonsense and actually get Microsoft's intentions.
For sure there is a bias in media publications and influencers, where Microsoft are portrayed as the bad guys and Apple/Google the good guys, which to me is like living in an alternative Universe, where everything is reversed. A Universe where people will listen to a pop star/actor/sports personality, who get paid to promote products, more than listen to a doctor, a scientist, or an engineer. What I'm not sure of though is whether this is due of the nature of media as they are paid by promoting certain brands and influencing buying decisions (and therefore by default not promote their competitors, in order to not upset the advertising buyers) or because certain CEO's belong to a particular group who scratch each others backs.
One thing is clear, Microsoft, can't get away with just sitting back like they used to, Apple and Google are too influential with other influential organisations cheerleading for them too. I think Microsoft need to engage people more, defend misinformation, show some real commitment to their products without the constant stop/starting/rebranding/breaking promises which destroys trust and spend more time and effort promoting themselves in a meaningful way, not just a few cobbled together anti-Google/anti-Apple videos, which do little to improve their image. Yeah and maybe buy off the influencers who are doing the influencing too, but somehow I think Google and Apple already have that already sewn up.
Well, this post went on much longer than I intended.
Free for the life of the device doesn't mean Microsoft won't earn future revenue from sales of Windows 10 by the way. They don't have to switch you to subscription to keep making money. If you go out right now and buy a device with Windows 10 preinstalled on it, Microsoft gets paid for that license on that device by the company selling it. When that device dies, and you replace it with another Windows device, they get licensing fees again. Etc. They have already stated quit clearly numerous times, that the free upgrade is free for the life of the device with no further fees for updates or upgrades.
The free upgrade is a full version of Windows (not a trial or introductory version) and is available until July 29, 2016. Once you upgrade, you’ll have Windows 10 for free on that device.